Dream Theater Guitarist Discusses Mike Portnoy's Departure

Following the 2010 departure of Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater have moved on with new drummer Mike Mangini and, seemingly, haven't missed a beat.

Dream Theater Guitarist Discusses Mike Portnoy's Departure
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Following the 2010 departure of Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater have moved on with new drummer Mike Mangini and, seemingly, haven't missed a beat. The band's new album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events, is out and the band are now on the road playing live across North America. The Portnoy situation is a topic the group will likely have to address for some time to come, and guitarist John Petrucci does just that in a new interview with Guitar World. One of the first signs of an issue with Portnoy was the drummer's plan to tour with Avenged Sevenfold at a time when Dream Theater were planning to record. "Mike had played on Avenged's album ['Nightmare'] and that was fine, explains Petrucci. We all do side projects when time permits. But touring with the band, that was a different story. That was taking significant time away from Dream Theater at a point when we were all planning to start recording. Initially, we put off recording to go on tour with Iron Maiden - that was too good an opportunity for us to turn down. And then when Mike said he was going on the road with Avenged Sevenfold right after the Maiden tour, that didn't feel right." Portnoy then asked DT to take an extended hiatus, with no timeline to regroup. In the end, it was something we couldn't do, says John. Mike wanted to hold all the cards. He wanted to get back together when it suited him. We couldn't abide by that. So he decided to quit. It was quite a blow. As much as we wanted to continue as a band, we didn't want Mike to leave." After quitting DT in September 2010, Portnoy then tried to come back to the band a few months later, but time was not on his side. Mike Portnoy asking to be back in was a problem on a few levels, maintains Petrucci. First, we were very happy to have selected Mike Mangini [as the new drummer]. Second, [Mangini] had quit his teaching gig at Berklee. We certainly weren't going to hang him out to dry when he sacrificed so much for us. Mike Portnoy was too late in asking to come back. We had moved on." It's all a bit of a mystery to the guitarist, who has decided it's best not to second guess Portnoy's motivation. I can't speak for him. I can only see things from my point of view, he says. For him to leave a successful band, one he had been with for 25 years... he must've had his reasons. I guess he really needed a change. Maybe he was confused or conflicted at the same time. I don't know. The biggest thing for me is to not be negative or resentful. I understand the way life is, and change is part of that. People get divorced, they leave companies, they quit bands - it happens. Mike needed a change in his life. That's really the only way I can look at it." The full Petrucci session will appear in the November 2011 issue of Guitar World. Thanks for the report to HenneMusic.com.

