The Einstürzende Neubauten are history. At least for now. But her helmsman Blixa Bargeld no longer needs his mother ship when he can conjure up a miracle like "Still Smiling" with a like-minded man like the Italian sound magician Teho Teardo.
In the course of the worldwide interview marathon for their fourteenth studio album "Distance Over Time", Dream Theater will also make stops in several European capitals. Their promotion day in Berlin is meticulously clocked, John Petrucci and James LaBrie provide information every half hour until late in the evening. Thirty years after their debut with "When Dream And Day Unite" the band presents itself as a reinvigorated unit. She evokes camaraderie and creativity and reports on a new way of dealing with label managers.
eclipsed: John, please imagine the following scenario: It is 1988, Dream Theater are currently working in the Victory Studios on their debut "When Dream And Day Unite". Suddenly the DeLorean from "Back to the Future" appears, Marty McFly gets out and hands you "Distance Over Time". How would John Petrucci from 1988 have judged the album?
John Petrucci: (laughs) I probably would have been quite amazed at first that the band still exists thirty years later. After all, these were our first professional recordings, our career was not yet foreseeable in any way. I probably couldn't have imagined that one day we would have such a great sound. Perhaps I would have been happy about the fact that we have remained faithful to our spirit for so long.
eclipsed: So how do you judge "Distance Over Time" against this background?
Petrucci: Each of our albums always represents the status of the band and its members. We grow with every year we spend on Earth. Be it as a person or as a musician. You hear the experiences, the tours, the studio stays. We would like to stay close to ourselves - without walking on paths that are too well-trodden. Every new album is at first like an empty leaf, which we want to fill with fresh ideas or approaches.
eclipsed: You've retired to a studio in the country this time.
James LaBrie: Yes, that was a conscious decision. It was very cool, an old farmhouse in Upstate New York that the previous owner converted into a great studio with lots of wood. The sound there is incredible. There they were all together, without any distractions, and we spurred each other on. Nobody went home in the evening, nobody had any appointments - we were simply all there, without any obligations, and could concentrate on the music. I think that's why the album has this energy, this spirit, this organic sound. We talked a lot, grilled a lot, drank a glass of wine together, so we did everything that constitutes interpersonal contact.