"Every time you take an album out on the road, it's a whole new monster…'' – hmv.com talks to Dream Theater
Currently in the middle of a huge world tour in support of their 12th studio album, which is self-titled, we caught up with Dream Theater singer James LaBrie to chat about how hard they find it these days to choose their set lists and their plans for the rest of 2014.
How's the tour been?
"Absolutely. We've really had fun on this tour, we've been joking around offstage and having fun off it and the fans have been amazing. We've loved being back in Europe and our camaraderie is better than it's ever been. We're on fire on stage."
How have the new songs been going over live?
"Really great. We've been doing 'Looking Glass' and 'Illumination Theory' and they've been going over amazingly, people light up. Every time you take an album out on the road it's a whole new monster, it's a new incarnation of the band, a different vibe, a different energy."
"Sometimes people react so positively live to songs that they weren't so sure about on record, and that's always great to hear."
How difficult are some of the songs to translate live?
"You have to make sure that none of the songs lose the fullness they get from the studio, it's not about trying to do the same thing as we do on record, but keeping the same spirit and presence that they have. That can be a challenge, but we rehearse and we get them as close as we possibly can."
How hard is it to pick your live set list now?
"We're a very visual band, so that's really how we work out what suits each particular tour. At the start of rehearsals, each guy submits their wish list and then we streamline it, taking into consideration which songs we haven't played for a while and which tracks the fans are desperate to hear."
"We structure our set to maintain people's attention, but there's so much material, on this tour for example we're playing nothing from Octavarium, Train Of Thought, Six Degrees Of Inner Translation, we can't fit everything in there. We try and get a set that the fans want to hear and I think we've really succeeded this time."
What's the plan after you head home?
"We're pretty busy, we've got a big North American tour lined up, then after that we've got dates in Asia and beyond, there's still lots of touring to be done."
Are you guys thinking about new music yet? Or does that seem like a way away?
"We're all writing in the way we always do, each guy is kind of doing his own thing, but at this point we're so focused on touring that we just want to ensure we give as much as we can to that. It's in our minds, it always is, but it'll be a while before we begin to put new things together seriously."