DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Mangini spoke to Greece's Rock Overdose about the writing and recording process for the band's upcoming album. Asked what fans can expect from the follow-up to 2019's "Distance Over Time" album, Mike said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "People just can expect another upgrade. Another upgrade in what? Another upgrade in everything that we did before, taking the best of. So you take the best of each of the four albums and combine it, and here you go — here's my fifth one. [Laughs] Because there were different ways that we made each of the albums. 'Distance Over Time' was the only one, to me, that I was involved with to the level that I was. And this latest one, again, upgraded — meaning I was way more involved, even, than normal. And I don't mean to say 'I'; it's not about me. It's everybody. So, by default, everybody was more involved in a way where you go around a room and express anything you wanted to express right at that moment for that part in the song. So it was really cool like that."
Regarding the musical direction of the new DREAM THEATER material, Mike said: "I wanna use the words properly. It's really energetic. It doesn't mean that it is not a metal album, it doesn't mean that everything is heavy. My words shouldn't be misinterpreted with words I never even used, so I have to be really clear to use words and be clear about the words that I don't mean. But 'energetic'… The energy of each of the sections, either with an interesting rhythmic thing or a tempo or a melody that's really powerful and engaging is what I'm talking about. So when you hear a song, before you know it, the song's over. And the songs are lengthy. So that's a sign — that's a sign of what I mean. And anybody can interpret what I'm saying however they want to, but I'll repeat that so it's really clear. Whenever we finished writing a song and we listened to it, we were always shocked at the length, because it seemed like it went by — it flew by. That means that our engagement and the excitement and the energy about that was present for the whole song. And that's what I mean."
Asked when fans will get to hear the first song from the upcoming DREAM THEATER LP, Mangini said: "I can only estimate that since we probably will release the record in September of this year that people will probably hear something a certain amount of weeks before it comes out, for promotion — like a snippet. So this summer is probably when [the first taste of the album will be made available]."
Earlier this month, DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci told Metal Injection about the making of the band's new album: "Everybody just came to the table to play. Everybody is on fire. The best ideas and best playing. And so the album, it's lit up. There's definitely a lot of energy and excitement to it. I'm really pumped about it."
"Distance Over Time" marked DREAM THEATER's first album for 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 recently released its ninth career live album, "Distant Memories - Live In London". Recorded at DREAM THEATER's sold-out show at the Apollo Theatre in London, the live release documents the band's world tour in support of "Distance Over Time" and the 20th anniversary of their seminal concept album "Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From A Memory".