Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory (1999)
“This is the album that got me into progressive music and made me think differently about guitar.
"It’s the most formative album for me in deciding I was going to be a musician and take guitar seriously. Before hearing Scenes from a Memory, I was mostly a drummer. I was probably 15 or 16 when my friend from high school played it for me.
"I had heard the name Dream Theater before, but I didn’t pay attention because sometimes the word prog gets a bad rap, so I kinda wrote them off. But my friend lent me the album along with their DVD, Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York, where they play the album live. The combination of hearing the record and also seeing that they could actually play that stuff live was amazing. They nail it. I didn’t even know it was possible, and it rocked my world.
“Before that, I played guitar a little bit, but it was mostly about playing drop-D power chords. Nothing serious. But the possibilities of what music could be expanded so much after I heard Scenes from a Memory. It was a mind fuck. I stopped playing drums and took guitar seriously. I sat down and learned as much of the solos and riffs on that album as I could. That’s how I started developing my chops.
“The beauty of John Petrucci is that he’s the whole package. Shredders are a dime a dozen, but this guy writes some of the sickest riffs and best songs ever. I wanted to emulate him and absorb as much of his music as possible. I didn’t even want to be original. Dude, I wanted to straight up be John Petrucci!
"Scenes from a Memory was my introduction to Dream Theater, and it’s still my favorite record by them. It has so much sentimental value for me because it had such a big impact on my guitar playing.”