Progressive metallers Dream Theater are planning to regroup in late spring to begin work on material for the follow-up to 2016’s “The Astonishing” album. “We’re not gonna get into the studio until May,” keyboardist Jordan Rudess told VintageRock.com at last weekend’s NAMM show in Anaheim, California (see video below). “So, you know, it’ll take some time to create it, and then once we’ve composed it all and recorded it all, and then to make all the packaging and all the stuff, and who knows? It’ll probably come out, let’s say, in a year or so, or maybe a little less. And we’ll hit the road sometime after that. But May is the time when we’re looking to get in the studio again.”
Rudess also talked about the Dream Theater songwriting process, particularly as it relates to “The Astonishing”, the wildly ambitious double concept LP which has been critized by some fans for being an overblown, self-indulgent exercise in excess.
“What’s interesting in my career with Dream Theater is that when we set out to record an album, first of all, we always have a very strong concept of what it’s gonna be before we start — we kind of envision the music, we envision the effect, we make a real plan and try to follow through with that,” he explained.
“One of the things that happened with ‘The Astonishing’, which is our last album, which is kind of like a rock-opera thing, is that we actually had many more ideas than we used,” he continued. “A lot of times we’ll apply ourselves to the album knowing what we wanna do, and what we create is what happened. So there’s not a lot… you know, you hear about bands, ‘Oh, that song is on the cutting-room floor.’ Or, ‘We threw that one away.’ ‘That one didn’t work.’ ‘The record company said this or that.’ But with us, it’s not usually like that. But for ‘The Astonishing’, we did have a lot of ideas that we didn’t use — not because they were necessarily not good ideas, but because we were trying to really craft something that helped to tell the story. So maybe something just didn’t work as well. So we have some things kind of in the can or whatever — they’re nice ideas that weren’t part of it.”