LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, the instrumental progressive rock/metal project featuring DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess and guitarist John Petrucci, alongside ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and progressive rock icon Tony Levin (bass) of KING CRIMSON and PETER GABRIEL fame, will release its third album, "LTE3", on March 26 via InsideOut Music. The effort will arrive 22 years after the release of 1999's "Liquid Tension Experiment 2".
Speaking about why now was the right time to resurrect LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, Portnoy told Revolver: "The main reason is the insanity of 2020. The pandemic and the lockdown is pretty much what allowed it. But we've been talking about it for many, many years. It's been 10 years since I left DREAM THEATER, and it didn't make sense to do LTE while I was still in DREAM THEATER. Because it was three members of the same band. Then after I left, it took many years of healing and all the drama to pass and the dust to settle before the relationships with John and Jordan got real good again. And musically, Jordan and I played together a few years ago on the Cruise To The Edge, and then obviously John Petrucci and I played together last year for his solo album ['Terminal Velocity']. So it seemed like the time was right to finally do it. And the pandemic, for better or worse, gave us a window of opportunity where none of us were on tour and we could actually align the schedules and do it."
On the topic of his musical chemistry with Petrucci, Portnoy said: "Well, John and I were writing partners and producing partners for 25 years. And when we reconvened last year for his solo album, I guess I will say the difference was that the roles were redefined, because it was his album. It wasn't like DREAM THEATER where we wrote together and produced together. When I got together with him for 'Terminal Velocity', I was coming in and playing a much different role, as was he. John had written it all and I was there to do a service for him. And I'm very comfortable playing that role, being a session guy or a hired gun. But then when we got together to do LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT a few months later, that was more of the natural chemistry of us writing together, working together, making decisions together. Once we got to that relationship, it was exactly as it had been when I left DREAM THEATER. It was just so immediately comfortable."
"LTE3" track listing:
01. Hypersonic (8:22)
02. Beating The Odds (6:09)
03. Liquid Evolution (3:23)
04. The Passage Of Time (7:32)
05. Chris & Kevin's Amazing Odyssey (5:04)
06. Rhapsody In Blue (13:16)
07. Shades Of Hope (4:42)
08. Key To The Imagination (13:14)
The bonus disc includes almost an hour of improvised jams.
The album will be available as:
* Limited deluxe hot pink 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Box Set (including a poster and 4 artcards, Blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround mix with visuals, and full band interview from the studio)
* Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook
* Limited 2CD Digipak
* Gatefold black 2LP+CD
*Digital album (2CD)
In February 2019, Portnoy and Rudess reunited on stage during the Cruise To The Edge to perform "Instrumedley" from DREAM THEATER / LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT. They were joined by NEAL MORSE BAND guitarist Eric Gillette and HAKEN bassist Conner Green.
Back in April 2015, Portnoy and Rudess both joined the British progressive metal band HAKEN on stage in New York City. Three months earlier, they were photographed having what appeared to be friendly banter at the 2015 NAMM show in Anaheim, California.
Four years ago, Portnoy posted a photo of him hanging out with Petrucci in a move that clearly represented a thawing of tensions between the two musicians who had been friends for more than three decades.
In November 2017, Mike told Loud that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to expand his musical horizons. "[I didn't] want to go to my grave and just be the drummer from DREAM THEATER," he said. "I knew there was way more to what I had to offer."
Photo credit: Tony Levin