Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you are aware of the announcement that shocked the progressive metal world last October: legendary drummer Mike Portnoy, a founding member of Dream Theater, returned to the band's fold after a 13-year absence. Much has been said and written about it, from James LaBrie sharing the excitement about the reunion, to Portnoy himself explaining a bit about how it came to be.
Now, after the excitement about the news has subsided a bit, the big question on every Dream Theater fan's mind is whether the band has already started working on new material with Portnoy. And turns out that guitarist John Petrucci has shed some light on the matter in a recent interview with GuitarWorld editor-in-chief Michael Astley-Brown during NAMM 2024.
When asked if the band had already begun work on new music, Petrucci revealed: "Well, very soon. So, we start the new album in less than two weeks [ed note: this interview was conducted in late January]. And we're looking forward to it. It's really exciting to have Portnoy back in the band. We started the band together. I talked about being 18 at Berklee College Of Music; that's where we met. And we've been friends ever since. So, having him back in the band is really special to all of us. I know he's really excited as well."
"We haven't started working on new music. We haven't written a note yet, but I'm sure when we get together, it's just gonna be like old times. So, I'm really looking forward to doing that and diving in." Petrucci added.
At the same time, Petrucci emphasizes his desire to push boundaries and explore new sonic avenues when asked where would he take his guitar playing in the album: "To me, making a new record is an opportunity to kind of say, like, 'All right, what haven't I done before? What can I do that's gonna be interesting to me, that's gonna sort of make me excited?' And usually, if you start out with that kind of goal, it'll happen. You'll come up with stuff. You'll explore. And I try not to be satisfied right away and try to like just change things up."
"So, I don't know the answer to that. We'll find out. But I think what's gonna be fun is just all getting together in the studio and seeing where things go and kind of reuniting with that sort of classic magic that started the band. It's exciting. And I think that's gonna dictate where things go. But on the guitar, man, I don't know. I can't wait. I love it. I love being in the studio."