The five year wait for Dream Theater fans is almost over as the band will return to Australia for two very special, exclusive and intimate performances in Sydney and Melbourne this month. The three hour ‘An Evening With Dream Theater‘ tour is loaded with nothing but the best from the band. They’ll be playing The Palais in Melbourne on Wednesday 29th October and The Big Top at Luna Park in Sydney on Thursday 30th October. Limited tickets remain available. This week in The Hotseat, we catch up with keyboard player Jordan Rudess from the band to answer our questions. Expand this post to take a read of his answers. Full details can be found [Here].
Name : Jordan Rudess
Band : Dream Theater
Job In Band : Keyboard Wizard
Website Address : dreamtheater.net
How did the band first come to exist? The seed was planted long ago when John Petrucci and John Myung were high school friends and they would get together in their basements and jam Iron Maiden and Metallica songs! They later moved on to Berklee School of music where they met Mike Portnoy. The rest is history.
How long has the band been going? It’s been about 28 years since the inception.
Any particular story behind the name? The band is named after an old movie house in California that is no longer in existence.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Our latest release is a self titled album simply called Dream Theater. In the long career of the band this is the first self titled album we have done. The reason we decided to do that is because we all felt like on a personal as well as musical level we are enjoying a real high point in our career. The album features many songs that are more concise and to the point then many Dream Theater albums in the past.. That said there is also one very long epic type track called Illumination Theory!
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? Our recent live concert DVD featuring Dream Theater with the Berklee School of Music Orchestra and Choir is to me a great stand out achievement. I think it is our best live release yet and its so exciting because it was like a grand return for Dream Theater.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? I started playing music in second grade when I would gravitate towards the classroom piano and accompany the students in the school songs. My teacher called up my mother to tell her about how nicely I was playing the piano and my mom was shocked because we did not have a piano in our home… That’s when she bought one and it all began for me.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? For me the biggest rock influences I have are in the prog genre. Groups like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd. One of my very favorite new progressive rock groups is a band called Haken out of the UK. They are fantastic. Dream Theater and the other guys are very influenced by groups like Maiden, Metallica, Queensryche as well!
Most prized music related item you own? My Steinway piano.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Running my app company called Wizdom Music. We make apps like MorphWiz and SampleWiz for iOS and other platforms.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Walking around the various cities and feeling the vibe of the town.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Sleeping on the tour bus.
ON THE STAGE
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? There are many great places to go. One of my favourites is Italy. I have so many friends there and the food is amazing!!
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? Radio City Music Hall in NYC for our Score DVD. So exciting to play my home town with in such a classic place!
Got a favourite song to play live? Not really, although these days playing “Illumination Theory” is really fun..
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Yes when my keyboard stand got completely stuck for the whole show in a slanted down position. That was in Mexico city and it is was very uncomfortable and embarrassing, although I think the audience thought I was was just showing off!
Any pre-show rituals? Always connecting with the other guys with a fist pump.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? The music business has changed so much and it is certainy harder then ever for a band to make it touring.
Its expensive to put a band on the road with shipping cost, gas, hotels etc…
Last song you listened to? I just listened to the new Aphex Twin Album Syro. (Exact titles unknown at the moment)
Last album you picked up? (same as above)
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Haken’s ‘Restoration’ EP. (I got a pre release copy!)
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? I think Alek Darson is a rare talent in the guitar world. Check out his music here and his new album Panoptican. alekdarson.com
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? We are finishing off a tour and then will take a few months break before starting work on a new album
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Emerson Lake and Palmer in their prime.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? The Royal Albert Hall in the UK.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? Easier question for me in the old days!!! I would have probably liked to have played in YES because I just love their music.
Got any final words? Here is a one sheet featuring my newest solo albums. ‘Explorations’ as well as ‘All That is Now’. ‘Explorations’ is my first Orchestral album done with the Sinfonietta Consonus in Poland. ‘All That is Now’ is my solo album just done on my Steinway piano at home in my studio. Both done through a Pledge Music campaign this last year.