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Progressive Rock Interviews

Jordan Rudess

Interviewed by Josh Turner
Interview with Jordan Rudess From 2004
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 3 at

Let's discuss An Evening With Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci. How did you come upon the decision to make an album with John Petrucci?
I invited John to do a live show with me in Nyack NY. We really did not know until after the show that we would turn it into an album! The concert was just inspired so we decided to have it released.
MSJ: Why did you decide it would just be an instrumental consisting of a duet without any vocals, bass, or drums?
We thought it would be cool to just have it be the two of us!
MSJ: Why was Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center chosen as the venue for this concert?
My wife is producer of the Youth Theater at the Helen Hayes Theater Company so she produced the event for us.
MSJ: How was the audience that night?
Wonderful and supportive.
MSJ: Explain the songwriting process for the album.
5 days in Asian hotel rooms. One day in NY.
MSJ: You're part of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. However, the pieces on this album are mostly classical in nature. What motivated this sort of song selection?
We wanted to do more of an acoustic type thing. Piano of course is my main instrument so it was natural to go back to that!
MSJ: I recognized "State of Grace" from Liquid Tension Experiment. Why was this song chosen?
People really like that tune!
MSJ: While the performance is tight, I was wondering if any of the sequences were improvised.
Half of all the songs were totally improvised.
MSJ: What equipment did you use?
A grand Piano and a Kurzweil 2600 synthesizer.
MSJ: Is that a real piano used in "Truth"?
MSJ: Will you be playing other shows with just you and John, or was this a one-time event?
We plan on one day doing more of this type of thing!
MSJ: Will there be a follow-up album?
It's very possible.
MSJ: You have some interesting titles for some of the songs. How did you come up with names like "Furia Turina", "Fife and Drum", "The Rena Song", or "Black Ice"?
It's a skill that you need when playing instrumental music. It's always challenging naming these tunes!
MSJ: All the songs are great, but my favorite was probably "The Rena Song". What is your favorite off the album?
"Fife and Drum"
MSJ: Scenes From A Memory comes to mind when I hear "Black Ice". Was this the vibe you were trying to achieve in this song?
Not really.
MSJ: You and John give special thanks in the liner notes to Steve Vai. Can you explain the motivation behind this additional comment?
Steve wanted to put this out on his label. We are grateful for Steve as a person and because he is a beautiful musician. We really appreciate his support!
MSJ: What are your musical influences?
Prog Rock- Electronic- and of course classical.
MSJ: Will there be another album from Dream Theater in the near future? If so, what should we expect it to be like?
We will start working on it in late October 2004. It will reflect the bands unity and the great space that we are in as a group!
MSJ: Can you recall any Spinal Tap moments in your career?
Walking on stage and having all the wrong sounds loaded into my synth at Madison Square Garden.
MSJ: What is the last CD that you bought?
Jamie Lidell- Muddlin Gears
MSJ: What is the last concert you attended as a fan?
ZZ Top
MSJ: Who is your favorite band?
MSJ: What is your favorite album?
Close to the Edge
MSJ: Anything you would like to say to your fans at this time?
Thank you for all the support!
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Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

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