Progressive metallers DREAM THEATER are planning to regroup in late spring to begin work on material for the follow-up to 2016's "The Astonishing". "We're gonna start back in the studio in June — just all be together and writing and working on the new album," singer James LaBrie told the "Lead Singer Syndrome" podcast (hear audio below). "We're hoping that the album will be out, let's say, February of 2019. And then we're looking, at this point, that we'd start the next world tour next March."
LaBrie also confirmed that he is working on material for the follow-up to his 2013 "Impermanent Resonance" solo album. In the meantime, he will join the Brazilian band NOTURNALL on stage later this month for four shows in South America, with one of the concerts — on April 24 at Teatro Porto Seguro in São Paulo — set to be recorded for a DVD.
"[NOTURNALL are] a huge [heavy metal] band down in South America," James said. "They've asked me to come in, and I'm gonna sing five songs a night: two DREAM THEATER songs, two solo songs, and then I'm gonna share the vocal duties with their vocalist, Thiago [Bianchi], on one of their songs. So it's just gonna be a fun gig."
DREAM THEATER's next studio album — its 14th — will be the band's first for Sony Music's progressive imprint InsideOut Music. The group spent the past 25 years recording under various labels in the Warner Music Group system, most recently Roadrunner Records, which released five albums by the band between 2007 and 2016.
DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess recently told Metal Wani about a possible musical direction for the band's next disc: "I think that we're interested to just put our heads together and find something that we feel is really representative of who we are. Yeah, I think maybe a little bit on the heavier side. Certainly nothing like a concept album, since we already did 'The Astonishing' and we had a lot of fun, and it was a wonderful, creative project. Now I think maybe [we'll be] returning a little bit more to the roots, and that probably involves a little bit of a harder approach, I guess, to the sound, but never losing sight of the melody. DREAM THEATER is DREAM THEATER — it's always a stylistic blend of a lot of different things. But all I can say about it at this point is we wanna kind of figure out what the core of who we are and what the music is and just kind of present that."