When I think of a lot of the players I admire, they could always play their parts without hiding behind distortion and sustain. Put the time in. Hear your mistakes. Yeah, it sucks, it's humbling, it makes you want to throw the guitar out the window. But if you work on your mistakes, they'll eventually go away, and you'll become a strong player.— John Petrucci
The most reckoning John Petrucci quotes that will inspire your inner self
Music is a communication. It's a two-way street. You need people to play to in order to make that connection complete. That's the way we look at it.
I remember feeling for the first time going somewhere where I was part of a community where I didn't feel like an outcast. I felt like I belonged. Everyone had a guitar strapped to their back.
Obviously the best way to retain the most profit is to not give any of it away.
That's something that you certainly learn through the years.
Real thick strings - your hands start to get fatigued.
As much as you practice, and as much experience as you have, and as long as you've been playing, there is a fatigue point during the show, as with anything that's physical. So I wanted to basically pace myself better.
If you bring somebody into the band you are going to be with them a lot whether it's in the studio, on the tour bus, or at dinner every night; you want somebody you enjoy being around. You don't want an annoying guy .
Stay focused when you're playing alive, so you're not distracted by something going on.
If someone is feeling out of sorts or detached it's a great time to bring them in and restate why we are here and what we are trying to do.
I don't have very eclectic tastes in music.
Obviously [Black] Sabbath is definitely a huge name and of course deserving with Ozzy coming back.
The C+ amps is vintage at this point, and it definitely has a certain sound to it. I wanted something that was going to keep Dream Theater in more of a current musical landscape, as far as being the producer and producing the type of album I wanted to hear.
I wanted something different. I'd been using the C+ amps for a long time, and I love them - they're one of my favorite amps ever. But on this album [Road Kings] I wanted - there were a couple reasons, actually. One is that I wanted a more aggressive sound, some more teeth and hair.
I have a lot of guitars. Yeah, I'm not like a guitar collector, I don't have all vintage instruments. I don't even own a Strat or Les Paul. I don't have one.
When we came out, the kind of music that was popular was Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, all that stuff. That was when we released our second album, 'Images And Words', and it was something people werent used to hearing maybe, and it sort of rose above all that somehow, being progressive, or whatever.
Many times we talk about the people that have come to enjoy the show.
They went through a lot to get here, whatever they needed to work out in their lives; they got babysitters, they traveled, and purchased the tickets. So it's up to us to deliver the goods!
I almost rely on other people to say, "Hey, you ever hear of this band?" And I'll say, "Oh, I've never heard of that!" And I listened to them and thought, "What the hell?"
It's a balance between getting the right string gauge that's thick enough where it sound good, and not rubber bands - but not too thick where your hands start to get real tired.
I would say the more the better when it is comes to development and marketing.
It's actually fun. For some it can be a frustrating thing.
Even with Dream Theater, we track in a big studio and everything.
But when it comes to doing leads, I don't really require a lot of studio to do that. I need a good sounding room and a Pro Tools rig, and some Neve mic-pres, and I'm good.
Sometimes I'll hear a certain approach that kinda cathes my ear, like „It's kinda cool what that guy's doing there", or maybe an effect that somebody's using, or a guitar sound, or something that kinda makes me open up. But the funny thing is i realise over time how sort of traditional i am.
Guitar players get inward and analytical about their playing but when you start to get positive feedback from other players it makes you think that it is coming together.
I started playing guitar when I was 12, and I started getting into more metal, like Maiden and Metallica... Of course, as I kind of got better and better in the guitar, I was listening to more guitar players, so then I got into, I guess, more of the prog side.
I'm realizing this more and more that it's one thing to get involved with your own political beliefs and stand behind you believe in personally.
With all tools at my disposal, I'm 100% into chasing tone and checking out new equipment and "geeking" out during sound check by taking too much time.
There were some initial instruments I had when I was young and made some trade-offs. Maybe a guitar I bought in a flea market. They weren't the greatest guitar but they would be cool to still have them. Other than that, not as a professional.
I've always said that there's a huge progressive rock, progressive metal audience out there, in the world.
