Jordan Rudess, the keyboard player for prog-legends Dream Theater, sat down with Metal Wani’s Carl Rourke to discuss reforming Liquid Tension Experiment and releasing the band’s first album in twenty-two years. The pair also talked in-depth about Jordan’s new, and serendipitous solo album ‘A Chapter In Time’, as well as some updates on how the new Dream Theater album is progressing.
Asked if the experience of releasing new LTE music and not knowing when they will be able to tour is bittersweet, Jordan said,
“Making this album alone was just a joyous, positive experience that was, that really needed to happen, you know? And went into it just feeling so good about the fact that we were gonna have the time, that life was just gonna open up to allow us to do this amazing project! And it was just such a pleasure. Yes, it would be amazing to tour and do something with this album. But it wasn’t really our big concern. We wanted to make an album, you know? If we do get to go on the road with it and maybe do a small tour, I mean Liquid Tension have never done a lot of shows, but if we do get to do that one day that’d be great. But if not? That’s okay.”
Asked if he thought LTE3 would have still been made if the four musicians were not forced off the road due to the pandemic, Jordan said,
“This is something that was talked about so much. Not only by like fans making this request, but also just like, it’s something I wanted to do, it’s something I think we all wanted to do. It was definitely on our list. Not that far down on the list of all the things that each of us wanted to do again. There were a lot of things that were kind of in the way of it, you know? Like when Mike [Portnoy] left Dream Theater, that definitely got in the way of the possibility of doing LTE coz there was, you know, understandably a lot of, you know, tension around that whole thing and for many years it wasn’t the time to do anything like that. But due to a lot of factors, we were able to do it, and yes, of course, we were all sitting at home, we don’t have to tour as an excuse anymore.” Jordan concluded “I think that Covid, this whole lockdown and everything helped to make it happen, absolutely. But it was that combined with other things that kind of happened like time, healing, and a lot of things that were going on. So it was an easier time for all of us to work again together, as well. So yeah, that’s kind of how it happened.”
Jordan also released his latest solo album, ‘A Chapter In Time’, on March 12th. However, it was a surprise release not only for his fans but also for Jordan, too.
“So first of all, I will say that it was a surprise release for everyone, including myself! The reason it was a surprise release for me is that when I, I wanted to release it on Bandcamp because you know nowadays the music business is really in a terrible spot. That’s a whole other discussion which I don’t necessarily love to talk about.” I decided I didn’t really wanna do a physical release either because I’m just releasing it myself, so I Went to Bandcamp and I’m typing in all the information. I’m typing it up and putting it in the songs and all of a sudden I realize, holy sh*t, I just released it! [Laughs] I was just confused by the interface because I’m a musician, I’m not like a programmer and I’m trying to put in all this stuff! I feel bad for anybody who’s trying to navigate this stuff. And I was on the phone with my managers and I was like, how do I make one song streamable and this one [imitates gibberish], we’re trying to figure it out. And meanwhile, in the middle of that, I released it!”
Jordan generously shared an update on where Dream Theater currently is with their new album as well as his personal feelings toward the record at this time.
“I was in the studio, I was finishing up my keyboard tracks, now I’ve basically done all my keyboard tracks, and, first of all, I’m so happy with them. Because I feel like, you know, I gotta say, I laid down what I think, sonically speaking at least, are the best keyboard tracks of any Dream Theater album. And I say that for, I guess there are different factors that have influenced me and the reason that I’m expressing that. One is we learn so much from every album that we do and we take those lessons into serious consideration and so when we go to do the next album, and the next album there’s always something we feel we can do better.” Jordan went on to say “Everything we went for, we took the time to make it a little more special. Instead of finding the usual Dream Theater pads sound or whatever I’d be like ‘You know what? Let’s find something a little bit cooler. Let’s get something a little more sonic, you know?‘ And so we would take the time and go ‘Yes, that’s it!‘ Or like you’re looking for a drone we’d be like ‘Let’s add some movement to the drone.’ Just something.”
Jordan concluded by sharing,
“The other part I wanted to share, I said to John one day after working and reviewing one of the tracks I said, ‘John,’ we were leaving, we were walking out to the parking lot and I was saying “You know John, this is crazy,” I said “but, here we are, I’m like sixty-four years old, you’re a little bit behind me but we’re getting older and, you know, people ask me nowadays ‘do you feel yourself slowing down?’ you know like, what’s going on? And I’m like, no. I don’t.” And I said to John, “When I listen to this album, it’s like we’re twenty years old or something. What is happening? What kind of vitamins are we eating?“. I’m really proud of us. Coz everybody, not one guy, everybody across the board in this group is vital as ever. Like when you hear this album you know exactly what I’m, you’ll be like oh my god, I see what he’s saying! I just listened to it coz James is doing vocals now and I was listening to something that he just put together and kind of the final, rough, you know, it’s not mixed but it’s just a rough mix if you will, I was like holy sh*t! People are gonna freak out” I can’t wait to share this album.”