Mangini says The Astonishing blew his mind

Mike Mangini says making Dream Theater’s concept album The Astonishing was a mind-blowing experience.

The Dream Theater sticksman also says writing music with guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess becomes a “visual” experience.

He tells Artisan News (via Blabbermouth): “John Petrucci put together the whole thing, and he organised it in a really amazing way. And then he used our keyboard player, Jordan.

“When he plays, you see things, you see a landscape, you’ve got a picture in your mind. It’s so visual, it’s unbelievable. There really is nobody better to help bring a story to life, so you feel it and see it. It’s not something I do on my instrument. So when I experience it, it blows my mind.”

But the 52-year-old admits that he finds the creative process demanding at times.

He says: “The biggest challenge for me was interpreting the initial music that was given to me, because there were no drums.

“A lot of my career is working with people that write music, and the biggest challenge is, ‘What can I do that makes sense to them and still makes sense to myself?’ So it’s like being two people at once. It’s interesting.”

The Astonishing will be released on CD, vinyl and a limited edition deluxe box set on January 29, and can be pre-ordered on their website.

Dream Theater begin their 2016 touring schedule in the UK next month.

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.