The style of music that we're playing, this progressive metal style, has always been an upstream battle for us. We don't usually get a lot of commercial exposure.
Out of Berklee Dream Theater was born and we've been together ever since.
I didn't have to taste that feeling of defeat.
We auditioned a lot of great drummers;
every one of them was world class. We had a lot of fun playing with each of them and had some great jams. With Mike [Mangini] it was just something really special about what was going on.
You try to play the song better than you had before.
I've been fortunate to work with companies that I endorse because I love their gear. Whether Music Man, Dunlop, or DiMarizo to me these companies have supported me in such a way that's invaluable.
Since I'm in a band, and I'm not usually in situations where I need to read, it doesn't come up as often, and I don't rely on it as much.
When we make those guitars we make tons of prototypes, I have all those.
And once a guitar has come out there's all different versions and colours and woods and I have all those. There's hundreds of them.
You might be able to get a certain sound, and in the studio you certainly look at things under a microscope a lot more. You might hear more warmth out of a thicker string gauge. But in the practical world, like with us, we're playing An Evening With... so it's three hours of music, and our music is pretty challenging as far as the technical aspect. And I found after awhile that I was killing myself.
In Japan they're definitely more over the top.
They had four Boogie stacks and 20 guitars. But otherwise it's pretty much the same thing, except there's a translator. It's really nice.
Usually we're all comfortable playing the songs, but during the song there might be one part where you're like „oh, this part's coming up, I have to really focus", a lot of songs have those moments in them.
First and foremost, with everybody we wanted to see if they can pull off the songs, play them correctly, and that they it felt right musically. That's something Mike [Mangini] did, it felt like the band. He really gets the style and delivers in a powerful metal way.
I have to say that our fans have been absolutely wonderful all across the world.
With the Road King amp, you're able to switch power tubes and speakers and do all these different things. And I didn't want to have five different heads in my rack. And there's something about, when you do the type of setup that I have, unless you have a dedicated amp to a dedicated speaker and you're actually switching, you have to use the same power section of the main head that you're using.
I'm a member of the Recording Academy and I see the way it works and even with the whole voting process it's broken down into specific categories. There are Pop categories and Dance and Rock and Metal and Film and Score and everything else. Basically when you are voting you are urged not to vote in the category that you don't know anything about.
Instead of buying a guitar for $2,000 or $2,500 - I'm not sure how much these are going for - but it's maybe $300 or something like that. It's more for beginners and stuff like that. Obviously it's not hitting the pros. And you can't get the Piezo pickup and the color-changing paint and the inlays and all the fancy things that my signature guitars offer, but you can get the general feel of the guitar - and the body style. It's cool.
Now that we're established and we have a history we know that we can expect people to show up and to have a good time.
I experimented a bunch with Ernie Ball in getting the strings to not flop around too much, but at the same time not to be too thick to where you're playing telephone cables.
I know we play a part in the story of progressive music, but for us those influences are the real fathers, the ones that we were interested in.
When I first started, it was the real basic stuff that was being played on the radio, so I was into Zeppelin, and Sabbath, and AC/DC, and all stuff like that. I grew up in New York, on Long Island, so the local radio stations played all that kind of thing.
Personality wise, we are all kindred spirits.
I've said this before; if we [with Mike Mangini ] ever went to high school together we would have been friends. He is just one of us! We felt that immediate connect.
Many kids and parents ask me, 'What kind of guitar can I buy?' It's a great opportunity for those people to be able to buy a quality guitar that's not necessarily a little Fender or whatever. Ernie Ball signature model guitar is something that's more signature.
To be in Boston, which is a great city and which is full of many colleges and young kids, and to be around that many people that were at the same point in their lives, who played guitar or whatever instrument - it was just perfect. It was a great environment.
There's different levels of where we do well throughout Europe.
Fortunately, for us, it's pretty great all throughout it.
You might pick up some influences from another type of music that you wouldn't normally think of, but, you know, maybe as a guitar player, it will come out in your improvisational style, maybe as a song writer it might come out in your note choices, or in your melodic choices, and it just helps to making your music that much more original and unique.