LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, the instrumental progressive rock/metal project featuring DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess and guitarist John Petrucci, alongside ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and progressive rock icon Tony Levin (bass) of KING CRIMSON and PETER GABRIEL fame, will release its third album, "LTE3", on March 26 via InsideOut Music. The effort will arrive 22 years after the release of 1999's "Liquid Tension Experiment 2". The official Christian Rios-created music video for the album's second single, "Beating The Odds", can be seen below.
Petrucci said: "This was a riff that I brought into the sessions that I thought was interesting because it's in an odd time and phrased in a way that is hard to wrap your head around at first until you understand where the groove is. When I first presented it to the guys, their initial reaction was 'how are you feeling that?' When the band enters after the opening riff, it probably sounds a little 'odd' because the time signature is a bit unclear until the song gets going. If LTE ever had a 'prog pop hit' this would be it."
Added Rudess: "I remember the look of confusion on ALL our faces when JP started playing that opening riff! It's was seemingly so straight ahead but with a bizarre rhythmic twist! Took a while to internalize that, but then we all loved it! One of the great things about LTE is the fact that we just let ourselves loose and have FUN!"
Said Portnoy: "'Beating The Odds' is the second song we wrote in the LTE3 sessions. I jokingly referred to it as 'the feel-good song of the pandemic' in the studio as it has a very upbeat happy feel to it...but also takes a few cool musical twists and turns ranging from the glorious melodic chorus and end vamp to the dark driving solo sections."
Stated Levin: "Starts with an off-step riff, kind of like walking upstairs backward, but at the repeat you get it. Then it opens up into 'anthem land.' Later there are unison bass lines where both Jordan and John got flangy sounds that work well with the bass. Mike's unstoppable energy is evident here, and we've got more fantastic J&J solos. At only five and a half minutes, we start fading out… a short song by our standards. But we're just getting warmed up."
"LTE3" track listing:
01. Hypersonic (8:22)
02. Beating The Odds (6:09)
03. Liquid Evolution (3:23)
04. The Passage Of Time (7:32)
05. Chris & Kevin's Amazing Odyssey (5:04)
06. Rhapsody In Blue (13:16)
07. Shades Of Hope (4:42)
08. Key To The Imagination (13:14)
The bonus disc includes almost an hour of improvised jams.
The album will be available as:
* Limited deluxe hot pink 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Box Set (including a poster and 4 artcards, Blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround mix with visuals, and full band interview from the studio)
* Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook
* Limited 2CD Digipak
* Gatefold black 2LP+CD
*Digital album (2CD)
Speaking about why now was the right time to resurrect LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, Portnoy told Revolver: "The main reason is the insanity of 2020. The pandemic and the lockdown is pretty much what allowed it. But we've been talking about it for many, many years. It's been 10 years since I left DREAM THEATER, and it didn't make sense to do LTE while I was still in DREAM THEATER. Because it was three members of the same band. Then after I left, it took many years of healing and all the drama to pass and the dust to settle before the relationships with John and Jordan got real good again. And musically, Jordan and I played together a few years ago on the Cruise To The Edge, and then obviously John Petrucci and I played together last year for his solo album ['Terminal Velocity']. So it seemed like the time was right to finally do it. And the pandemic, for better or worse, gave us a window of opportunity where none of us were on tour and we could actually align the schedules and do it."
On the topic of his musical chemistry with Petrucci, Portnoy said: "Well, John and I were writing partners and producing partners for 25 years. And when we reconvened last year for his solo album, I guess I will say the difference was that the roles were redefined, because it was his album. It wasn't like DREAM THEATER where we wrote together and produced together. When I got together with him for 'Terminal Velocity', I was coming in and playing a much different role, as was he. John had written it all and I was there to do a service for him. And I'm very comfortable playing that role, being a session guy or a hired gun. But then when we got together to do LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT a few months later, that was more of the natural chemistry of us writing together, working together, making decisions together. Once we got to that relationship, it was exactly as it had been when I left DREAM THEATER. It was just so immediately comfortable."
In November 2017, Mike told Loud that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to expand his musical horizons. "[I didn't] want to go to my grave and just be the drummer from DREAM THEATER," he said. "I knew there was way more to what I had to offer."
Photo credit: Tony Levin