In a recent interview with Music Radar, Dream Theater have revealed why they rejected former drummer Mike Portnoy when he tried to re-join the band.
The story began when Portnoy, their founding drummer, split from the group last September after 25 years together. He continued full-time with Avenged Sevenfold, but admitted his regret attempt to re-join the band.
So why did the group turn him down?
It turns out that the audition process, which was filmed for a forthcmoming documentary, found them a new drummer in Mike Mangini, who had already quit his day job as a professor at Berklee.
"Mike Mangini's life changed dramatically", explains guitarist John Petrucci. "He was a professor at Berklee, and he had to give notice that he was leaving. He's got a wife and two kids - the whole thing. So he came down and we started making a record. And then Mike asked if he could get back in... [shakes head]."
Keyboardist Jordan Rudess continued: "So Mike Portnoy came to us and asked to rejoin: 'Hey, guys I've reconsidered, I've made a mistake'".
"It was like, 'Oh my God, you can't do this to us. You can't pull the rug out from under us like this.' It was hard. Here we went through this whole drama, and we finally found this new guy who we were happy with. At a certain point, you just throw up your hands and go, 'This can't be happening!'"
Rudess also revealed the emotional impact he felt when he first heard the news of Portnoy's departure:
"After we got off the phone with him, when he told us what was going to happen, that he was leaving... I literally sat on the steps of my studio and cried. This is a guy who's a friend of mine, who we all love and admire. We didn't want to see it come crashing down."
"The whole thing brought me to tears. But we all realized that we had to find a way to keep going. This is our business."