DREAM THEATER's JOHN PETRUCCI: 'I Don't Like When Musicians Get Stale Or Kind Of Get Lazy'

September 30, 2020

In a brand new interview with the "Wong Notes" podcast, DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci was asked if he approaches writing music, producing music and playing music with an an intention beyond just the musicality and the fun of it. He responded (hear audio below): "Definitely. I think that's a big part of it. You have a couple of different perspectives that you work from or in. One is something that's very focused and microscopic, and the other is a lot broader. When you're looking at the whole big picture, what are you trying to say as an artist? What will your legacy be? And maybe that sounds pompous, but it's just something to keep in mind as you're doing all this.

"I've been doing this for a long time, so there's a lot of music out there," he continued. "And I kind of look at it all as just this continuous story that's being told, and all these musical moments are reflections of what was happening at that point in the story."

Petrucci went on to offer the following advice to aspiring musicians looking to have long and fruitful careers: "Just always have a vision, have motivation. Maybe that's easier said than done, but don't get lazy about it. Treat everything like you're trying your best.

"I don't like when musicians get stale or kind of get lazy," he added. "I like when you can hear that the player — and I know a lot of guys like this, and it's so awesome to see — that no matter what age they are in their musical journey, they love to play. They still have the passion. They put stuff out that's just as good now as it was 20 years ago, and you can hear that and feel that in the music. That's another big-picture thing. Make sure that you're connected to that.

"I'll never forget my formative years of just jamming with my friends when I was 15, 16, going to each other's houses. Oh my God. We'd play for hours. Time would disappear. And you just did it 'cause you loved it; you loved the connection. And [it's important to make] sure you don't lose sight of that."

Petrucci released his second solo album, "Terminal Velocity", on August 28 via Sound Mind Music/The Orchard. The follow-up to 2005's "Suspended Animation" features guest musicians Mike Portnoy (SONS OF APOLLO, ex-DREAM THEATER) on drums and Dave LaRue (DIXIE DREGS) on bass. The effort marks the first time Petrucci and Portnoy recorded together in over a decade, as well as their first time playing together since Portnoy departed DREAM THEATER.

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