John Petrucci Explains Why Mike Portnoy Isn’t Re-Joining Dream Theater


With the announcement that Mike Portnoy plays drums on John Petrucci’s forthcoming solo album, Terminal Velocity — his first in 15 years — naturally came a whole lot of speculation that Portnoy might re-join Dream Theater, the band he co-founded with Petrucci in the ’80s but quit a decade ago.

Those who have been following such matters know that the two have remained pals since the split, especially recently, as their families are quite close (their daughters even launched a podcast together at one point). But that doesn’t mean Portnoy is rejoining Dream Theater, Petrucci explained in a new interview, reaffirming Mike Mangini’s job security while qualifying that it was quite fun to work with his old pal again.

Speaking with Metal Hammer Spain, Petrucci explained:

“I understand where people are coming from with that. One of the concerns I had, a little bit – not musically at all – but about Mike, is I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea.

“Mike Mangini has been in Dream Theater for 10 years now. How many albums did we do together already? Three? Plus two live albums. A lot of music and touring. So he’s the drummer in Dream Theater, and I didn’t want there to be any weirdness or misconception that, ‘Oh, this means that Mike’s [Portnoy] gonna come back.’ It’s just not the case. I think that for me, in a selfish way, I get the best of both worlds ’cause I get to play with two of the greatest drummers in the world, in Dream Theater and with my solo stuff. And it’s great for me as a guitar player – it’s wonderful.

“I think it’s really important for everybody’s sake, for fans to understand this. I think it’s important, out of respect for both drummers – for Mike Mangini and Mike Portnoy – that there’s no misconstrued thing: ‘Oh, this means something else.’ This is him [Portnoy] playing on my solo album, which is a really happy moment for me. For me, I knew that that would kind of be part of the story – I accept that. So the best I can do is try to be as clear as I can. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea.

“I don’t wanna create any drama or weirdness because it’s all positive. I made a solo album – finally, after 15 years – and I got my friend to play drums on it, who I haven’t played with in 10 years. So that’s the vibe.”

Sorry, DT fanboys: sounds like it’s not happening. But in the meantime you can enjoy Terminal Velocity, which comes out August 28 on all digital and streaming platforms October 30 on CD and vinyl (pre-order here), and has so far spawned one excellent single, which you can spin below.

[via Ultimate Guitar]

Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits