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Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci reflects on 30+ years of music, winning a GRAMMY and life on Long Island

Extended interview: Guitarist John Petrucci on Dream Theater and 30 years in rock
Extended interview: Guitarist John Petrucci on Dream Theater and 30 years in rock 12:02

NEW YORK -- Dream Theater is one of the biggest bands in progressive rock music, and it was formed by a group of musicians from Long Island.

The band has sold more than 15 million albums over a 30+ year career, and their latest tour brings them to the Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 28.

"It's crazy when I think about when we started and the fact that I'm still in a band with one of the guys I grew up with on Long Island," guitarist and producer John Petrucci told CBS New York's Chris Wragge. "It's just insane."

Just last year, Dream Theater won the GRAMMY for Best Metal Performance for the song "The Alien" off their latest album, "A View From The Top of the World."

"We write these crazy long songs, long instrumentals, guitar solos, we have concept albums, and you never really expect the Recording Academy would recognize that kind of music," he told Wragge. "I thought it was such a big win for prog music and prog metal."

Guitarist John Petrucci on Dream Theater's new tour 07:51

Petrucci was raised on Long Island and still lives there, and the band keeps its headquarters there as well.

"Long Island, New York, is the greatest place on earth as far as I'm concerned," he said. "If you want to go to the beach, you're at the beach in 20 minutes. If you want to go to the city, you're there in an hour or so."

"It's just great to be established as a band here, and we have our own studio here, which is fantastic," he added. "We can do everything here."

When Petrucci visited the CBS New York studios, Dream Theater had just returned from a concert tour of Asia, which included stops in Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.

"You kind of get that realization that music is universal," he said. "It doesn't matter what you think, what you believe, who you follow, what language you speak, what your culture is. It's like you hear a song and you relate to that, and there's that connection, which I love."

But Petrucci says there's nothing like hometown shows in New York.

"It's sort of a mix of all of your family and friends," he said, but added that New York shows often attract international fans. "You look out and it's this amazing audience."

Petrucci's whole family is in in the entertainment industry. His wife plays guitar in the band Meanstreak, along with wives of current and former Dream Theater members. As for their three children, both his daughters are actors, and his oldest daughter and son have their own indie band, Mt. Juliet, which is playing The Cutting Room on August 19th.

Petrucci also has numerous projects outside of music, including Rock the Barrel, a signature bourbon whiskey, and the men's beard grooming product line Nebula, a collaboration with UK-based Captain Fawcett. He told Wragge the beard products collaboration came about after he was already an existing customer, but then got an email from an employee who just so happened to be a guitar player and fan.

CLICK HERE for more on Dream Theater's latest tour.

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