Dream Theater’s John Petrucci: How We Wrote ‘Metropolis – Part I’
With Dream Theater celebrating their 14th studio album, Distance Over Time, legendary guitarist John Petrucci stopped by our studio to chat about the record. After going deep into the album, we decided to turn back time 27 years and discuss one of Dream Theater's finest compositions, “Metropolis - Part I: The Miracle and the Sleeper.”
“Metropolis - Part I” is one of Dream Theater’s first true epics, clocking in with a longer runtime than anything from When Dream and Day Unite and all four Images and Words tracks that precede “Metropolis.” With so many twists, turns and guitar tones, we asked Petrucci to describe exactly how he wrote his parts for “Metropolis - Part I” piece by piece.
Though Petrucci’s guitar sounds almost like an acoustic twelve-string during the song’s second verse, it’s actually fully electric with a cheap speaker. “The clean guitar sound come out of a little Zoom portable guitar system,” Petrucci remembers. “It’s possible we doubled it with acoustic, but what we did do … was multitrack the clean part. We would change the tape’s speed every time I did another overdub. The difference in speed and performance would create a natural chorus.”
After picking apart the track, Petrucci took on a Reddit fan theory about the song. According to several superfans, “Metropolis - Part I” fits perfectly in between “Home” and “The Dance of Eternity” on the Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory album. Did Dream Theater plan it that way? Watch the clip above to find out.
To grab a copy of Dream Theater’s Distance Over Time album, click here.
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