Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci admitted he barely follows the scene of younger rock and metal bands these days, saying on The Jasta Show podcast:
“Honestly, I’ll be the first one to admit – I’m actually not really well-versed in a lot of the bands in the scene and the prog scene. I’m kind of old-school; I was into the bands I was into, and then I didn’t go out to discover and try to search for new stuff.
“Like if something gets turned on to me or it just happens kind of organically, that I’ve heard something. ‘Oh, what is that?’ Saw a movie or heard somewhere, whatever it is. That’s the way it happens for me.
“I’m not one of these guys that knows every band on the scene and go out and search things out and collect. I don’t know, I don’t do it.“
John then mentioned a few younger guitarists he’s aware of, starting with Jake Bowen of Periphery. He said:
“My nephew is in Periphery. It’s my wife sister’s son. It’s so funny, I tell this all the time: when we got married, he was like five years old.
“Then he’s growing up, playing video games. And then he’s starting to get into music, playing guitar. He’s like, ‘I’m working on stuff.’ We got together a few times and I showed him some things.
“And then as he’s getting older it’s like, ‘I’m working with these guys in Maryland.’ I never really heard anything, I’m like, ‘That’s great Jake! Can’t wait to hear it.’
“And then, out of the blue, he’s like, ‘Here’s our music.’ And it was Periphery. And I was like, ‘What the hell?! Oh my god! They’re amazing!’ He sounded great, his playing was great, the band was amazing.
“They started their own sub-genre movement and they’re doing incredibly well. They toured with us and they don’t even need us. They have their own thing that’s amazing.“
Asked about Between the Buried and Me, Petrucci replied:
“Yeah, I love those guys. They toured with Dream Theater as well. They’re really cool.“
He also brought up Jason Richardson saying:
“There’s a guy that’s in the Ernie Ball Music Man family, Jason Richardson, who is just sick. Completely.
“He was in Born of Osiris and Chelsea Grin. So now he did a solo album. Jason’s a madman, he’s out of his mind. His playing is ridiculous.“
Focusing on young bands in general, John agreed it’s still important for established acts to take the younger dudes out on tour, saying:
“You’re right. And it’s still that method, it still works. You get a younger, less-experienced band on a tour where they’re gonna be thrown in front of an audience size that they wouldn’t normally be playing in front of – it’s gonna be great for them.
“It’s a weird thing because there are so many bands touring. So the availability of venues, the level of bands, it’s kind of like equaled out in a way.
“Unless you’re Metallica or Coldplay or something – all the bands start playing theaters and stuff like that. The days of these big giant tours – there are not that many bands that do that.
“So it’s hard to get younger bands involved in tours, there’s so much competition. It’s oversaturated.“