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Interview with Mike Portnoy

Interview with Mike Portnoy
BANDS : Adrenaline Mob

Do you ever get tired, Mike?
I’m always tired, especially on this tour. This tour and the tour I’d just finished with Neal Morse were exhausting, because we’re flying every morning and playing in the evening.
You’ve been pretty busy since you left Dream Theater. Tell us a little about your schedule these days.
I played with six bands this year. I toured with Adrenaline Mob in June and July, then I entered in the studio with Billy Sheehan and Ritchie Kotzen, then I went on tour with Flying Colors, after that I went on tour with Neal Morse and now here I am on tour with PSMS (Portnoy/Sheehan/Macalpine/Sherinian).

In which of these projects does Mike Portnoy feel at home?
All of them. They’re an extension of my interests. I love Adrenaline Mob because I love metal, but I couldn’t only do that, I love instrumental music, so this is great with these guys, but I couldn’t only do this. What I do with Flying Colors and Neal Morse or with Ritchie and Billy it’s all completely different and I wouldn’t be able to only do any one of them. I need them all to show the big picture.
Do you miss Dream Theater?
I miss the fans and I miss the comfort of what we built all those years, playing in very large places and having comfortable conditions. I miss that, but, to be honest, and I don’t want this to come off the wrong way, I don’t have any regrets at all. I would’ve regretted staying there and wondering about all the things I could’ve been doing or wanted to do, but wasn’t able to. So I’m much happier now because I’m able to fulfill all of my dreams in musical environments. I have stayed in Dream Theater I would’ve done one album and I would’ve toured with the same band, playing the same songs for two years. Instead, I’ve made eight albums and I’ve played live with twelve different bands in the last two years.

They just finished a world tour, I’m sure you’re aware of this. Did you have the curiosity to go see one of their shows?
I didn’t, because it’s too difficult for me, emotionally. It’s like watching your wife with her new husband, taking care of your baby, living in your house. That’s too hard for me too see. I’m much happier when I don’t look at what they’re doing and I don’t think about it and I look at what I’m doing. That’s what makes me happy.

Who’s to blame for your split with Dream Theater?
Nobody’s to blame. I wish that they would have chosen to take a break. At this point, it would’ve been a couple of years and probably would’ve been time to come back together. But I can’t blame them for not wanting to wait. I wish that they would’ve respected my position in the band. But it’s just circumstances. Life’s too short to be having to do something. I wanted to be able to do things I wanted to do.

In an interview for Classic Rock presents Prog Magazine in the UK you said, a few months after the split, that it would be foolish to think that you and Dream Theater will not play together again. Do you still feel this way?
Actually, it’s funny, because the cover of that magazine quotes me, but it’s John Petrucci who said that, if you read the article. I agree with it, but it was him that said it. And now… It’s pretty sad, but now they keep saying that they don’t ever want me back. I personally never wanted a permanent split, I just wanted a break. So I hope that some day we will reunite, but I’m not counting on it, I’m not waiting for it, I’m not planning on it and from the quotes I’ve seen them say, especially James LaBrie, it doesn’t sound like they’re even interested. But I would hope that that’s not the case.

Glad to see you moved on, Mike. After the Dream Theater quarter-of-a-century experience will we see you again in a sort of a permanent touring and recording project? Do you see yourself in something like this? Maybe with Mr. Neal Morse, your long time partner?
There’s no such thing as permanence. My history with Dream Theater had shown that. About Neal Morse, I’m in four bands with the guy, what more do you want from us? (laughing). Me and Neal have Transatlantic, Flying Colors, his solo career and Yellow Matter Custard, if you want to count that. That’s more than enough. They all do different things for us, so we’ll continue to work with all of them.

What’s on your iPod right now? What was the last thing you listened to?
(Smiling and taking his iPhone out of his pocket) On my big iPod I have tens of thousands of songs. But from the 2012 releases I have Gojira, Animals as Leaders, Beardfish, Ben Folds Five, Between the Buried and Me, Foo Fighters, Kill Devil Hill, Machine Head, Meshuggah, Muse, Periphery, Portnoy/Sheehan/Kotzen.
   October 20, 2012  | 0 Comments  | 8187 Views « BACK

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