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    h3llh4mm3r
    Jasonbts wrote: EthelTheFrog wrote: Jasonbts wrote: "Initially, we put off recording to go on tour with Iron Maiden - that was too good an opportunity for us to turn down. And then when Mike said he was going on the road with Avenged Sevenfold right after the Maiden tour, that didn't feel right." Oooooh so if you approve of the band it's ok, but if Mike wants to work with a band you don't think is good enough, then there's a problem? Petrucci just lost a point in my book. But A7X is nothing more than a horrible, commercial band. Iron Maiden is a tried and true Heavy Metal band that have influenced more (good) bands than you could name. None of that matters. What does matter is that Mike saw something in them and wanted the experience of playing with them. It doesn't matter what you say they are. If they're so horrible, why do they have so many fans?
    Because kids listen to crap.
    MegaDTSX
    Jasonbts wrote: "Initially, we put off recording to go on tour with Iron Maiden - that was too good an opportunity for us to turn down. And then when Mike said he was going on the road with Avenged Sevenfold right after the Maiden tour, that didn't feel right." Oooooh so if you approve of the band it's ok, but if Mike wants to work with a band you don't think is good enough, then there's a problem? Petrucci just lost a point in my book.
    Putting time off a scheduled band recording to play on tour for a very well known and respected band is a bit different then stopping a scheduled band recording for a personal side project instead of doing said side project between recordings. Also it was obvious Mike's heart hasn't been in it for a little while now.
    PIMO
    OH...MY...GOD... you have got to be kidding me... no seriously is this a joke? another Dream Theater article about something we already knew and have known for the past year or two? (lost count, dont care)
    BlackApparatus
    UG is all about 1) Portnoy's DT departure; 2) "Lost" or "hidden" Nirvana/Kurt Cobain facts; 3)UG Plus or UG's mobile apps. Not a problem with the third point but drop the first two already. Leave Kurt dead and leave Portnoy with its spectacular Adrenaline Mob right where they are.
    Jasonbts
    MegaDTSX wrote: Jasonbts wrote: "Initially, we put off recording to go on tour with Iron Maiden - that was too good an opportunity for us to turn down. And then when Mike said he was going on the road with Avenged Sevenfold right after the Maiden tour, that didn't feel right." Oooooh so if you approve of the band it's ok, but if Mike wants to work with a band you don't think is good enough, then there's a problem? Petrucci just lost a point in my book. Putting time off a scheduled band recording to play on tour for a very well known and respected band is a bit different then stopping a scheduled band recording for a personal side project instead of doing said side project between recordings. Also it was obvious Mike's heart hasn't been in it for a little while now.
    His heart was in it for 25 years and the man deserved a break. He did pretty much everything in that band except write the other's parts.
    EthelTheFrog
    Jasonbts wrote: "Initially, we put off recording to go on tour with Iron Maiden - that was too good an opportunity for us to turn down. And then when Mike said he was going on the road with Avenged Sevenfold right after the Maiden tour, that didn't feel right." Oooooh so if you approve of the band it's ok, but if Mike wants to work with a band you don't think is good enough, then there's a problem? Petrucci just lost a point in my book.
    But A7X is nothing more than a horrible, commercial band. Iron Maiden is a tried and true Heavy Metal band that have influenced more (good) bands than you could name.
    Jasonbts
    EthelTheFrog wrote: Jasonbts wrote: "Initially, we put off recording to go on tour with Iron Maiden - that was too good an opportunity for us to turn down. And then when Mike said he was going on the road with Avenged Sevenfold right after the Maiden tour, that didn't feel right." Oooooh so if you approve of the band it's ok, but if Mike wants to work with a band you don't think is good enough, then there's a problem? Petrucci just lost a point in my book. But A7X is nothing more than a horrible, commercial band. Iron Maiden is a tried and true Heavy Metal band that have influenced more (good) bands than you could name.
    None of that matters. What does matter is that Mike saw something in them and wanted the experience of playing with them. It doesn't matter what you say they are. If they're so horrible, why do they have so many fans?
    lVlaniac
    BlackApparatus wrote: UG is all about 1) Portnoy's DT departure; 2) "Lost" or "hidden" Nirvana/Kurt Cobain facts; 3)UG Plus or UG's mobile apps. Not a problem with the third point but drop the first two already. Leave Kurt dead and leave Portnoy with its spectacular Adrenaline Mob right where they are.
    you missed all the Slash "news"
    Jasonbts
    "Initially, we put off recording to go on tour with Iron Maiden - that was too good an opportunity for us to turn down. And then when Mike said he was going on the road with Avenged Sevenfold right after the Maiden tour, that didn't feel right." Oooooh so if you approve of the band it's ok, but if Mike wants to work with a band you don't think is good enough, then there's a problem? Petrucci just lost a point in my book.
    Randomrings
    I love Dream Theater, and the new album is great, but all this crap is just trying to wring a dry towel. Lame analogy but I think it makes my point
    Pagan_Poetry
    Good. F*ckity. God. Enough. We get it. Portnoy left. Band upset. Portnoy upset. Band can't let him back in. What a shame. New drummer. For the love of God we get it. Someone saying something about it again isn't news. If I said "Man has walked on the moon" or "George Washington was a president", it isn't adding anything new to the table. It's restating what has already happened. This isn't shedding new light. I was someone who was ok with all of the Dream Theater news, and I don't like the band, but it was interesting for a while. This is just annoying now. Enough.
    AllYourBass
    Randomrings wrote: I love Dream Theater, and the new album is great, but all this crap is just trying to wring a dry towel. Lame analogy but I think it makes my point
    Yep. I'm not sure whether I'm more burned out on Portnoy stories or Courtney Love stories.
    jurnag12
    We heard the entire friggin' story already, kiss, make up, and get the balls on with touring.
    rosleck
    This has gotten really old.....whats next? AP reports DT has waffles for brunch & Portnoy releases a statement of disapproval?