Dream Theater Took Label Lead From Rush
Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci says his band were guided by Rush when it came to choosing a label for their next album.
Like the Canadian giants, they’ve decided to stay with Roadrunner Records, despite the large-scale changes the firm has lived through over the past year.
Parent company Warners imposed severe cuts across Roadrunner’s worldwide operation, including the closure of its UK, Netherlands and Canada offices. The moves also saw the departure of founder Cees Wessels, A&R boss Monte Conner and president Jonas Nachsin.
Petrucci tells Metal Insider: “When we heard there were some changes, of course we were concerned. It’s fairly common in the music industry, and we’ve experienced it before. We were on Warner since our original contract with Atco. The label changed so many times and there were constant changes in personnel. There were presidents leaving, key people in A&R leaving. So we were concerned with it.
“Some of the key people aren’t there any more, like Monte, who I worked with so closely and become friends with over the years. That was a very upsetting change. At the same time, there are people that are still there that are equally as big a part of our career. The idea that those people were staying and were still going to be a part of this was incredibly reassuring.
“It was really a matter of asking the right questions, and speaking to everybody there.”
Petrucci says he paid particular attention to the label’s situation in Europe and the UK – but having spoken to a number of executives, he became convinced the changes weren’t going to adversely affect the band.
He explains: “There were other offers that we were considering, but we definitely felt strongest about Roadrunner. With the people that are there, and what we’ve done together, and how they know how we operate and how we know they operate, there’s a lot to be said for that.
“We’re definitely not your average band as far as the music we play and the audience we appeal to. It’s hard to get people that understand that. Since that relationship was strengthened and developed over three albums, continuing made so much sense.”
But another deciding factor was the fact that Rush are with with Roadrunner – even though the signed two months before the massive changes were announced.
Petrucci says: “We operate by ‘WWRD’ – What Would Rush Do?
“So the fact that they signed to Roadrunner meant a lot to us. We’re happy for Roadrunner, and it was a great move, and it’s huge. It puts us into great company with our contemporaries, and gives the label a lock on the progressive scene. That definitely played a factor.”
Dream Theater’s follow-up to A Dramatic Turn Of Events, their first album since the departure of Mike Portnoy, is in its earliest stages of development. Petrucci can’t put a date on its release, but he says new drummer Mike Mangini will play a role in writing the music – an opportunity he didn’t previously have because the last record had been written by the time he joined the band.
Rush were finally nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year. The class of 2013 will be announced tomorrow.