DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess recently spoke with Keefy of Ghost Cult magazine about his new solo album, "Wired For Madness". The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the release of "Wired For Madness" coming right on the heels of the release of DREAM THEATER's new album, "Distance Over Time":
Jordan: "DREAM THEATER does a lot of touring; they do a lot of recording; but there's always breaks in between. There happened to be a substantial break in between tour and recording, so when I saw that, I jumped on it and went, 'Wow — I can actually get some writing done for my solo album.' These kind of projects — these big rock/electronic/call-it-what-you-will projects — they're really intense [and] time-consuming, and I need to see a block of time to even get into it. I did see that, and I began to work intensely on that. As it all worked out, my album was composed, recorded, ready to come out before the DREAM THEATER album, but in talking to InsideOut [DREAM THEATER's record label] and Mascot [the label that releases Rudess's solo work], we all kind of collectively decided that the better timing would be to wait until after. The timing seems to actually be really good and effective — it kind of propels both things, because I get to talk more about the DREAM THEATER album and I get to talk about my solo album. It's pretty exciting."
On the title track of "Wired For Madness":
Jordan: "The first thing I did when I started to work on this album is, I started to work on what is the title track. I went into the studio and had all these ideas and inspiration to get into this. It all started pouring out, so as the music was pouring out, I had a name for the album, but then the story started to really come together in my head. I just imagined this character who was undergoing mental [and] physical decline, and some time in the future where an operation would be possible to allow him to become partly robotic to take over this functionality so he could be a little bit more comfortable in the world. Of course, the whole story revolved around what happens spiritually and mentally and how he loses his mind when he's taken over by this computer front-end. This story was spacey enough [and] wide enough to allow me to go through all these kaleidoscopic, cosmic musical changes and just do what I wanted to do musically."
On the album's scope:
Jordan: "It's an all-out Jordan album. Allow me the time and the space to do this, and that's what you're going to get. A lot of the other things I do — let's talk about my main gig, which is DREAM THEATER, which is stylistically very wide and very satisfying, but it's not everything as far as who I am as a musician. That would be hard to do unless I'm doing a solo thing because of my classical background, my interest in electronic music, my interest in jazz and prog and all those kind of things. Put them all together, and it's very, very wide, with a focus on rock. It's not a piano album, although I enjoy doing that as well. This was a great opportunity to me to allow it all to flood out and make a cool album."
On deciding to sing on the album:
Jordan: "A lot of people will be surprised at the singing because they haven't really heard me sing, but if they're familiar with what I've done in past years, they'll know that I have sung before. It's not that new, although I haven't done it in a while and I don't do it with DREAM THEATER. I really enjoy it, and when I can write my own vocal parts, it makes more sense because it's in my lower range. It's very natural for me to sing, because when I'm at the piano and I'm writing music, it comes out vocally as well as instrumentally at the same time."
On DREAM THEATER's current "buzz":
Jordan: "It's been a very exciting time between the new DREAM THEATER album coming out and being Top 10 all around the world, plus the fact that we're touring with 'Scenes From A Memory'. That's a favorite DREAM THEATER album, and the shows are sold out. There's a big buzz. I have to say that this is a really exciting, wonderful time, and I feel like in a lot of ways, it's a reward for a lot of hard work. If you look at from a DREAM THEATER perspective, the band has been together about 30 years. I've been with them for 21 years, so this is so wonderful to have this come back. Careers go through these arcs, and this happens to be this wonderful high point for all of us that we are grateful for and we're enjoying."
On whether reuniting with former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy on this year's Cruise To The Edge bodes well for the prospect of a LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT reunion:
Jordan: "Everybody is into it. We all kind of agree that it would be cool. It's more a question of timing. It's a combination of finding the right time to do it. Everybody has got so much on their plate with a list of things that they want to do, have to do. This is something that we want to do, and we will do at some point, but scheduling-wise, that's the complication."
In addition to Rudess and Portnoy, LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT features bass legend Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, KING CRIMSON) and DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci. The group has not performed live since 2008, when it embarked on a brief tour commemorating the tenth anniversary of its self-titled debut.
"Wired For Madness" was released on April 19 via Mascot Label Group. In addition to Bonamassa, the album features guest appearances by Rudess's DREAM THEATER bandmates Petrucci and James LaBrie, as well as drummer Marco Minnemann and guitarists Vinnie Moore and Guthrie Govan.
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 Petrucci, mixed by Ben Grosse and mastered by Tom Baker.