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You can read John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess’s first-person accounts of where they were when they found out about being nominated for a Grammy award on the Grammy’s official site.
Here’s a preview:
JP: Being in a band who writes 20-minute-long prog-rock epics about topics that aren’t exactly radio-friendly, I never would have thought that we’d ever be nominated and the thrill still hasn’t worn off.
I was on a plane to California the evening the nominees were announced and as a Recording Academy member and music fan I was bummed that I was missing the telecast, as I always look forward to seeing who receives the year’s honors. I was at baggage claim when I got the call from our manager and all I wanted to do was scream out and dance in celebration…
Knowing that a song that originated as an acoustic guitar idea written in front of my fireplace at home is now among those songs nominated this year just blows me away.
JR: Over a long period of time Dream Theater has managed to create a big name for ourselves around the world, but never have crossed over to any kind of real mainstream notoriety. Although I am always grateful to have a life filled with music, as well as the rare ability to be able to earn a living doing it, this GRAMMY nomination just gives me and my band a real-world pride and connection that is deep and meaningful…
For a band like Dream Theater, being nominated for most awards doesn’t even cross your mind. It’s actually a central element to the whole metal genre: Most people don’t like this, but we don’t care because we do and we’re going to play it anyway. Even after 25 years, the still-growing fan base reflects this.
For them to be nominated is quite a shock, kind of like a founding member leaving—it just doesn’t happen. But this past year has been upside down for Dream Theater.
The first thought I had was that it was awesome to be nominated, but there’s no way that they will win. That’s just the way the mainstream world works. People know who Megadeth is, and the Foo Fighters? They’ve won six times for goodness sake.
But now, just a few days before the show, I went and listened to what the competition is. And it’s hard rock and metal, exactly what you would think would get the nominations this year… and be forgotten by next.
But “On the Backs of Angels” sets a mood, it stands out. LaBrie doesn’t have to yell, JP doesn’t have to have crazy distortion, DT doesn’t have to fit in. And that’s what metal is about.
So sure I’m biased in saying this, I write the biggest Dream Theater blog in the world, but if someone can listen to these songs and tell me “On the Backs of Angels” isn’t the best, you’re nuts.
This year is upside down, why not add a Grammy to it?
Jeb: You have done some interesting things outside of Dream Theater in the past. Are you working on anything at the moment outside of the band?
John: I get asked about doing a follow-up to the solo album I did few years back calledSuspended Animation. It was fun to do. I haven’t done a follow-up and I have a lot of music written for that, so once we get the tour finished, and things settle down a little bit, then I would love to do that.
Jeb: Do you have your Grammy speech written?
John: I am working on a speech, just in case. You have got to be prepared. With all the great bands in our category I don’t think we will win but you’ve got to at least be prepared.
Another quote on the Grammy’s, which are coming up shortly: If an artist is being played all over the radio and they are very commercially oriented then it might just seem like another step in their career. Being a band that plays the kind of music that we do, it is different. The song that is nominated, “On the Backs of Angels,” is a nine-minute song. Our band plays progressive metal. We have time signature changes and we do all kinds of crazy stuff in our music, so for us to be nominated is so awesome.
Simcoe.com today had an article about Kevin LaBrie (ya, that’s his real name) and his comments on Dream Theater’s nomination for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the Grammy Awards.
“I was really taken aback,” said LaBrie. “I just never thought that it was in the cards for us because our music tends to be left wing – it’s not your typical music, (but) it’s an amazing feeling and we’re hoping for the best possible result and that is to win it.”
There’s a definite opportunity to spread the word about the band he said, “We’ve sold 12 million albums, but there are still a lot of people who don’t know we exist because we’re not the typical band that’s on radio, MTV or MuchMusic.”
The full article, with lots of quotes from JLB is here.
Speaking of the Grammys, James says he will be in LA for the Awards with his wife and kids. And it appears the other guys will be on hand as well. Two shows have been changed, according to their official site:
The Luxemborg show has been moved to February 29th, 2012. All other details are the same.
The Stuttgart show has been moved to February 15th, 2012 and will take place at the Hegelsaal. This is located in the same complex as the venue that was previously announced (Liederhalle).
Usually when Dream Theater makes a list on Music Radar, it’s a good thing, but this time… not so much. A Dramatic Turn of Events was named one of the 15 worst album cover art by Music Radar.
Also making the list was Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, Def Leppard, and Vanilla Ice.
The artwork, once again by Hugh Syme, is a pretty clear representation of the track “Bridges in the Sky.” Prior to its release, the guys over at DreamTheaterForums.net did some of their own suggestions, perhaps Music Radar would like one of them better.
Roadrunner Records of UK’s list of Top Albums of the CENTURY! (or alternatively Top Albums of the Last 1.2 Decades) is now complete. Fans voted over 30,000 times and the results are in. RR counted down the top 30 and Dream Theater landed all three of their RR releases on the list.
At 27 Systematic Chaos “was the band’s most successful album to date at that point. ‘Systematic Chaos’ reinforced the band’s status as global leaders in progressive metal and remains a firm fan-favourite.”
Coming in at 21 Black Clouds & Silver Linings “took the baton from previous album ‘Systematic Chaos’ and ran with it. With lyrical themes touching on freemasonry and car accidents, critics received the album with great warmth, helping it to chart at 23 in the UK and 6 on the Billboard 200, a massive achievement for an album of such scope, intricacy and, well, prog.”
The latest work, A Dramatic Turn of Events was the highest ranking at 13. “Signing up New Yoik drummer Mike Mangini, the band knuckled down to some good hard graft and put together one of the best albums of their long and storied career – making a stop in the UK top 20 and US top 10 for good measure.”
The Top 5 were Alter Bridge’s ABIII, Slipknot’s Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, Opeth’s Ghost Reveries, Slipknot again with Iowa, and the winner: Machine Head’s The Blackening.
Clearly DT isn’t quite as big–at least compared to other RR artists–in the UK in comparison to some other countries. However, in the short time with the label DT has three of their top 30 albums and according to the fans each one has been better than the last.
You can find the top five, as well as links to the whole list, here.