Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess was interviewed by a site called The Great Southern Brainfart (no, really), and it's a pretty interesting conversation. He talks about his classical training, why he didn't join Dream Theater the first time they asked him, and much more.
Rudess describes his musical evolution, from classical to hard rock and metal, as follows: "I started out picking up the piano by ear which quickly led to more of a formal background. I went to Juilliard and was very serious about it. Everyone thought I was going to be a classical pianist. I was always very into improvising and other stuff as well. My mom would bring me home sheet music from theater so I had my head in a lot of places. Then I discovered rock n’ roll and started listening to Beatles records. When I was 19 I left Julliard and I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do but I got really into electronic music making wild crazy sounds on the synthesizer. I was all about just playing wild electronic music. I started to get into progressive rock bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Genesis. Somewhere along the line I had some friends turn me onto the more metal type of stuff like AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest."
Read the whole thing at this link.