DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci has confirmed that the band is using the coronavirus downtime to commence the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to last year's "Distance Over Time" album.
"As a band, we did decide to pivot and we entered the studio a couple of weeks ago," he said during an appearance on the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast (hear audio below). "We're working on the new album. Because that's what we do — if we can't play live, let's make music together. That's what we're doing now. We're already off to a great start. It'll be out sometime next year."
In a separate chat with "The Everyman Podcast", DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie revealed that he opted to stay home in Canada during the writing sessions for the group's new LP while his bandmates are working together at a studio in New York.
"I didn't wanna go down to the States — even though I love the States, because it's brought me everything that I have today," James said. "I'm not saying that and trying to be funny; I'm being sincere when I say that. I've made my career because I met these guys from America and because I'm in an American band. And I've had an incredible career because of it. But I said to the guys, I go, 'Guys, I don't wanna come down there. I don't wanna fly. I don't wanna do anything like that. I wanna stay isolated. Because I'm reading horror stories about people losing their voice box when they get this [COVID-19], and their lungs are compromised. And I'm, like, 'I can't do that.' So I'm coming in every day, when we're writing, by Zoom. So they have this great big monitor TV on the wall with my [face] on it, and then those four guys are in the studio. So those four guys are together at the DREAM THEATER headquarters — it's their own studio, warehouse, whatever — and so that's how we communicate every day."
He added: "So we're in the process of writing a new album right now, and I'm always gonna say that, because that's usually the way we always feel, but it's coming together amazing."
"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 has just 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 popular world tour in support of "Distance Over Time" and the 20th anniversary of their seminal concept album "Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From A Memory".
Petrucci released his second all-instrumental solo album, "Terminal Velocity", on all digital and streaming platforms on August 28 and made it available on CD and vinyl on October 30 through The Orchard Music on his Sound Mind Music record label.