Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci was recently interviewed by MyGlobalMind.com, and he talked about the band's pre-show rituals, why Mike Mangini has been such a welcome addition to the lineup, tone and gear, and more.
Says Petrucci, "We do get together before going on stage and we talk to get our heads in the same place and bond. You’re about to walk on stage and play together for the next few hours so you want to feel connected and make sure that everyone is in the same head space; a good head space. If someone is feeling out of sorts or detached it’s a great time to bring them in and restate why we are here and what we are trying to do. Many times we talk about the people that have come to enjoy the show. They went through a lot to get here, whatever they needed to work out in their lives; they got babysitters, they traveled, and purchased the tickets. So it’s up to us to deliver the goods! We’re always in that head space about the audience and less about us at that moment."
Regarding Mangini, he says, "He’s hysterical, he keeps us entertained. If you bring somebody into the band you are going to be with them a lot whether it’s in the studio, on the tour bus, or at dinner every night; you want somebody you enjoy being around. You don’t want an annoying guy."
Petrucci is a well-known gearhead and "tone chaser"; as he puts it, "I love it and get into the whole thing...It depends on the mood I’m in, how do I want to change the sound today and what are best pieces of gear that I can use to do that. It’s a combination of using your ear and the way you play the instrument. I’ve been fortunate to work with companies that I endorse because I love their gear. Whether Music Man, Dunlop, or DiMarzio, to me these companies have supported me in such a way that’s invaluable. I often think about my Music Man guitars being 100 million percent tailored to my needs as a player and how lucky I am. With all those tools at my disposal, I’m 100% into chasing tone and checking out new equipment and geeking out during sound check by taking too much time. Getting it exactly perfect for that night! Or in the studio weeks before the band gets in trying to get just the right sound."
Dream Theater's self-titled 12th studio album is available everywhere now—grab your copy from the Roadrunner webstore!