Journalist and musician Barbara Caserta of Italy's Linearock conducted a 30-minute video interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) prior to THE WINERY DOGS' concert at Live Club in Trezzo sull'Adda, Milan, Italy. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked what led to his departure from ADRENALINE MOB, the band featuring Russell Allen (vocals; also of SYMPHONY X) and Mike Orlando (guitar), Portnoy said: "I'm very proud of the album I made with ADRENALINE MOB and I think that there was really a great chemistry there; it was a great band. I was definitely behind it. I spent two years of my life developing it and trying my best. But at the end of the day, I came out of DREAM THEATER wanting to do a lot of different things, and I wasn't ready to commit exclusively to any one band. I had just spent 25 years with one band — and side projects, obviously, but committed to one band. And I said right from the beginning I was gonna plant many different musical seeds and see which grew, and that would kind of dictate where I would go and what I would do. And I spent a good solid two years giving my all to ADRENALINE MOB. But it only blossomed a little; I kept waiting for it to truly blossom and waiting for touring opportunities to come around, which never happened, and waiting for certain things to happen that never happened, so when it came time for them to start to want to do a new record, it's, like, well, I have five months of THE WINERY DOGS dates on the calendar, so I had to make a decision; I couldn’t be in two places at the same time. Luckily, up until now, I've been able to juggle all these different things and make the schedules work out, but finally it came to a head where it's, like, 'OK, do I do a record with ADRENALINE MOB or do I tour with THE WINERY DOGS?' And it's, like, well, ADRENALINE MOB is not really growing fast enough. I don't have time to get into a van and play to a hundred people a night for the next ten years to develop this when I have other opportunities and things like THE WINERY DOGS and other things that are offering opportunities and situations that I need to follow through with. So I haf to make a decision, and one shoe had to drop, and unfortunately, it happened to be ADRENALINE MOB."
In the October 2013 issue of Modern Drummer magazine, drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) spoke about how the combination of his obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and having a memory unlike most other people's would make him an obvious choice for taking on more of a leadership role in a band setting.
"With DREAM THEATER, I very much ran the show because my OCD allowed me to handle the additional roles," he explained. "Luckily, those guys [the other members of DREAM THEATER] always trusted my direction. OCD can be a detriment, though. I know it sometimes makes my wife crazy, and I'm sure it must have driven the guys in DREAM THEATER crazy at times too, but they rolled with it.
" He continued: "It was never about being a control freak because I was an egomaniac. It was just my obsessive-compulsive nature.
"When I first met [future DREAM THEATER bandmates) John Petrucci and John Myung when we were eighteen years old, I think they immediately recognized that part of my personality, and they were very comfortable with that dynamic. John Petrucci and I balanced each other out through the years with our strengths and weaknesses. He never cared much for all the little details and organizational stuff, and I never cared about the business or financial aspects, which he was very good at.
Drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) was interviewed on the latest edition of former RIP magazine editor and veteran music journalist Lonn Friend's "Energize With Lonn Friend" podcast.
Commenting on BLACK SABBATH's decision to record and tour without original drummer Bill Ward, Portnoy said: "Here's my issue with it. I have no issue if Bill Ward is not fit to play in SABBATH, as they're saying. Or I have no issue with it if they're having money litigations and problems and they couldn't agree on something that was fair. My issue is that they're calling it a BLACK SABBATH reunion. It's not a BLACK SABBATH reunion without the four of them. It is now just the latest BLACK SABBATH lineup.
" He continued: "Why is this BLACK SABBATH, but HEAVEN & HELL wasn't BLACK SABBATH? I mean, we all know the real reason for it. But it's not a true BLACK SABBATH reunion without Bill Ward. And if they need to do it without Bill, then they do it without Bill. But don't call it a reunion. It's just BLACK SABBATH 2013.
" Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 27 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
Drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS,DREAM THEATER,AVENGED SEVENFOLD,ADRENALINE MOB) was interviewed on last night's (Friday, August 23) edition of Eddie Trunk's "Eddie Trunk Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM.
Asked if he has heard the new, self-titled album from his former bandmates in DREAM THEATER and what he thought of it,Portnoy replied: "I haven't heard the album. I know it's out there and I know they've been promoting it and I've seen a lot of the interviews. And, you know… It seems like there's a lot of excitement about it, but I really can't comment beyond that."
