“In the past we’ve been out touring before the actual album comes out,” says LaBrie, “so maybe we’ll sneak one or two songs from it into the set. Over the last three to five years we’ve talked about how it would be great if we could start to make our cycle unfold so the albums are out at least a few months before we go hit the stage. That lets people digest the music so that when we want to play the new songs, they’re actually familiar with it.”
One new song they will be performing is the massive 22-minute suite, “Illumination Theory”; says Petrucci, “When you’re writing a piece like that, you’re kinda doing it a section at a time. We’ll record a bit of it and more from that point, maybe build or edit, but we never actually have played the entire song together from beginning to end. So when we’re in rehearsals it’s always fun and challenging to go back and actually learn what we did and try to memorize the whole piece in its entirety. You really have to get your chops up and play it as if it’s not an effort at all. Eventually it does get to that point—after a lot of work. But it’s a lot of fun, too.”
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Dream Theater (the album), which includes the Grammy-nominated song “The Enemy Inside,” is available everywhere now—grab your copy from the Roadrunner webstore!
Dream Theater‘s North American headlining tour begins March 20 and runs through April 19 and hits the Pittsburgh area April 2.