Dream Theater frontman James LaBrie said the band has a “clear vision” for their 14th album as they begin prepping for the follow-up to 2016's The Astonishing.

His comments came after keyboardist Jordan Rudess reported that the band would probably start work on the record in May. “We're all looking forward to the next album,” LaBrie told CC Rock in a new interview, which you can watch above. “We all pretty much know where we want to go with the next album, but we have a clear, clear vision of what it needs to be in direction, where we want to take it. That's exciting. That won't be out until '19. '18 will be rest time, and then get into the studio and write and record, and come out with a new album in 2019 and start another tour.”

LaBrie also shared his longer-term hopes for the band, which formed in 1985 as Majesty and released their breakthrough album Images and Words in 1992. “I would like to see Dream Theater, as an entity, that we'd be doing this for at least another 10-plus years," he said. "I really do. I see that everyone is kind of collected – that we're all in agreement to that. I remember saying this to Jordan when we were over in Asia: I said, 'I can see me playing guitar and singing Dream Theater songs in a more acoustic setting, and playing little intimate clubs and just having fun with it that way.’

“But who knows what’s on the cards? I think it has to always make sense. I think the day that someone's just saying the reason you're going to do something is because of [money], it's all wrong. But right now, I think that we're all having an incredible time out here, and I think that's what we're riding on right now.”

LaBrie reflected on how the band’s career might have gone if “Pull Me Under,” the hit track from Images and Words, hadn’t taken off. “I don't think you and I would be sitting here talking today,” he said. “Granted, we would have continued to tour. Would we have been going to Europe, Japan and everywhere else? Maybe, but to what capacity? I don't know. If the album hadn't been successful, yes, the label might have let us do another album, but if that album had been mediocre in the water too because we didn't get any recognition, I think that would have been the end of us.

“‘Pull Me Under’ really was that catalyst that gave us that template or wave that we were able to ride for quite some time, and allowed us to be doing this 25, 30 years later. We're very fortunate that that did happen.”

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