Former DREAM THEATER and current ADRENALINE MOB drummer Mike Portnoy was interviewed on last night’s (Friday, August 5) edition of Eddie Trunk’s “Friday Night Rocks” radio show on New York’s Q104.3 FM.
When asked for his opinion of the DREAM THEATER track “On The Backs Of Angels”, the first song to be released with new drummer Mike Mangini (STEVE VAI, ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME), Portnoy said, “It’s very difficult for me to hear. Nobody wants to see their ex-wife of 25 years with a new husband moving into the house that you built for 25 years. It’s a painful thing for me to hear and see. A DREAM THEATER without me was never in the plan; I never expected that. But they’ve chosen to move on and I just have to kind of sit on the sidelines and watch and listen. I did hear the song and I heard an excerpt of another song [from the forthcoming DREAM THEATER album]. And I guess I’ll reserve comment on those just because whatever I say — whether it be good, bad or indifferent — it’s probably gonna come across wrong and it will be completely dissected and misinterpreted. So let’s leave it at ‘no comment.'”
In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess stated about Portnoy’s change of mind and request to be reinstated after leaving the band last September, “Mike wanted to come back after we had gone through all the emotional turmoil and pain of losing a friend, and the effort we went through to get back on our feet. We were well past our recovery phase and had made a commitment to Mike Mangini.”
Regarding Portnoy’s decision to leave the band he co-founded and led for 25 years, Rudess said, “His leaving was unbelievable, it was so emotional. He’s a close friend of mine and we’ve been through so much together — it basically brought me to tears. But being a positive person and around guys who love what they’re doing, we had to figure out how to move forward.”
On the topic of Mangini, a former Berklee College of Music teacher and holder of five World’s Fastest Drummer records, Rudess said, “Mike adapted to our world so wonderfully. He’s not only a great drummer, but a great guy. He came into the audition and locked in with us and nailed it. We were amazed.
“We were looking for someone who could walk onstage with us and not throw us off in the least, and we found him in Mike. As painful and said as the situation was over not being able to work with Mike Portnoy, life goes on — this kind of thing, unfortunately, happens in bands and we’re interested in keeping a positive direction and making really good music.”
DREAM THEATER’s new album, “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, will be released on September 13 via Roadrunner Records.