The following is an excerpt from our November 2011 feature interview with Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci. You can buy the issue now on our online store.
There’s some stupefying unison playing in the intro to “Lost Not Forgotten.”
Yeah, it’s pretty wild. [laughs] I wrote that because I wanted an insane passage that was based on a diminished tonality. I constructed it one lick at a time, wrote it out, recorded it and put a drum tempo down so that it’s basically all there, and then all we have to do is record it for real. At that point, I teach it to Jordan— and teaching it to Jordan just means playing it for him, because he has perfect pitch. We’ll work out some harmony parts. Then we have to think about what the bass is going to do, so John will come up with his parts. Mike Mangini then came in and turned some things around, added some cool fills and did some crazy bits. Again, it’s a fun, cool process.
In “Breaking All Illusions,” you play a solo that is pretty bluesy. You’ve cited David Gilmour as a blues-based guitar player who’s influenced you. Are there others?
Sure. Stevie Ray Vaughan is probably the biggest guy for me. The first time I heard him on the radio, his sound just drew me right in. I was like, “Wow, I love this guy!” [laughs] Ever since then, I’ve loved everything I’ve heard him do. If I could get even an iota of his sound, I’d be satisfied. David Gilmour, too. When I’m thinking of memorable, melodic solos with a soulful, bluesy edge, I think of him. All the great things he’s done, like the solo in “Comfortably Numb.” If I could just tap into a brief moment of that kind of genius, it’d be great.
For the full interview, pick up you copy of the November issue of Guitar World on newsstands or on our online store.