Mike Portnoy: 'Hearing New Dream Theater Is Painful'

The former Dream Theater drummer says he can't bear watching the band continue without him.

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Mike Portnoy seems to remain regretful that he left seminal prog band Dream Theater.

In an interview on Friday Night Rocks (via Blabbermouth), Portnoy says how difficult it is to hear the band move forward without him:

"It's very difficult for me to hear. Nobody wants to see their ex-wife of 25 years with a new husband moving into the house that you built for 25 years. It's a painful thing for me to hear and see. A Dream Theater without me was never in the plan; I never expected that. But they've chosen to move on and I just have to kind of sit on the sidelines and watch and listen."

"I did hear the song and I heard an excerpt of another [forthcoming] song. And I guess I'll reserve comment on those just because whatever I say - whether it be good, bad or indifferent - it's probably gonna come across wrong and it will be completely dissected and misinterpreted."

Keyboardist Jordan Rudess recently told The Jerusalem Post how Portnoy's departure was unbelievable, but by the time he expressed that he wanted to return, the band had made a commitment with new drummer Mike Mangini. "He's a close friend of mine and we've been through so much together - it basically brought me to tears. But being a positive person and around guys who love what they're doing, we had to figure out how to move forward."

In the meanwhile, Portnoy will continue drumming with Adrenaline Mob. Dream Theater's new album "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" will be released on September 13.

