John Petrucci: ultimateclassicrock interveiw

When you write these long, epic songs, do they come to you all at once, or do you paste together different pieces of music you’ve written separately?

Well, we really don’t work that way. We try to have a direction, for sure. We kind of know what we’re getting ourselves into. I think that, to take different incongruent pieces and mix them together, that can be done, but it can also tend to be not so musical. So we always try to have continuity, to be musical and have themes that recur and are embedded in some of these other parts, with other instruments or melodic sources, such as vocals. So, there definitely is a plan. It’s not a haphazard kind of thing. Whether or not we know how long it’s going to be when we’re actually done is another story. But we can kind of tell when we’re on the road to that sort of epic writing, or maybe towards something that’s a little simpler. more