11:44 AM GMT 21/05/2013
Dream Theater's John Petrucci pays maximum respect to Pink Floyd, whose remastered Dark Side Of The Moon is out this month.
John Petrucci: "Dark Side Of The Moon came along first for me when I started to get into playing guitar. I was younger so I was more into the rock and metal that was out - Zeppelin, Sabbath and AC/DC. Then some of my friends suggested I check out Floyd. They were like, "You have to turn off all the lights and listen to the whole thing with headphones." It was like a ritual. It ended up being a real influence on my desire to make records that had a certain flow, that encapsulated an experience. I like to listen to albums like you watch a movie. You don't just watch a scene or ten minutes and that's it - you watch the movie. It's the same with Dark Side... Start listening and you can't help but listen to the whole album.
"In 2005 Dream Theater did a cover of the whole of The Dark Side Of The Moon. We played it from start to finish and had the fortunate experience of doing that in London. We had a couple of great saxophone players play and it was a lot of fun. The funny thing was sitting down to learn the parts, and discovering how well I already knew the songs. They were so ingrained!
"A track like Any Colour You Like is cool for a band like Dream Theater because a big part of what we do is improv and that song is all about that. It's that sort of floaty thing, jamming on a groove and seeing where it goes, creating moods and trading off and things like that. It's a big part of how we write music and it's a big thing that we put into our live shows. Even when I was 13 or 14, that's all I used to do - just go around town and jam with my friends and jam with kids who were into The Dead and Floyd, and kids who were into jazz, so I relate to that whole thing in a big way.
"For a guitar player, Floyd songs let you build and breathe. So it's not just like, Here's your little eight-bar section. With Floyd, everything settles into this hypnotic mode that allows you to explore and jam and take your time and get into it more. The chord choices, too, are very interesting. Usually they seem very simple. You know, it's going back and forth between two chords and you're like, well how can that be interesting? But they do it in such a perfect way. It's written so well and the vocal or lyrical message is so intense or the instrumentation is just right. It just really, really works.
"And then, even if it is a pretty simple progression, there's a chord that's maybe a bit abnormal, something that makes it immediately distinctive. It's like, if you use a Minor 9 at the right point, it's so Pink Floyd. And for a band to actually own a chord change, that's pretty incredible. That means that the context they used it in was pretty intense.
"There's a song on our new album called Breaking All Illusions where the guitar solo is totally influenced by those hypnotic Pink Floyd breakdowns. And I admit that what's going through my head is, What would David Gilmour do? You think of the most memorable, melodic solos by him and people can literally sing them. That's the level you're looking to achieve as a guitar player.
"And also, there's a ton of space. Pink Floyd are totally all about the spaces in-between. The space sucks you right into the song. You want to get lost in it. And it always, always comes down to the songs. All the things we're talking about - like the sound of the guitar, the orchestration, the mood - it wouldn't be anything if there weren't these incredible, great songs that are a part of everybody's lives. Perhaps you relate to them on a personal level, or maybe they bring you back to a certain time, or perhaps it's the power of the message... like Wish You Were Here.
"I get asked that a lot by young guitar players, 'What's most important? My technique? My sound?' But more than anything, you have to have great songs, you really do."
Posted by Danny_Eccleston at 3:22 PM GMT 10/09/2011