DREAM THEATER:  Interview with John Petrucci  

face- to - face by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo ___

07.07.2002 -  Frauenfeld ( CH) at MINISTRY OF ROCK OPEN AIR 


John Petrucci and dalia -   photo taken by Stefan Vogelaar





Dalia: Hello, it's a honour for us, that you find the time to make this interview with us for Gryphonmetal!
Well, in order to breake the ice, the first question is a kind of interactive one....

John Petrucci: Ok...

Would you like to comment this picture?

Ah Ha! look at that! ...yes!
Well this was a special night in which we covered the entire record Master of Puppets and I guess it was a very influential album for Dream Theater for the sound. It was the first time we did that and we did it again in Chicago and New York and we had mixed reactions from the fans, some people liked it and some didnt so, but it was a lot of fun.

so you had fun.....

and the fans?
I don't know if it was fun, I think it was fun for some of our fans, maybe not all.

maybe not all?
Yeah. Some people didn't might, but some people complained out, "why do u play Metallica, we came to hear Dream Theater", but, you know, every time we played that album, we played a really long show, so we played at least about 2 - 2 1/2 hour of Dream Theater and then we played that and for me personally, if i Igo to see "Yes" or something and they start to play at a certain time " Dark side of the Moon" I think that is pretty cool. 
so i Idont understand why some people dont like it. You know what I mean?

yes, sure...
Your new album "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" is showing without doubt heavier elements, among them your guitar seems heavier...
a little bit more metallic... why that choice?
Well, you know, we can handle heavy music and metal and real agressive music, especially the guitar sounds, and I think that is one of the elements that makes Dream Theater to who we are. We mix heavy music and progressive music so it's kind of my job to make it ..........................

What I have noticed seeing you playing live in this amazing gig.., I really have to say that.....
Oh! Thank you, thank you very much.

I have noticed that all of you are mastering your instruments and  that there is no need  for you to use some kind of special effects like walls of fire ...
(laughing) yeah , right,.... right...

 ... is this the right way? What do you think about bands which base their gigs on special effects?
Well, today it was an outdoor show and it was not a Dream Theater headliner show. On a normal show we have a poor light show and we don't use explosions and I think it is not important for the presentation, I think you have to play well and make your sound really good, but basically it is what the people want to watch at the end of the day, it is an entertainment, and the people they are coming pay money and they want to watch something spectacular.

Are you designing personally your guitars?
Yes, my guitar is a custom guitar made by Ernie Ball, Music Man, a great company in California, and I developed those guitars with that company and now it my signature model.
It is a wonderful guitar,... an amazing instrument.

In front of you, you have an interesting tour, tomorrow you will play in Italy and then you will go back in the USA and there you will play together with Joe Satriani....
Yeah, with King's X as well....

Now, as we are talking about the two best guitar players of the moment, who is the better one, you or Joe Satriani?
Joe, I think Joe will win this battle (laughing)... Joe is the winner.

And the drummers? What do you think who is the better drummer, Mike Portnoy or Roy Mayorga?
Who's that?

Cool! (laughing)........In your music one can notice some Pink Floyd influences....
Oh yeah, sure! Pink Floyd is the favourite of all of us, all of us really love their music and it finds his way in our music, ... absolutely.

Your music is showing many elements coming from outside  the world of progressive rock...

 .... so, psychedelic from Pink Floyd is one of these elements, another can be Jazz..
yeah, I think Jazz music finds its way in our music for some harmony we use and how we arrange the song structures.

If there is a possibility, and I imagine you hade this possibility some times, to speak
with a young boy or girl which are interested to play the guitar, which advices  you may give them on their way..

Oh, is a lot, you know, what really worked for me was following the successful artist I liked, you know, it's like in school, something like, that guy went to Berkley so I go to Berkley. So for to make music, it seemed that guy played with a lot of people so I played with a lot of people, I jammed a lot, the guys always say that they like the music and I liked my music too.
All these elements are important, education, constance to learn , to play with a lot of people and try to realize the success with your strength. 

The last question is one I make to any artist I interview now....
it's a kind of game, ......
there is a very high tower, and there are three bands in the top of it and u can push down two of them, saving only one.....
The bands are: Soulfly, Paradise Lost and Metallica
Whom  you push down?
Well, that one will be very easy for me, I would have to save Metallica, but I push down Kirk Hammett, so I can play with the band (laughing)............

Thank you again John!


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