Mon 16 Sep 2019

Interview with… Dream Theater


Following the release of their latest record Distance Over Time, prog metal titans Dream Theater are preparing for their 2020 tour, which will see them perform 3-hour sets. We spoke to drummer Mike Mangini to find out how they make their shows so unique…

What can the audience expect at your European leg of Evening With Dream Theater?

Our audience can expect long sets. The first set contains a mix between Distance Over Time and catalog material, while the second is Scenes from a Memory in Its entirety. 

From the new album Distance Over Time, which piece are you looking to performing?

I’m looking forward to performing ‘Pale Blue Dot’ as it contains a mix of lots of “players’ players” moments laced with melody and heaviness that our audiences seem to love. 

Your shows are not to be missed but which show/city has been a highlight for you?

One city never towers over others as the characteristics the make up a city’s audience for me are incomparable. We’re fortunate that our audiences span ages 8 to 80+, a mix of new and old onlookers, some venues that are louder than others by design and a whole lot of smiles. A smile is a smile to me, so I can’t compare them. 

You include animated video content on the shows, how you think it enhances the show? does it add an immersive element for the audience? 

Personally, I think the videos add motion to the show. I know the chosen colours also add stimulation in the  brain department as well, so they absolutely have an immersive element along with the content. For example, when you hear lightning and also see it, this increases the sensory input with regard to it. 

Which other artists are you listening to at the moment?

Other than what I’m supposed to learn or am writing, I really only listen to music in passing. My ears need rest from that while touring and I have too much to do while at home. I’ll crank some high energy Latin music, or old Van Halen or Ozzy when I’m driving or grilling food, or something like that. I’m not one of those juke-box humans that knows a lot of songs. I listen to newer music that other band mates play on our bus, but I mainly shut my brain off to it after a show and think about what I have to play before the show, so there aren’t many spots to branch out.

Message for the fans?

My message for fans if they’re going to a show, is to enjoy the meshing of old and new material while they see and feel our dedication to it in the moment. It is really a lot of fun! The shows are a great way to smash back a pint, or a nice bubbly seltzer water and have a smile with us!

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