Dream Theater swamped all challengers in our weekend poll, Which Upcoming Release Are You Most Anticipating? Their album A Dramatic Turn of Events, due out September 13 (with the ultra-deluxe boxed set version available for pre-order right now, today), got 66.7% of the total votes cast. This was a display of fan loyalty that quite honestly left us shocked...in a good way. So we reached out to the band to get their thoughts on their fans' passionate support of all things Dream Theater.

Why do you think your fans are so devoted and loyal to the band after all these years?
John Petrucci
, guitar: First of all, I have to say that Dream Theater has the most incredibly passionate fans on the planet! For me, it all goes back to the way I felt about music and certain bands growing up, and how that mindset has carried over into the way Dream Theater likes to carry ourselves as a band. A band like Rush, for example, always seems to have an undying spirit. The desire to want to continue to deliver the best music and live shows no matter where they are in their career. It's that kind of dedication I think that has carried over to Dream Theater, and I believe our fans realize that and appreciate that very much. It's about always striving to be a better musician, to make better music and to put on better concerts. It turns into some sort of brotherhood and way of thinking that is very contagious.  We are incredibly fortunate to have such devoted and loyal fans. It's amazing!

John Myung, bass: It's about the music, it's such an integral part of the relationship, it changes and evolves over time, we are lucky that our fans accept us and look forward to where we'll be with each new release, moving along with us.

Does having such a devoted fan base create extra pressure when writing new material, either to give them “more of the same” or to stretch yourselves in order to hold their interest?
: To me it's very important to keep things in perspective. Obviously we value our success and how far we have come. That would never be the case without the people who actually listen to and enjoy our music and ultimately support it. However, music and direction really have to come from within. That's so important. You have to keep reminding yourself to go back to the inception. Back to that musical place before there were any fans, or a business, etc. That's where you will find inspiration and music in its purest form. If it doesn't come from that place, then people see right through it. Having said that, it is absolutely imperative to maintain the initial sonic mission that started it all and to always sound like Dream Theater.

JM: Yes, without a doubt the pressure exists but I think it has a good effect on us, motivating us to do better.

What would you like to tell fans about A Dramatic Turn Of Events?
: I really can't wait for the album to be released. I'm incredibly proud of the way it turned out- the direction, the performances, the mix etc. It's a very unique feeling to work on something with your bandmates in such an intimate setting such as the recording studio, and then to ultimately share it with everyone. I think the sound and the direction of this album is very indicative of the band's current musical intention and will set the stage for all things Dream Theater over the upcoming years.  I really hope everyone enjoys the new music!

JM: It's an amazing album, I've been listening to it every night before I go to sleep, I don't seem to get tired of it. There are a lot of different things to focus on.