John Petrucci Gives An Update On New Dream Theater Album With Mike Portnoy

In a recent video he posted on Instagram, John Petrucci gave details about the new Dream Theater album with Mike Portnoy.

The guitarist talked about how the making process went:

“I’m here to tell you that I’m actually officially done recording all of the guitars for what we will for now call DT16, the latest Dream Theater album. I’m so happy with how the guitars came out. Our extraordinary, talented engineer Jimmy T [James Meslin] and I, we set out to create and capture what we call the Mount Rushmore of guitar tones. I think we did it. It’s up to you guys to decide. But anyway, we had so much fun recording the guitar.”

They Wanted The Sound Of Their Earlier Albums

He continued, sharing what kind of approach they decided to follow for the record:

“I wanna nerd out for a second. So, in striving to get there, and with Mike Portnoy rejoining the band, we decided we’d kind of look back a little bit. So we contacted our longtime friend and engineer Doug Oberkircher, who recorded Dream Theater classic albums such as ‘Images And Words’, ‘Scenes From A Memory’, ‘Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence’, ‘Train Of Thought.'”

Petrucci further discussed the sound of their new effort:

“And it turns out that Doug still had the original Neve preamps that he used to record the guitars on those records. And so we contacted Doug and we acquired the preamps, and, man, we got all the gank, all the aggression, but it still sounds really warm, smooth top end, expressive, layered. It’s like a T-Rex made out of chocolate cake lit on fire [Laughs]. Anyway, it came out great. So I can’t wait for all of you to hear that.”

The Album Is Close To Completion

Portnoy also completed his drum parts for his first album with the band after his return last month. He wrote on Facebook:

“Today is my last day behind this kit for a while… Yes indeed, my drums for DT16 are done!! But that is just the beginning…work will now continue in the coming months ahead on guitars, bass, keys, vocals, percussion (not to mention writing lyrics, mixing, mastering etc etc). I really can’t divulge anything more as we are (purposefully) keeping a very tight lid on any & all info at this early stage…but I will say we are all blown away and so extremely excited about what we’ve created! We cannot wait for you all to hear this…but patience, all will be revealed in due time…”

A few days after Portnoy’s post, Mike and Petrucci shared a video message on X and revealed that they finished the writing sessions of the upcoming Dream Theater record. According to the guitarist, Portnoy’s comeback didn’t change anything in their creative process. The European leg of the band’s 40th Anniversary Tour 2024 – 2025 starts on October 20.

You can watch the musician’s video message here.