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Dream Theater pushes past drummer's defection

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2011

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Drummer Mike Portnoy’s decision to leave Dream Theater a year ago to temporarily join Avenged Sevenfold was “a heartbreaking chapter in our lives” says guitarist and producer John Petrucci.

But it also inspired the remaining group members — Petrucci, singer James LaBrie, bassist John Myung and keyboardist Jordan Rudess — to start working on their latest album, “Dramatic Turn of Events,” in a new way, without anyone pounding the skins in the studio.

“We thought that would be the best thing to do, as opposed to bringing in a new member and a new personality,” Petrucci, 44, explains. “We wanted to focus and get back to that sort of intimate writing and arrangement that happens between guitar players and keyboard players and bass players in an intimate situation, where you can really get into the raw structure of the songs and reach down deep and put forth your best work.

And, he adds, “It was definitely quieter, that’s for sure.”

Dream Theater wound up hiring Mike Mangini to fill Portnoy’s spot, while “Dramatic Turn of Events” debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 — as well as No. 1 in Finland.

“We always try to push some sort of boundary and do something that’s a little bit different, some sort of element we haven’t done before,” Petrucci explains. “You’ll hear that for sure. You don’t want to repeat yourself, but at the same time it’s important to stay focused on what makes up the sound of the band.

“We don’t want to lose sight of what makes us special and unique — what our mission statement is, if you want to say that.”

Dream Theater and Trivium perform Monday, Oct. 3, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39.50. CAll 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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