Jordan Rudess on Dream Theater’s First-Ever Grammy Award: “It’s a Really Big Deal”
DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rüdess spoke to Andrew Daly from VWMusic on the band that won their very first grammys in the “Best Metal Performance” category at the pre-broadcast ceremony during the 64th edition Grammy Awardswhich took place on April 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. DREAM THEATER was nominated for “The Extraterrestrial”a track from his 2021 album “A view from the top of the world”. DREAM THEATERis previous grammys the nominations were for the song “On the Backs of Angels”from 2011 “A dramatic turn of events” album, and the single “The Enemy Within” from 2013 “Dream Theater”.
Jordan said: “It was very exciting to get this grammys, since we have been nominated three times. And I have to say, I didn’t really expect to get it because I was getting used to being nominated and not getting it. The other reason I thought we wouldn’t get it is because DREAM THEATER it’s really prog metal, and we were in a metal category. I mean, that was the best category for us, but I thought maybe voters would stick together in that more traditional metal mindset. I was really thrilled that we got that kind of recognition and validation, and that’s the only award that really makes a difference. In the life of a musician, a grammys can affect your entire career. It changes the way you do business with people and the way people deal with you. It’s really a big problem. I really have to say it feels really good. We drive on it for sure.
Regarding “The Extraterrestrial”, Jordan said, “The interesting thing about this song is that, as you know, it’s not necessarily the most commercial kind of song – it’s definitely not commercial at all; it’s in this weird time signature. When we started, Mike [Mangini] was doing this crazy time signature thing on the drums that inspired us to get the song off the ground. Next thing you know, we were all writing our parts, and it fell into place. It was actually the first thing we wrote for the album, so it sort of came out of there. It’s cool because it has all the classic DREAM THEATER elements in it, and that’s what I really liked about the song. It has unison between me and [guitarist] John Petrucci, it has the keyboards, the right guitar solos and those crazy meters, but it also has a solid hook. I was glad that we decided to put that out there when the record came out, and that that song was the one that was in front because I think it tells the DREAM THEATER very good story.”
The nominees in the category “Best Metal Performance” at the 2022 Grammy Awards were the following:
* “Genesis” – DEFTONES
* “The Extraterrestrial” – DREAM THEATER
* “Amazon” – GOJIRA
* “Repelling the tides” – MASTODON
* “The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)” – ROB ZOMBIE
DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie said recently Robert Cavuoto from Myglobalmind about the band’s very first grammys win: “Well, it was overwhelming, the feeling, and it was kind of surreal and it took a while to sink in – I think a few days before I was like, ‘Wow. D okay. So actually did arrive. I guess third time is the charm, as we’ve been nominated multiple times before for ‘On the backs of angels’ and ‘The Enemy Within’.
“When it happened and our name was called and then John came on stage, I thought he gave an amazing acceptance speech,” he continued. “He was well-posed and well-phrased, as always; he is a very intelligent person.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I guess it’s another level of recognition for us and another feather in our cap, so to speak,” Labrie added. “But no, it’s just a great feeling and it’s an affirmation of the kind of band we are and the way we’ve been around for a while. And it’s nice to get that recognition from the grammys [Awards].”
In his acceptance speech, Petrucci said: “Wow, this is absolutely crazy. On behalf of the whole band, I would like to thank the recording academy and everyone who voted for us.
“You know, they used to tell us that our songs were way too long, we used weird time signatures and there were too many guitar solos. Actually, this song is in 17/8, so try to stomp on it. But we just won a grammysso I’m glad we didn’t listen…
“All the DREAM THEATER fans around the world, you are tearing up. We love you. For prog and prog metal fans, stay true to your art. And it’s alive and well.”
Last December, Petrucci discussed DREAM THEATERis the last grammys nomination during an appearance on MACHINE HEAD leader Robb Flynnit is “No Fucking Regrets with Robb Flynn” Podcast. He said: “The first [Grammy] appointment we had, FOO FIGHTERS were there. And they won it. I remember Dave Grohl said something like “Oh, they should have had that”, which I thought was nice. But this time I don’t know if I’ll remember everything [the other artists that were nominated]but i think it is GOJIRA and MASTODON [that we are up against], and that’s a cool list. I remember a few years ago where I was surprised by the nominees – it seemed a bit odd – but it seems fitting. So we’ll see. It’s funny. It is an honor to be nominated. It’s cool. Doing what we do and how we do it and being recognized in this world is something I never imagined. And now for us is the third [nomination], so that’s cool. It’s a good feeling.”
When “The Extraterrestrial” was first published in August 2021, Petrucci said of the track: “It’s the first one we’ve written together. It gives people a window into what it was like when we first met after all those months off. It has l Adventure, non-traditional structure, heaviness, and The It really set the tone for the album. james wrote the lyrics about the idea of terraforming and looking beyond our Earth for alternate colonies. Since we go beyond our planet, ‘The Extraterrestrial’ turns out to be us. I thought that was a cool, creative lyric from james.”
This year grammys the nominations were announced on November 23, 2021. The nominations were revealed during a livestream from the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, which featured recording academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. and Chairman of the Board tammy injuredas well as some special guests.
The eligibility period for the 64th edition Grammy Awards was from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.