Enlarge Mike Portnoy by Scott Penner, Mike Mangini by Mary Maryanovich. Via Wikipedia.

Mike Portnoy Feels Bad for Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini: “He’s Damned If He Does and Damned If He Doesn’t”


Earlier this year, former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy was able to catch Dream Theater live as a fan for the first time. Now, in a new interview, Mike talks about his experience — and gives a pretty fair shake to current Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini for the shit that he gets from fans for not being Portnoy.

Speaking to Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM, Portnoy talked about seeing Dream Theater as a civilian and hanging out with them afterwards, explaining that just because he’s not in the band doesn’t mean he won’t be friends with those guys (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“You can’t spend most of your life with a group of guys like that and not be family for life. I met John Petrucci and John Myung when we were teenagers; we met in college and our families have grown up together and our wives all played in a band together and our kids — my daughter and John Petrucci’s daughter — live together in Brooklyn. So it’s a family.

“Whether I’m currently in the band or not, that doesn’t matter; you can’t take away the friendship and the family and the history and the experiences we shared for so, so long.”

Later, Trunk asked Portnoy what it was like watching another drummer playing his parts. Mike made it clear that he feels sorry for Mangini due to the constant scrutiny and comparisons that fans subject him to.

“There’s no doubt he’s an amazing drummer and he plays my parts incredibly faithfully. I feel bad for him. He and I joked about it. He’s in a horrible situation where he’s damned if he does and he’s damned if he doesn’t. He expressed that frustration to me, and I feel for him; it’s definitely a weird position to be put into.

“I kind of had it a little bit when I played with Avenged Sevenfold and Twisted Sister, coming into the throne of two drummers that have passed away, and I tried to learn those parts as faithfully as I could. When I had a hired-gun gig like that, I spent a lot of attention trying to honor the drummer that came before me — it’s important. I don’t wanna go into a gig like either of those and try to force my style onto it.”

There you go — Portnoy coulda been a dick, and he wasn’t. Let that be said of all of us.

Here’s video of Mike getting a shout-out from James LaBrie at the show:

Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits