Dream Theater keybroadist Jordan Rudess spoke in an interview with 8dio and explained how he was influenced by some legendary bands and musicians.
“During your student years, you turned from classical piano to progressive keyboards. What made you switch?”
“Yeah, the reason I changed was because… in my teenage years, people started to turn me on to groups like Yes and Genesis, King Crimson and Pink Floyd – and I was very, very interested.
I was aware of all the harmonies that I heard, that Keith Emerson was using in his music, but I didn’t… I wasn’t aware of that kind of power.
So to hear that all together – his fusion of his harmonic synths, he used a lot of suspended chords and chords just built on fourths, plus this powerful sound, and that was like – a good driving force for me to start moving in a different direction.
So as they say, the straw that broke the camel’s back was that the teacher at Juilliard was very intense, to me she was like, annoying – she demanded that I memorize everything. I said, ‘I don’t have time for this. I don’t want to do it.’ So that’s when I left.”
He continued and said:
“Going back to my initial progressive rock years and all the keyboardist that I looked up to – initially learning about pitch bending. I grew up in a world where it was just the piano and pressing the notes. It hits the strings and, that was it!
So when I started to hear things like – I think the first time I really got turned on to pitch bending was hearing [Yes and The Moody Blues keyboardist] Patrick Moraz playing on an album called ‘Refugee’ .”