He continued: "I actually got a really nice text today from Jordan [Rudess,DREAM THEATERkeyboardist], and got a nice text a few weeks ago from John Petrucci [DREAM THEATERguitarist], so it seems like the air is clearing and the dust is settling. Which I would love nothing more than for us to all be one happy family and friends again, so… We'll see. But I'm doing this 'Progressive Nation' cruise next year and Jordane-mailed me to congratulate me on that, and they also heard about [the success of] THE WINERY DOGS album, and they were congratulating me on that. So it's nice to be in good spirits with at least a couple of the guys."
DREAM THEATER singerJames LaBrie recently ruled out the possibility of a reunion withMike, saying that Portnoy's replacement,Mike Mangini, "will be our drummer until the day that we finish doing this."
On July 30, Portnoy was asked by Chile's Radio Futuro whether he would one day be willing to reunite with DREAM THEATER and rejoin the band as their drummer. "Sure," he replied. "I would do it in a heartbeat. They are the ones that have closed the door on it. I've only needed a break, and I've had that break. So I'm ready, willing and able. But I honestly don't think they ever will; they've closed their door on it and I think they're too headstrong in having to prove themselves without me. So I wouldn't count on it. But my door is always open."
Drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER,AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) has tweeted a photo of a gift that he received from a fan during THE WINERY DOGS' current South American tour. He wrote: "Got this from a fan...kinda cool, but also kinda creepy!! Maybe it's a Blabbermouth voodoo doll?? : ) "
THE WINERY DOGS is the power trio featuring Portnoy, legendary bassistBilly Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and guitarist/vocalistRichie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON).
THE WINERY DOGS' self-titled debut album was released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment. The CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER.
Portnoy announced his departure from ADRENALINE MOB last month due to "scheduling conflicts." A replacement drummer has not yet been announced.
A trailer for "The Drumming Dog" DVD, which contains drum-cam footage from the recording sessions for the self-titled debut album from THE WINERY DOGS, can be seen below.
The full disc is available for purchase at MikePortnoy.com. Audio options include: Full Band Mix, Isolated Drums & MP Vox, and Headphone Mix.
THE WINERY DOGS is the power trio featuring Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB), legendary bassistBilly Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Richie Kotzen(MR. BIG, POISON).
Mark Diggins of The Rock Pit recently conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, FLYING COLORS, THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Rock Pit: There is a great chemistry between [all the members ofTHE WINERY DOGS]. Was that there from the start and do you think you managed to bring out the best performances in each other?
Mike: It was all very natural, but granted, there was already a built-in chemistry between Billy [Sheehan, bass] and Richie [Kotzen, guitar/vocals], from working together in MR. BIG. There was also the built-in chemistry between me and Billy, as we had already done various things through the years. I had to ease in to the relationship, but realistically, it all came together very naturally. I don't know the reason for that, as there's only the three of us. I've been in many bands with four or five people in them, and
Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, FLYING COLORS, THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Icon Vs. Icon: Do you feel there are a lot of misconceptions circulating about you?
Portnoy: I think I am one of the most misunderstood artists in the world! [laughs] Any time I go on the Internet and I see these web sites with an article with a quote for shock value as the headline, I realize the misconceptions about me that are out there by the fans and non-fans as well. I think the biggest one is that I am band-jumping or opportunity-jumping and jumping from band to band. That is not the case. Like I just said to you, it is me following my heart. I spent 25 years in one band and was so unbelievably dedicated to one band. I don't think you will find more dedication than I do for what I did for DREAM THEATER for 25 years. I mean, I literally oversaw every single step, every minute of the day. You won't find a more committed artist than me. I did that for 25 years, so I think the biggest misconception is that I am not committed. That is so far from the truth. I am just doing lots of different things. I am enjoying having this musical freedom right now. Every one of the bands and projects I am involved with are so different from each other. THE WINERY DOGS is one thing, TRANSATLANTIC is another, ADRENALINE MOB is something else. There are each so different from the other and I give all I can to each of them. The biggest problem is when you give 100% to five different things, inevitably there are going to be schedule clashes and it is not always going to be easy to juggle so many things. That is one of the difficulties I have been having lately and I am trying to make it all work. I am doing my best and I don't think you are going to find an artist with a stronger work ethic than I have. I am a total workaholic and passionate about everything I do. It is hard to always juggle it all without a scheduling conflict here or there! That has been the only problem, trying to solve that and make it all work.
Out of print for four years, the new release of "Lifting Shadows: The Authorized Biography Of Dream Theater" is now available to order.
Publication will be in September but pre-ordered books will ship as soon as they are available.
This paperback edition is fully updated by author Rich Wilson, featuring all-new interviews with the bandmembers and others. It covers the departure of drummer Mike Portnoy, the search for his successor and the group's subsequent return to recording and touring success.