The progressive metal band’s sultans of shred talk about the gear on their 2019 The Distance Over Time tour, including John Petrucci’s brand-new Music Man Majesty Series signature models and Myung’s potential 2020 signature bass.
Dream Theater’s The Distance Over Time Tour is nirvana for the band’s fans, who are devout. It’s a three-hour sonic journey through the new The Distance Over Time album, a selection of fan favorites, and the entire Metropolis Pt. 2 Scenes from a Memory, which is being played in full to mark the 20th anniversary of its release.
We met with Petrucci, Myung, and chief axe tech Maddi Schieferstein onstage at Nashville’s Tennessee Performing Arts Center before a soundcheck for the band’s sold-out April 17 concert. The video covers everything—and the still photos provide a closer look at Petrucci’s new-for-2019 signature models, Myung’s bass, effects, amps and more.
And yes, I know I said “speakers” instead of “pickups” and “alder” rather than “ash” early in the video. Send coffee and hate mail in care of the magazine. Or just troll me in the video’s comments section, for your convenience. But more important, dig into this supercool Rig Rundown.
The latest and most primo entry in John Petrucci’s signature line of Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty guitars is the Tiger Eye Limited. As its name implies, only 300 total 6-string and 7-string models were built. The headstock, the bulk of the neck, and main body are all one piece of mahogany, with alder sides. “That’s where you get all the meat and sustain, and the alder shapes the sound,” Petrucci explains. There’s also a tiger-stripe maple top, and the same pattern is in the wood on the back of the 3-piece neck and the headstock.
All the Majesties come with DiMarzio pickups that Petrucci helped design. The Dreamcatcher, in the bridge, is built for a bold, aggressive, and tight sound, and the guitarist jokes he named the neck pickup the Rainmaker “because it makes people cry when you solo on it.” There’s a 3-way toggle and, as with all of his previous Majesty models, a piezo bridge (with tone and volume control) with a floating tremolo tail. There’s also coil-splitting and a 20 dB boost on the volume control, plus a built-in preamp to combat tone degradation with long cables, should they become necessary.