They'll be hitting the studio middle of this year, I believe -- middle of next year would be two years since ADToE, roughly release time!
Dunno about them going into the studio *that* soon Rob. Even if they don't do one more leg after the North American leg, they'll be finishing at almost the same time that they did for BCaSL (not including the final 2 "one-off" dates in Japan). When the band met to discuss their plans at the beginning of September (when MP dropped the bomb of wanting a hiatus), they had planned on going into the studio at the beginning of 2011 even with MP. So my guess is that they'll probably follow a similar pattern once again, unless you can reference something the guys have said that proves otherwise.
Jaw dropped at the announcement, didnt expect somethign so fast. Look forward to the Mangini writing chemistry. Have to go a whiles back to when DT wrote songs on the road. Awake maybe?
The last time you could say was probably on Touring Into Infinity, maybe Metropolis 2000. I know at least one of the riffs in The Glass Prison actually came out of soundcheck jam that MP and JM did while on the road for Touring Into Infinity. MP told me he threw it out there during the writing for SFaM but it didn't fit, then threw it out there as a possibility during the writing for SDoIT. Granted, they weren't probably fleshing out full songs at that point, but it's hard to say how developed the song ideas that JP's speaking of are at this point.
Once the band started doing Evening With tours, I think a lot of their time was spent rehearsing and maintaining (keeping their chops up) of material for upcoming shows, so the chance to jam and develop new ideas fell by the wayside; I don't believe it was strictly because of MP's insistence of writing together as a band in the studio.
GUYS! No, this is not how we write music! We need to go into the studio with no material or ideas. We write from scratch!
LOL! Well I know MP was always about collaborating, but there were times when ideas from the past would be included, tho of late, typically from a previous album-writing session (a lot of I Walk Beside You was actually developed during the Train of Thought sessions, but set aside since it didn't fit the vibe of the album; also see my reference about The Glass Prison riff above). Nonetheless, I agree with KNH's point that it makes more sense to write when inspired than being forced to do so because of scheduled studio time.