Preface: I love Dream Theater and anything DT-related with all my heart. But this is just too easy!

A media war of words between the remaining members of Dream Theater and the recently departed Mike Portnoy was bound to erupt sooner or later, right? Here’s where things get really nasty, so that once the inevitable occurs and Portnoy re-joins the band he helped form, at least there’ll be some good sound bites for Behind the Music or whatever the Metal Injection equivalent of it is in the year 2014, right?

But before the media sensationalized JUICY GOSSIP, a quick update from the Portnoy front. Metal Insider is reporting that in a recent interview Portnoy claimed he’d remain with Avenged Sevenfold for the remainder of the Nightmare touring cycle. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone as it wouldn’t make sense for A7X to switch drummers mid-tour, but it does call into question Portnoy’s motives for leaving Dream Theater. Didn’t he want a break so he could pursue other musical projects? Obviously A7X qualify as a musical project (now’s your chance for a snarky comment about A7X… hyuck, hyuck!), but I got the impression he wanted to spend more time on side projects and didn’t want to be on the road constantly. The touring cycle for an album by a band of A7X’s stature usually lasts 1.5 to 2 years… so expect Portnoy to be out on the road with them until this time next year, or later. That’s not gonna leave much time for anything else.

But you want the JUICY GOSSIP, right?? Well, click on through to see what James LaBrie had to say about Portnoy, and what Portnoy said back:

From this interview:

Q: Are you sad, James? I mean, this is a huge shift in the world of Dream Theater and progressive rock. It’s a fucking earthquake.

LaBrie: “You know what?! I’m not sad at all. I’ve gotta be honest with you. I think that everyone out there needs to know that there’s four guys in the band that are… We’re excited, we’re really looking forward to the next chapter. And I think one of the other things that everyone really has to remember is that there’s four more-than-capable guys there. We’re all extremely… I know everyone is out there going, ‘Holy shit! Is this guy full of himself or what?’ But I wanna say it like it is. There’s four very capable people in the band, and we’re all talented and we all know what we’re doing, and we’re all capable of doing everything and keeping Dream Theater exactly what it’s been and bringing it to another level and bringing it to uncharted waters, but I think very exciting and fulfilling waters. So, no, we’re not down. I can guarantee you none of us are down. We’re actially pretty excited… and very positive.”

Whoaz!!! Labrie said he isn’t sad about Portnoy’s departure! Call the Insensitivity Police!!! Nothing quite like trying to move on.

Next, a user of Mike Portnoy’s official forum at MikePortnoy.com asked the site’s moderators if posts about LaBrie’s upcoming solo tour were being deleted. And he got an answer from Sir Blue Goatee himself:

I’m afraid your eyes are not playing tricks on you. I was willing to ignore that the [Dream Theater] guys insisted all [Mike Portnoy]-related stuff be removed from DreamTheater.net…. but then on Monday reading the Blabbermouth headlines with James [LaBrie] insensitively proclaming they are ‘not sad at all’ about my departure from Dream Theater, I cannot in ‘happy’ standing promote his solo tour….

I am so sad it comes to this, but I am even more shocked and hurt by James’ completely disrespectful quote.

Somebody called the waahhhhmbulance! Little Mikey’s feeling are hurt! Look Mike, I love you to death and I’ll defend you to the grave — I’ve gone on record multiple times stating that I’m not confident in Dream Theater’s ability to put out good music without you in the band — but come on, bro! Talk about misconstrued. Just a short while later, LaBrie released a second statement defending his original one:

It seems there is a misunderstanding. When I said I was not sad with Mike’s departure, it, unfortunately, leaves plenty of room to misconstrue such words. No one can tell you or me how to think and feel. Initially with Mike’s departure I was extremely upset, down and shocked. But one needs to deal and work through these emotions in order to arrive at a more positive and optimistic place. That is where I am now and was when the interview took place. Let me put it more plain and simple. Life does not afford us the luxury to wallow in our sorrow. You have to deal with the situation at hand and make it a productive and positive endeavor. In other words, onward and upward. Mike made it perfectly clear why he chose the current path. I would much rather his words be the definitive answer. In the end, does it really matter what our views are? Other than human curiosity, it doesn’t change a thing. I have said my piece and believe there is no room for misinterpretation. I will give no further weight to this subject; all has been said.

So, in short: James is trying to respectfully move on! Imagine that. It does strike me as something of a low blow — on both sides — to remove message board threads pertaining to the other party. Come on, what the fuck is this, Megadick Dave Mustaine’s board? If anything all this chatter is GOOD for all sides because it draws attention — good or bad — to both parties. I’d have to imagine LaBrie’s upcoming tour is getting a LOT more attention now than it would have otherwise.

Ultimately none of this is going to matter when the guys decide to get Portnoy back in the band in 2014, but in the meantime it sure does make for some interesting Internet chatter. There’s no place to air your personal grievances with someone else that’s quite like the Internet. Keep it comin’, guys, and we (the media) will keep the publicity wheels churning.


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