Since Dream Theater released 2011′s celebrated A Dramatic Turn of Events, the group has earned its first Grammy nod — for the song “On the Backs of Angels.” But that’s not what excites Jordan Rudess the most.
As Dream Theater returns for a new studio project, the keyboardist is itching to begin recording with new drummer Mike Mangini. He arrived, replacing stalwart Mike Portnoy, after the composing period for A Dramatic turn of Events had been completed, adding his drum parts to existing early demos.
“The main difference is this time we have Mike Mangini in the studio with us,” Rudess tells Noisecreep. “The last time we were in the studio, we had basically no drummer. We had just a drum machine, basically. So it was more like composers, just in the studio, and the drum machine was a compositional tool for us to get ideas down — to make sure we understood the rhythmic aspects of what we were writing.”
Rudess says the band’s relationship with Mangini deepened, however, as the band played concerts in support of the resulting album.
“This time the drums can play a real role,” Rudess tells Noisecreep. “When we were on tour with Mike Mangini, during soundchecks, we would play some really sick, crazy rhythmic things that would really just make me smile. Coming into this, it’s kind of like wow, we can do all of these really wild things. For me, it’s going to be like a rhythmic party.”