Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci gave an extended interview to UltimateGuitar.com recently, discussing the recording process behind the band's upcoming self-titled studio album (pre-order your copy now!). He talks about gear, methodology, personal and artistic goals and much more!

He talks about writing the music with the same amps, effects and everything else that would be used for the final recording: "Everybody's instrument was miked and captured while we were writing with the idea that if there were any performances that were great at that point that we'd be able to use them...So it was kind of twofold: one was to not have to say, 'Oh, in the mix it'll come together.' We wanted to hear what it was gonna sound like ahead of time so it'll sort of dictate the way the songs shape up and the kind of the direction of the album we're making. So it was that and it was also so we could capture performances as they happened and were inspired."

Dream Theater (the album) covers a broad range, from the hard-rocking first single "The Enemy Inside" to the 22-minute closing track; Petrucci talks about that stylistic freedom, saying, "Yeah, and that's the whole thing about playing in Dream Theater and playing progressive music is that you can really explore so many different sides. You don't have to be afraid. 'The Enemy Inside' and 'Enigma Machine' are real heavy songs and they're dark and there's a little bit of like a sinister twist to them. But it doesn't mean everything has to be that way. You can switch gears and just play something really beautiful with a simple melody. Or maybe something that's really pretty on the keyboards that's reminiscent of the Dregs or Genesis or Yes or something like that. And go in that direction. They all fulfill a certain musical desire. I picture "The Enemy Inside" as a live show opener because it boosts the energy of the audience and it just grips the audience. 'The Bigger Picture' is like a show closer where it's so poignant and the melody is really strong and you want to sing along to it and it's very open and simpler in a lot of ways. All the songs serve different purposes and again they satisfy whatever different musical yearnings we have as songwriters. So it's a lot of fun to be able to do that. You don't have to stick to one style in a box."

Read the whole thing!

Dream Theater's Dream Theater will be available everywhere September 24—pre-order your copy now in the Roadrunner webstore!