John Petrucci on backing tracks and bands who are “faking it or pretending”

Petrucci acknowledged the issue can be a complex one.

John Petrucci of Dream Theater

Image: Francesco Prandoni / Getty

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Dream Theater‘s John Petrucci has weighed in with his opinion on backing tracks, offering up his thoughts on the controversial debate.

Petrucci shared in a new interview with Guitar World, “It depends on what people are doing because some people don’t tour with their whole bands, so they have sound effects and things going on. If they’re up there playing their asses off, and they have some sound effects backing that up while they’re doing it, that doesn’t really bother me.”

“Having said that, I think that if anybody’s up there faking it or pretending, that’s a whole different thing.”

Petrucci went on to explain that the issue is more nuanced than it initially appears, adding that many bands do not play with a full ensemble, noting “maybe it’s just a guitar player and a drummer, so they need a pre-recorded bass player.”

“If that’s the case, then I guess they have to do what they have to do to keep the show going. So, while I am not for people fake playing, it really depends on the situation,” he concluded.

Petrucci recently spoke about reuniting with former bandmate Mike Portnoy on stage for the first time in 12 years while promoting his latest album Terminal Velocity.

Reflecting on the duo’s history as friends and classmates at the Berklee College of Music, Petrucci described the reunion as “awesome”, adding, “So there is just this chemistry and camaraderie that’s just so natural. We had such a great time. But, yeah, the first song you get a little jittery, and then it kind of disappears. It was a lot of fun.”

In other Dream Theater news, the group won their first-ever Grammy for The Alien, a track from their 2021 album A View From The Top Of The World, earlier this year in April. The group took home the Grammy for Best Metal Performance in a crowded field that consisted of Deftones’ Genesis, Gojira’s Amazonia, Mastodon’s Pushing The Tides and Rob Zombie’s The Triumph Of King Freak (A Crypt Of Preservation And Superstition).

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