DREAM THEATER Keyboardist Says First Two Singles From 'A View From The Top Of The World' Are Not Fully Representative Of Album
October 15, 2021
DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess spoke to "The Chuck Schute Podcast" about the band's upcoming album, "A View From The Top Of The World", which is due on October 22. Speaking about whether the first two singles from the LP, "Invisible Monster" and "The Alien", are representative of the whole effort, Jordan said: "DREAM THEATER fans are incredibly active — they all have opinions; they're all experts — which is an interesting space for us all, as the artists in the band, it's interesting to have that happening all the time.
"I would say that it's hard when you release a tune or two to totally know what's coming. Everybody wants to listen to 'Invisible Monster' and say, 'Oh, that's what the DREAM THEATER album is?' Oh, well, then I'll love it.' Or, 'I don't know.' But meanwhile, that's a small offering from a big work. So anybody who's listening to this and hasn't heard the album yet, know that there's a whole lot more going on stylistically than either of those songs.
"I would say that if you had to judge a book by its cover that the better cover to judge it from is 'The Alien', because that one is a little bit more open-spirited; it's not trying to be more of a concise song," he explained. "And it's a little bit more what the album is about, 'cause, first of all, most of the songs are longer. So 'The Alien' kind of tells the story — it has the virtuosity, it has the metal, it has the proggy, it has the melodic, it kind of shows you what we were going for in the bigger picture of this album. But, again, even that doesn't cover everything. It's just one song; and we went in other directions as well."
According to Rudess, "A View From The Top Of The World" is "not a concept album." "Each song is really its own thing," he said. "If anything ties it together, it's the desire that we had to make an album in a certain way. We knew we wanted to have heaviness to it; we wanted to have really good hooks. The vocal sections, we always like to be as catchy as possible. We wanted to have some really cool leads — trading off between myself and [guitarist] John Petrucci. So there's elements that kind of tie it together more than anything else. 'Cause I think every DREAM THEATER album, to a certain extent, you can kind of almost put in a particular category. Like somebody says, ''Octavarium', that's your prog album,' or, ''Train Of Thought', that's your heavy album.' It doesn't totally ring true for me — those categorizations — because those albums are deep, and there's always a little bit of everything that we do. Even on 'Train Of Thought', there's a lot of proggy stuff on there too; 'As I Am' is on that album. So you can find things that you might say [make it seem like] the 'heavy' album. But the reality is you have 'Stream Of Consciousness' — that's one of the songs on 'Train Of Thought' — that's really more prog than anything else."
"A View From The Top Of The World" marks DREAM THEATER's second studio album with InsideOut Music/Sony Music. The artwork was created by longtime cover collaborator Hugh Syme (RUSH, IRON MAIDEN, STONE SOUR). "A View From The Top Of The World" was produced by Petrucci, engineered and additional production by James "Jimmy T" Meslin and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap.
DREAM THEATER — comprised of James LaBrie, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, John Myung and Mike Mangini — was in the middle of a sold-out world tour in support of their last release "Distance Over Time" and the 20th anniversary of "Scenes From A Memory" when a global pandemic brought the world to a stop. The musicians found themselves at home, with LaBrie in Canada and the rest of the group in the States. As fate would have it, they'd just finished construction on DTHQ (Dream Theater Headquarters) — a combination live recording studio, rehearsal space, control room, equipment storage, and creative hive. With LaBrie in Canada, he initially wrote with the band via Zoom on a monitor in DTHQ. In March 2021, he flew down to New York, quarantined, and recorded his vocals face to face with Petrucci.
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