DREAM THEATER's JOHN PETRUCCI: 'Live Music Has Been Missing From All Of Our Lives For Way Too Long'
December 12, 2021
In a new interview with Turkey's %100 Metal, DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci spoke about the band's upcoming European tour which is scheduled to kick off next April in Belfast, United Kingdom. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The last show that we played was the end of February 2020, so this will be more than two years since coming to Europe. We're not doing 'An Evening With…' so there'll be an opening band playing with us that we're working on. And we're gonna play a bunch of material from the new album, obviously. We do have a new stage set that's in development that we're trying to make an all-encompassing view from the top of the world. So, we'll see. We're working on that. And we'll play some songs that we haven't played in a long time; we always like to do that as well."
He added: "It'll just be fun to get back out there and perform, play live. Live music has been missing from all of our lives for way too long. So, we all need it. It's a big part of what we do."
Last month, DREAM THEATER announced the rescheduled dates for its postponed North American leg of the "Top Of The World" tour. The shows will now kick off in Mesa, Arizona on February 2 and run seven weeks before ending in Austin, Texas on March 21. The tour will also make stops in Los Angeles, California; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; New York City and Dallas, Texas, among others, and will mark the first live performances of music from DREAM THEATER's latest release, "A View From The Top Of The World". ARCH ECHO will be the opener on all dates in the United States and FALSET will be the opener on all of the dates in Canada. Information on tickets for all upcoming shows as well as VIP packages can be found at www.dreamtheater.net.
In October, DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie told The Metal Voice about the band's decision to push back the tour: "It just came down to how comfortable we were with going out. We were getting kind of mixed messages from promoters and our agencies. Our management was looking into it across the board with people that were out there, tours that were going on, tours that had come down.
"When you put together a tour, the amount of money that's put into a tour, it's astronomical," he continued. "And the kind of production that we go out with is pretty big; it's pretty substantial. We were just getting a lot of indication that the bands that had been going out were out for a week or two and somebody within the band or the crew came down with COVID and then the whole camp had to be shut down up to 10 days. Well, that's financially disabling for any tour of any magnitude, that you can just pull down a whole camp of, let's say, 30-something people and the amount of money that's generated while you're out there. You're talking 10 days where you're just dead in the water.
"So it didn't make sense to us. One, we were still concerned with our health, going out. And even though we're all fully inoculated, so to speak, we were still concerned with one of us coming down, getting sick and not being able to proceed. And then the business side of things.
"I mean, if I wanna be completely honest with you, it wasn't a unanimous decision," LaBrie admitted. "There were three guys in the band that said, 'No. We don't wanna tour. We're not going out.' And there were two other guys in the band that said, 'C'mon, let's do it. Let's go for it. We're all for it.' And that's what it came down to — is that it was a majority vote that said, 'No. We're not about to go out.'"
James also addressed Petrucci's recent comment that the the tour postponement was "unfortunate" and not a unanimous decision, with Petrucci and bassist John Myung being willing to return to the road as soon as possible and the other three guys opting to stay home.
"It comes down to sometimes you're gonna have to agree to disagree, and granted, as he put it — I saw it; fans forwarded it to my site — as he said, he was frustrated," James said. "Well, truth be known, we're all frustrated that we're not out there touring. That's what we love to do — we love to be out. But some of us felt that we weren't willing to take that risk and come down with this unfortunate virus. It just didn't seem to me, and to the other two guys that were on the side of the fence that I was on, it didn't make sense to risk it at this point. But everything is being rescheduled. It's been postponed, and everything is coming back online in February. And I think we're gonna be closer to not only more people being vaccinated but also herd immunity. So let's see what happens."
In October, Petrucci told Robert Cavuoto of Sonic Perspectives about the DREAM THEATER tour postponement: "Well, it's an unfortunate decision. John [Myung] and I really wanted to tour, and are dying to tour — dying to get out there and support the [new DREAM THEATER] record. And unfortunately, we couldn't convince the other guys that it was safe. So, it wasn't a unanimous decision, unfortunately.
"It's frustrating for me, because everything has opened up and concerts are going on, and theaters and arenas and clubs and everything is open," he continued. "Bands are out there, and a lot of my friends are touring successfully. And there are ways to do it safely, which we were very prepared to do. But, like I said, we couldn't convince the other guys it'd be safe, and so we had to push it off.
"I'm the type of person where I hate disappointing people, I hate disappointing our fans. So, it was definitely an unfortunate decision."
"A View From The Top Of The World" was released in October.