Brian Giffin of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Loud: Does releasing a self-titled album mark some sort of new beginning for DREAM THEATER? Rudess: I think it was more that we wanted to put the stamp of a self-titled album here because we felt very strong about it. We felt like we're at this great point where we felt that people should take notice. We've been very clear — we're all getting along so well; musically we're having a great time together in the studio; and we felt that we've made a great album that we want people to know about. If you want to know what DREAM THEATER is about, check this album out, because we feel that this is one of the best albums that we've done. Loud: What was it like reconvening to record this time with [new drummer] Mike Mangini a part of the band? Rudess: He was really well behaved, so it was good. It was a lot of fun to have him there, unlike the previous album where we brought him in for the drum parts after the music was written. For this one, he was there the whole time. Some people know it, some people don't, but Mike Mangini is a very upbeat character. He's very funny, he's got a very good nature, he's lively and in front of the drums, he's a madman. He can play things no one else can play. So him being there personally, with his upbeat personality, and him contributing to the dynamic to the music we were writing really gave the music a real spark. So we enjoyed that quite a lot. With "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", we had a good time writing that, but this time, all being together working on the album as a band was great. We had been on tour with Mike Mangini for a year, we knew that we all got along, we knew that we were a very effective unit with each other playing music. The fans had all voiced their opinions and they all loved our shows. Loud: Tell us something about "Illumination Theory", because that's quite an extensive piece.