In September, Dream Theater announced they would postpone their North American tour to early 2022 because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, guitarist John Petrucci shared that the band’s decision was not a unanimous one.
In a new interview with the Metal Voice, singer James LaBrie spoke about the band’s decision, and Petrucci’s frustrations with it.
“It just came down to how comfortable we were with going out,” he said [transcribed by BlabberMouth]. “We were getting kind of mixed messages from promoters and our agencies. Our management was looking into it across the board with people that were out there, tours that were going on, tours that had come down.
“When you put together a tour, the amount of money that’s put into a tour, it’s astronomical. And the kind of production that we go out with is pretty big; it’s pretty substantial. We were just getting a lot of indication that the bands that had been going out were out for a week or two and somebody within the band or the crew came down with COVID and then the whole camp had to be shut down up to 10 days. Well, that’s financially disabling for any tour of any magnitude, that you can just pull down a whole camp of, let’s say, 30-something people and the amount of money that’s generated while you’re out there. You’re talking 10 days where you’re just dead in the water.”
Labrie also discussed Petrucci’s frustration with the decision.
“It comes down to sometimes you’re gonna have to agree to disagree, and granted, as he put it — I saw it; fans forwarded it to my site — as he said, he was frustrated,” Labrie said. “Well, truth be known, we’re all frustrated that we’re not out there touring. That’s what we love to do — we love to be out. But some of us felt that we weren’t willing to take that risk and come down with this unfortunate virus.”
Petrucci sat down with Robert Cavuoto of Sonic Perspectives earlier this month to speak on his own feelings on the decision.
“Well, it’s an unfortunate decision. John [Myung] and I really wanted to tour, and are dying to tour — dying to get out there and support the [new Dream Theater] record. And unfortunately, we couldn’t convince the other guys that it was safe. So, it wasn’t a unanimous decision, unfortunately.
“It’s frustrating for me, because everything has opened up and concerts are going on, and theaters and arenas and clubs and everything is open. Bands are out there, and a lot of my friends are touring successfully. And there are ways to do it safely, which we were very prepared to do. But, like I said, we couldn’t convince the other guys it’d be safe, and so we had to push it off.
“I’m the type of person where I hate disappointing people, I hate disappointing our fans. So, it was definitely an unfortunate decision.”
While the shift is not ideal, Dream Theater fans will be able to sit with the band’s new album a while before the band returns to the road. The group’s 15th studio album, A View From the Top of the World, just released Oct. 22. You can check out the new album and watch for rescheduled tour dates here.
These Are the Rock + Metal Bands Touring in 2021
Your guide to rock and metal bands’ return to tours in 2021.