Today is the day! Dream Theater’s new album, Distance Over Time, is officially out, and to celebrate, we got guitar master John Petrucci in our studio so he could nerd out on tone, Carl Sagan and more.

In the past, Petrucci has described his guitar tone as a mixture between chocolate cake and the T-Rex from Jurassic Park. For Distance Over Time, however, he went full-on T-Rex, delivering some of the fattest sounds of his career on tracks such as “Paralyzed.”

Further into the record, Dream Theater pay tribute to famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan with “Pale Blue Dot.” Having grown up watching Sagan’s Cosmos series with his father, Petrucci realized the new space-prog track he’d been working on needed lyrics inspired by the scientist. “The speech that Carl Sagan gave about the earth being a pale blue dot … his reflection was like, we should really be a lot nicer to each other, ‘cause we’re just this little dot floating around in the universe. I thought it was a really poignant thing — very proggy.”

Petrucci also refused to confirm that a sample of Owen Wilson saying “wow” appears four minutes into the new track “S2N.” It seems like this will become another unconfirmed Dream Theater mystery, though Petrucci jokes about a rogue studio wanderer hating the song so much, the microphones caught him saying “wow” in disgust.

Check out our exclusive interview with John Petrucci above and click here to grab a copy of Dream Theater’s Distance Over Time.

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