DREAM THEATER's New Album Is Written! - "We Worked So Hard Our Beards Are Gray"; Video

April 3, 2024, 2 weeks ago

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DREAM THEATER's New Album Is Written! - "We Worked So Hard Our Beards Are Gray"; Video

Dream Theater have completed writing their forthcoming sixteenth studio album, their first since the return of drummer Mike Portnoy.

Portnoy and guitarist John Petrucci shared the video below, offering an update.

John: "Okay, here we are. We did it. We worked so hard our beards are gray."

Mike: "Yeah, when this session started, I was completely black up there."

John: "Oh my god. So it's March 30th. It's a Saturday, 2024, and we just completed the writing of the record and the tracking of the drums. Isn't that crazy?"

Mike: "I could not be more psyched. Fricking came out so amazing. So excited. Cannot wait to unleash this."

John: "You guys have no clue what's about to happen... And we figured out this is the last drum tracking that you did for Dream Theater was Black Clouds. 15 years ago."

Mike: "Maddi's thinking, 'well you did 'Raw Dog'', he's thinking that, right? But the last album was... we finished at the beginning of 2009, so literally 15 years ago."

Five years ago, Mike Portnoy “wouldn’t have put money” on ever rejoining Dream Theater, the band he co-founded almost 40 years ago. His departure in 2010 may have been outlined by tension and discontent, but the five members have rekindled their friendships and the band is feeling more confident than ever.

In his first full on-camera interview since rejoining DT, Portnoy talks to Drumeo's Brandon Toews about the emotions and process behind coming back into the fold, his sentiments toward Mike Mangini, and if there’s a new album in the works.

On how he rejoined Dream Theater, Portnoy reveals, “It’s been thirteen years and I think time heals all wounds, as the expression goes. It’s been many years now of rekindling my relationships with the guys, starting with John Petrucci.

"His wife and my wife were in a band together even before we knew our wives, our kids have grown up together, my daughter and John Petrucci’s daughter shared an apartment together in New York for the last 5 years… the families were still close, so John and I inevitably reconnected on a personal level.

"I guess it really started to gain some traction during COVID lockdown because I couldn’t tour and Dream Theater couldn’t tour, so John decided he wanted to do a solo album and he asked me to play on it. A few months later, I did a [Liquid Tension Experiment] album with John and Jordan [Rudess], so that brought three of us back together. And then the following year, I ended up doing John’s solo tour and our wives’ bands were opening for us… so it just seemed like it was all starting to come together on a personal level and then the musical level as well.

"I think the final piece was me reconnecting with James LaBrie, because James and I hadn’t spoken in over a decade. I went to see Dream Theater play in New York around 2022 and that was my first time seeing James in over a decade… within five seconds of seeing each other it was huge, kisses… and it was like any of the drama and bullshit that happened during all of those years of the split, it just melted away immediately.

"With James and I buddying up again, it kind of just began to seem like an inevitability. It wasn’t ever in either of our plans to eventually reunite. In fact, if you would’ve asked me this five years ago, I probably wouldn’t have put money on it. But with the developments of everything… it just seems like we’re in the right place and the right time at this stage of our lives.

"All those years of Dream Theater… we were in our 20s and 30s and 40s. And here we are - most of us in our 50s and some of the members in their 60s - and it just seems like life is too short to not be with the people you love and play the music that is part of your life and your heart and soul.”

Watch the video below:

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