Why Jordan Rudess doesn't sing with Dream Theater

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Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess is comfortable about his singing and lyric-writing skills being kept out of the band.

And he’s pleased that the credits on latest album list him as one of the two main composers, rather than listing the entire band, as they’d done in the past.

The Astonishing, the double-disc concept album that follows 2013’s self-titled release, was released in January. It’s their third title since Mike Mangini replaced co-founded Mike Portnoy.

Rudess tells Dream Theater Club that “there’s no doubt” he wasn’t getting his due with the old credits style. He says: “People were very confused – listing all the names on the Dream Theater album was very misleading.

“The last 16 years John and I have been the main composers of this band. And this is not to take away anything really from Mike Portnoy, who was a major influence in the band. Mike wrote a lot of the words and often would write melody lines with John Petrucci for the songs. He would also also have a say in what was capped and what was not.”

He adds: “This is a tricky subject because I don’t want to take away anything from my respect for Mike Portnoy and his talent and ability.”

Rudess has recorded vocal track and written lyrics for other projects, but never for Dream Theater. He says: “When I joined, the group was very set in its ways. I never really pushed to do it and I was always very busy doing other things.”

But that doesn’t mean he feels restricted. “I would say that my role in the group is somewhat defined, although certainly with this new album is opening up a bit more,” he says.

“I have an active solo career, and if I feel like doing something else creatively, I always can. There’s also a lot of different kinds of music that I play that are not part of Dream Theater, so as much as it is a big part of my life, it’s not the complete musical story of who Jordan Rudess is.”

He’s nearly completed work on an album with Tony Levin and Marco Minnemann, with details to be revealed in due course. Dream Theater’s The Astonishing tour continues across Europe before heading to North America.

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Dream Theater 2016 tour dates

Mar 08: Copenhagen Dr Koncerthuset, Denmark
Mar 09: Berlin Friedrichspalast, Germany
Mar 10: Bochum Ruhrcongress, Germany
Mar 12: Vejle Store Sal Vejle Musikteater, Denmark
Mar 13: Brussels Forest National, Belgium
Mar 14: Nurnberg Meistersingerhalle, Germany
Mar 15: Frankfurt Alte Oper Hall, Germany
Mar 17: Milan Teatro Degli Arcimboldi, Italy
Mar 18: Milan Teatro Degli Arcimboldi, Italy
Mar 19: Milan Teatro Degli Arcimboldi, Italy
Mar 22: Stuttgart Liederhalle Hegel-Saal, Germany
Mar 23: Zurich Kongresshaus, Switzerland
Apr 14: Quebec City Le Capitole De Quebec, QC
Apr 15: Montreal Bell Centre, QC
Apr 16: Toronto Sony Centre, ON
Apr 18: Albany Palace Theatre, NY
Apr 19: Boston Orpheum Theater, MA
Apr 20: Wallingford Oakdale Theatre, CT
Apr 23: New York Radio City Music Hall, NY
Apr 26: Greensburg Palace Theatre, PA
Apr 27: Cincinnati Taft Theatre, OH
Apr 30: Chicago Theatre, IL
May 01: Minneapolis State Theatre, MN
May 03: Denver Paramount Theatre, CO
May 07: Los Angeles Wiltern, CA
May 10: Portland Schnitzer Auditorium, OR
May 11: Seattle Paramount Theatre, WA