DREAM THEATER Vocalist Says Band Has 'Clear Vision' Of What Next Album 'Needs To Be'
December 14, 2017
DREAM THEATER vocalist James LaBrie was interviewed by Metal Matt Bolender of CC Rock prior to the group's recent performance in Oakland, California. The full chat can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On the band's recent "Images, Words & Beyond" tour, in which the group performed their landmark 1992 album "Images And Words" in its entirety:
James: "We were out for almost a year touring behind 'The Astonishing'. What was rearing its beautiful head was the fact that the 25th anniversary of 'Images And Words' was coming up, and we definitely had to — I mean, that was an iconic album for us; it put us on the map globally — so it was something that couldn't be ignored, so we had to pay tribute to it. We had to say, 'This is what we've got to do — most of '17, we have to get behind this album and go out and tour it. So, that's how that came about — it was kind of like, 'Okay, let's phase out 'The Astonishing', and let's bring in the anniversary tour.'"
On how it feels to revisit "Images And Words":
James: "As a band, and as people, we reminisce about those times. It brings up a lot of memories; we're kind of reliving the moments back then when we started out. When we first started out with the 'Images' tour, it was the band and a tour manager in a van, driving from city to city, playing little clubs, showering at the clubs. Days off, we'd get a day room. We paid our dues, and then all of a sudden, 'Pull Me Under' blew up, and everything just exploded for us. It was a completely different world.
"It also puts perspective on where we were — just how precarious a business it is. If 'Pull Me Under' hadn't taken off, I don't think you and I would be sitting here talking today. Granted, we would have continued to tour. Would we have been going to Europe, Japan and everywhere else? Maybe, but to what capacity? I don't know. If the album hadn't been successful, yes, the label might have let us do another album, but if that album had been mediocre in the water too because we didn't get any recognition, I think that would have been the end of us. 'Pull Me Under' really was that catalyst that gave us that template or wave that we were able to ride for quite some time, and allowed us to be doing this 25, 30 years later. We're very fortunate that that did happen.”
On the band's future:
James: "I would like to see that DREAM THEATER as an entity, that we'd be doing this for at least another 10-plus years. I really do. I see that everyone is kind of collected — that we're all in agreement to that. I remember saying this to Jordan [Rudess, keyboards] when we were over in Asia — I said, 'I can see me playing guitar and singing DREAM THEATER songs in a more acoustic setting, and playing little intimate clubs and just having fun with it that way,' but who knows what's in the cards? I think it has to always make sense. I think the day that someone's just saying the reason you're going to do something is because of this [makes money gesture], it's all wrong. But right now, I think that we're all having an incredible time out here, and I think that's what we're riding on right now. We're all looking forward to the next album. We all pretty much know where we want to go with the next album, but we have a clear, clear vision of what it needs to be in direction, where we want to take it. That's exciting. That won't be out until '19. '18 will be rest time, and then get into the studio and write and record, and come out with a new album in 2019 and start another tour."
DREAM THEATER's next studio album — its 14th — will be the band's first for Sony Music's progressive imprint InsideOut Music. The group spent the past 25 years recording under various labels in the Warner Music Group system, most recently Roadrunner Records, which released five albums by the band between 2007 and 2016.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).