In a brand new interview with "The Metal Command" podcast, DREAM THEATER frontman James LaBrie was asked how he and his bandmates have managed to stay together for so long after spending so much time with each other on the road year after year.
"You have to remember that we've been together for 30 years and we've gone through our growing pains," LaBrie responded (hear audio below). We're very respectful and understanding of each person's idiosyncrasies or OCD [Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder] qualities.
"At the end of the day, as long as you can accept the fact that there's five people in a band, or however many people are in a band, you've gotta be able to accept each other's — for lack of a better term — uniqueness," he continued. "And even though you might find, 'Oh, that's not something I would do,' or, 'That's not the way that I process things,' or, 'That's not the way that I like to go through a day,' you have to respect the fact that that is how that person does it. And I think once that becomes an accepted reality, then you're able to really accept and move forward in a very positive manner.
"When we're on the road, we might be together every day, but we all do our own thing," the singer added. "And that's the thing — we all get into our own routines and our own things that bring us to the point where we walk onstage and we feel that we're absolutely connected and we're in the right zone. At the same time, though, we might be going down the road on a tour bus, but we kind of do our own thing. Yeah, we do sit around and talk and shoot shit and have good laughs and that, but at the same time, we all know how to give one another space and it's just natural. It's not like we feel we owe each other anything beyond what we wanna give. We all have our own hotel rooms and we all kind of do our things on our days off. If we wanna get together with one another, we text each other. 'Hey, man, what are you doing? You wanna go for a coffee? You wanna go for a drink? Man, what are you doing for dinner tonight?' Or it might be just as simple as, 'Yeah, man, no problem. Let's get together,' or, 'You know what? I'm just gonna chill.' And I think that's what maintains the healthiness. That's why we're still in a band together and we still love one another and we're like brothers to one another — because of that respect and that absolute understanding of one another.
"That's what makes it hard for most bands — because it isn't easy to achieve that," LaBrie concluded. "For me to say that, it sounds like, 'Oh, yeah, so anybody should be able to do this.' And it's, like, no — no way, man. And like I prefaced this, we've already gone through our growing pains. We went through some bullshit times. We went through the times where it was, like, 'Hang on a second. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around who and what you are.' And the only way you can get past that is to be mature and to talk it out, so that there is that understanding. It doesn't mean you have to agree on anything, but there is that understanding, for sure."
DREAM THEATER's 14th studio album, "Distance Over Time", was released on February 22. The disc, which marks the band's first for their new label InsideOut Music, was produced by guitarist John Petrucci, mixed by Ben Grosse and mastered by Tom Baker.
The "Distance Over Time" tour of North America will kick off on March 20 in San Diego, California and will run for seven weeks before wrapping up on May 4 in Mexico City.