GUITARS, BACKING VOCALS (1985 – PRESENT)
John Petrucci is best known as the guitarist, producer, lyricist and founding member of the two-time Grammy nominated progressive metal band Dream Theater as well as the guitarist and founding member of the acclaimed Liquid Tension Experiment. As a solo artist, John is a longstanding veteran of Joe Satriani’s G3 tours, along with Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Paul Gilbert, Steve Morse and Steve Lukather.
Born John Peter Petrucci on July 12, 1967, he grew up in Kings Park, New York, a small suburban town on Long Island where he began playing guitar at age 12. His early influences included Steve Morse, Al DiMeola, Steve Howe, Allan Holdsworth, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Alex Lifeson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rush, Yes, Iron Maiden, The Dregs and Metallica. After graduating from high school, he attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston along with schoolmate/bassist John Myung where they fatefully met drummer Mike Portnoy and quickly formed the nucleus of what was to become Dream Theater.
For the last 30+ years John has taken his band on an extremely successful and rewarding musical journey. With upwards of 12 million in gold and platinum CD and DVD sales including the 1992 RIAA certified Gold release Images And Words, Dream Theater continue to be the premier leaders in progressive metal music on an international level. Throughout their career, the band has garnered multiple Billboard 200 Top 10 chart debuts, receiving two Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance.
They have earned numerous other accolades; their 1999 concept album Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory landed the #1 position in RollingStone.com’s reader’s poll for Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums Of All Time and they won Band Of The Year in the 2014 Progressive Music Awards. Most recently, their ambitious 2016 double CD rock opera The Astonishing debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart. Since 1992, Dream Theater has performed in front of millions of devoted fans throughout expansive world tours in support of the band’s thirteen studio albums to date.
As a guitar player, John has received many notable awards from various guitar publications throughout the world, including 2007 Guitarist of the Year named by the readers of Total Guitar magazine, Best Metal Guitarist in the 2010 and 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards polls in Guitar Player magazine. He was also named one of the 20 Greatest Metal Guitarists Ever in a 2011 Total Guitar poll, as well as being voted Best Guitarist in Classic Rock Presents Prog Magazine’s 2011 readers poll. In 2013 John was voted Best Shredder in Guitar World’s Reader’s Poll and in 2014 John secured his place in the magazine’s Hall Of Fame.
John met his wife Rena Sands in 1989 and the two married in September 1993. Rena was the guitarist and founding member of the all-female metal band Meanstreak. Rena continues her career today as guitarist with the all-female tribute to Judas Priest appropriately named Judas Priestess; she can be seen playing regularly throughout North America.
In 1995 John released his first instructional video called Rock Discipline, and was also a contributing columnist in Guitar World magazine’s Wild Stringdom monthly lesson series. A book by the same name would later be released as a collection of the lessons featured in the magazine.
In 1998 and 1999 John released Liquid Tension Experiment and Liquid Tension Experiment 2 respectively, along with Jordan Rudess on keyboards, Mike Portnoy on drums and the inimitable Tony Levin on bass. Both albums would prove not only to be worthy and enjoyable side projects, but also favorites among fans worldwide.
The year 2000 brought with it the unveiling of John’s record label, Sound Mind Music. Created and run by his wife Rena, its first release was An Evening With John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess, an acoustic-instrumental live concert of Latin/jazz improvised music for guitar and piano. The concert was recorded in June of that year at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack, NY. The album was re-released in 2004 on Steve Vai’s Favored Nations record label and featured two additional tracks: The Rena Song and The Bite Of The Mosquito.
In 2001 John joined the North American run of the popular G3 tour with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. He performed as a trio with ex-DT bandmate Mike Portnoy on drums and bassist Dave LaRue of Dregs/Steve Morse Band fame. John would subsequently continue on in Mexico and Japan with Joe and Steve (G3 Live in Tokyo was released in 2005) in South America with Joe and Eric Johnson, in Australia with Joe and Steve, in North America in 2007 with Joe and Paul Gilbert, and in South America in 2012 with Dream Theater bandmate Mike Mangini on drums, Joe, Steve Morse and Steve Lukather.
In 2005 John released his first and much-anticipated solo album titled Suspended Animation on the Petrucci’s Sound Mind Music label. The self-produced album of all instrumental guitar music featured Dave LaRue on bass and Dave DiCenso on drums. Drummer and re-mixer Tony Verderosa also contributed to the CD and can be heard on the song Tunnel Vision. The album was mixed by friend and longtime Dream Theater producer/mix engineer Kevin Shirley. Many of the songs John originally debuted live while on tour with G3 would appear on this CD.
Throughout his career, John has spearheaded the research and development of numerous signature guitars and guitar-related gear with some of the most successful and respected musical instrument manufacturers in the world. Among those include a complete line of signature Ernie Ball Music Man 6-string, 7-string and baritone guitars featuring the critically acclaimed JP Majesty and JP BFR, the first ever signature Mesa Boogie JP-2C guitar amplifier and TC Electronic signature JP Dreamscape chorus/flanger pedal, signature DiMarzio 6- and 7-string Crunch Lab, Liquifire, Illuminator and Sonic Ecstasy pickups, as well as signature DiMarzio JP guitar straps and the signature Dunlop JP95 wah pedal and JP Jazz III picks.
In 2015 John started ToneMission, a global initiative dedicated to tone-seekers around the world who’s goal is to foster greater communication and sharing among players and committed to furthering the reach, development and proliferation of the art of the instrument worldwide, throughout the guitar community.
In August of 2017 John hosted his first-ever guitar camp at the Glen Cove Mansion on Long Island, NY called John Petrucci’s Guitar Universe. Guest teachers included Tony MacAlpine, Rusty Cooley, Andy James, Tosin Abasi, Andy McKee, Jason Richardson and Devin Townsend, and was a tremendous success.
Outside of music, John’s passions include bodybuilding, bearding, BBQs, politics, and all things Disney. He currently resides on Long Island, New York with his wife Rena and three children.