As The Final Frontier Tour featuring Iron Maiden and Dream Theater kicked off on June 19th, DT's keyboard virtuoso spoke with metalexiles.com all about the tour, his band's philosophy and the role technology plays in his life and music.

Writes the site, "Jordan Rudess is the essential musician.  The Dream Theater sound would not be the same without his theoretical input and deft fingers with the keyboards and other regarded instruments of electronic sound... Jordan had much to divulge, the process behind Dream Theater, his hot new invention the MORPHWIZ and why you need an iPad."

Read an excerpt below, see the whole feature right here and for a full list of tour dates and ticket information for Dream Theater and Iron Maiden, check this location.

Black Clouds and Silver Linings is out now. Get it online here, or get a double gatefold vinyl copy here.

Metal Exiles: I would imagine you [and Iron Maiden] have some of the same crowd considering the virtuosity and the draw would be about the same.

Jordan:  Well, its just the size of the crowd, Iron Maiden are still huge.  They still can draw about 20,000 people to any given gig. 

Metal Exiles: I know Theater writes as a collective but how much of you (Personality wise) goes into the writing? 

Jordan: The way the band works is that there are three main writers in the group, Portnoy, Petrucci  and myself.  Together we write all of the music but Petrucci and myself will write all of the notes and harmonies but sometimes Mike will write some of the notes.  Mike is the director if you will, guiding the writing if you will, organizing all of the riffs that we write and coming up with suggestions.   But for me the way that Dream Theater works is that they allow much of me stylistically to come forward in the work.  I go out and collect ideas, interesting technologys, seeing what I can get away with and bring them into the band to keep our sound fresh and keep moving forward.

Metal Exiles: That being said, how much ground do you think you broke musically with Black Clouds?

Jordan: The band is not an electronic, futuristic ensemble, we are bout tipping the hat to the art rock/metal scene and the magic of Dream Theater is really about our own particular combination of ideas together.  You have the metal side and the prog side and mixing with virtuoisity you have Dream Theater.   What ground we break is in how we put the styles together.  From a personal standpoint and the technologies we use since I use many new things the Continuums, ipad’s, iphones and using DT as vehicle to introduce these things to the world, is the flavor of what we are talking about.

Metal Exiles:  What was the biggest hurdle getting the MORPHWIZ from start to finish?

Jordan:  It was just a lot of work, I am busy as a keyboardist, busy with Dream Theater, making albums so it was a huge process but it was a fun one.  The guy that I partnered with is a great programmer, he can make anything I think up happen.  If I want a green circle and have it move as I push my finger around a grid and slowly fade away when I remove my finger it can happen.  It is all possible, it is just up to me to guide the vision of it and Kevin is a numerical magician who can make incredible things happen.  Peaole are telling me they want to buy an ipad just to get the program.  It is great that I can offer this program to the fans. 

Metal Exiles: For someone who is not into Apple products what would make someone buy an Ipad for something like this?

Jordan:  The possibilities are endless.  If you are a DJ, a recording engineer needing tools, testing the sound at a gig or the studio or a musician wanting to try new gear.  It is just an amazing forward thinking device, which the music world is taking and breaking new ground with.  If you are interested in where the music world is going and want to be a part of it then you have to have your hands on an iPad.