161 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    BeerMan5000
    maybe your wife wouldnt have kicked you out if she didnt find you playing with young gay men.
    Phantasmasaurus
    Blackholesun00 wrote: "Nobody wants to see their ex-wife of 25 years with a new husband moving into the house that you built for 25 years" LOL mr portnoy.. then why did you leave your old ex-wife for some hot 18-year-old intern? What a dumbass.
    This logic, and everyone using it, is stupid. Bands are not the same thing as mutually exclusive relationships. Durf.
    D. Hero
    Yeah I bet that sucks, Mike. I shouldn't have bowed out of junior highschool football, the team won the championship that year. Oh well, eh?
    Ziggity
    So he was trying to disband dream theater by leaving and then when they didn't disband he starts to cry about it...
    come2gether
    It's so sad to see this many comments in one day for a band like dream theater. If you don't make the top 40 at least once in your career you don't deserve to be listened to. Let the trolling towards me begin.
    Seref
    He wanted to leave, and now he's upset that they moved on without him? He's like a crazy ex-girlfriend.
    come2gether wrote: It's so sad to see this many comments in one day for a band like dream theater. If you don't make the top 40 at least once in your career you don't deserve to be listened to. Let the trolling towards me begin.
    It's only trolling if it's undeserved. You, sir, very clearly deserve it.
    sewoo55
    Mike Portnoy didn't LEAVE the band. He made it very clear that he was just taking a BREAK. That's why he was so surprised to hear that DT got a replacement drummer
    Dumpster510
    Kenjisan231 wrote: Jasonbts wrote: Necrotise wrote: 'A Dream Theater without me was never in the plan; I never expected that. ' What? So you just hoped that when you left they would disband, and you're disappointed that they didnt? What an ass. Look at his comparison... Do people get married and plan a divorce? Of course not and when it happens do they want to see the other move on to someone else? No! It's painful. I just left my band too and man... it's painful This, basically. He did this for what, over twenty years? How many people who frequent this site are even over 30? He has been doing this longer than I have been alive. I understand where he is coming from, if it happened how he said it did, and they didn't want to take a year off, it seems somewhat unfair, not totally, but somewhat. Yes, its their lives, but a year is not going to erase DT, its not like they will go broke, I highly doubt these guys live pay check to pay check. It just seemed the situation was handled more like business rather than on a personal level. Just because business is not meant to be personal doesn't mean it doesn't end up being personal. What was the alternative for him? He said he was burnt out, if he stayed he would have end up hating what he once loved, from personal experience, that's an awful thing to go through. It seemed he was stuck in a corner; leaving seemed the logical thing to do. I don't think making consistent public comments is the right thing to do, its just making it worse for him. Although I do empathize, he left because he was beginning to hate what he was doing, where is the wrong in that. It only took him a few months to miss it, its clear all he needed was a break.
    Did you all miss where he asked for FIVE YEARS!?!?!?!
    Kenjisan231
    Jasonbts wrote: Necrotise wrote: 'A Dream Theater without me was never in the plan; I never expected that. ' What? So you just hoped that when you left they would disband, and you're disappointed that they didnt? What an ass. Look at his comparison... Do people get married and plan a divorce? Of course not and when it happens do they want to see the other move on to someone else? No! It's painful. I just left my band too and man... it's painful
    This, basically. He did this for what, over twenty years? How many people who frequent this site are even over 30? He has been doing this longer than I have been alive. I understand where he is coming from, if it happened how he said it did, and they didn't want to take a year off, it seems somewhat unfair, not totally, but somewhat. Yes, its their lives, but a year is not going to erase DT, its not like they will go broke, I highly doubt these guys live pay check to pay check. It just seemed the situation was handled more like business rather than on a personal level. Just because business is not meant to be personal doesn't mean it doesn't end up being personal. What was the alternative for him? He said he was burnt out, if he stayed he would have end up hating what he once loved, from personal experience, that's an awful thing to go through. It seemed he was stuck in a corner; leaving seemed the logical thing to do. I don't think making consistent public comments is the right thing to do, its just making it worse for him. Although I do empathize, he left because he was beginning to hate what he was doing, where is the wrong in that. It only took him a few months to miss it, its clear all he needed was a break.
    Zoso1994
    Necrotise wrote: Nobody wants to see their ex-wife of 25 years with a new husband moving into the house that you built for 25 years. This is a great analogy Mr. Portnoy so allow me to continue it: Not many people are stupid enough to tell thier wife of 25 years that they want a 3 year break from them so they can go screw other women and then expect the wife to be there 3 years later waiting for them with open arms.
    This +1000. Portnoy is the perfect drummer for Dream Theater and it saddens me to see this go, but the others did the right thing and carried on, he can't possibly blame them for that.
    nirvanafan99
    i do fell bad for mike i understand that it would be hard to see dream theatre with out him but he brought it on himself he is the one who quit in the first place
    neversleeps84
    Portnoy did bring this on himself, but I agree with him wanting DT to take a break. For a band that is supposed to be "progessive" they haven't been progressing very much. I'm not questioning their collective talents and virtuosity, just stating my opinion on their last few releases. Also, the others could have worked on their own side projects during the DT break (LTE, Jame's LaBrie Band). From the little bit I've heard of the new DT album, I don't see why it needed to be released immediately. Hopefully the rest of the album prooves me wrong.
    Insomnia69
    Damn headlines, I thought this article was about him bashing the band, but nonetheless, poor Mike, he'll definitely move on though once he finds another band.
    Root Beer
    I don't blame Portnoy in the slightest; if I had been going full-throttle with a band that intense for that long, I would be ****ing beat and want to take a break. James LaBrie was an ***** and pretended Mike wasn't important to the band (read his interview about Mike's departure on UG) and he quickly replaced him. All of you mocking him, I challenge you to stick with a band for 25 years, ask for a break, have it denied to you, and then leave only to get replaced within like a month.
    LostKeys
    Necrotise wrote: 'A Dream Theater without me was never in the plan; I never expected that. ' What? So you just hoped that when you left they would disband, and you're disappointed that they didnt? What an ass.
    I'm sorry, but you're what the public call, an idiot. He's saying that he never thought he would not be in the band at any point in time, not that DT without him is "unacceptable". Obviously that bit about whatever he says being distorted is true, as the majority of the world's comprehension capability is horrendous.
    NakedInTheRain
    lvd1 wrote: who cares? half of their set is usually covers anyway. i saw these guys and got everything from hendrix to pantera and metallica. i went to see YOU guys not the other bands. utter crap show and its sad because those guys are such great musicians. and, they have good songs which made the whole thing worse.
    I couldn't disagree more. I saw these guys in december last year, and they were nothing short of effing incredible. They didn't play any covers at all, they played a small but nice selection from Metropolis Pt 2, and their musicianship, stagemanship and general show was just goddamn mindblowing. One of the greatest bands I have ever had the pleasure of seeing live. I had tears in my eyes when I heard of Portnoy's departure. And sorry to say, Mike, but you made your bed, now you gotta sleep in it. :/
    Jasonbts
    Necrotise wrote: 'A Dream Theater without me was never in the plan; I never expected that. ' What? So you just hoped that when you left they would disband, and you're disappointed that they didnt? What an ass.
    Look at his comparison... Do people get married and plan a divorce? Of course not and when it happens do they want to see the other move on to someone else? No! It's painful. I just left my band too and man... it's painful
    Offworld92
    Hard to believe this is a grown ass man talking. I mean, what did he expect? That the world would wait for him while he took his own time?
    stndrdprcdre
    So Mike, how's the whole leaving-your-awesome-band-to-chase-teenage-pussy thing going?
    Dumpster510
    Shawn1379 wrote: I think Mike Portnoy just wanted a break from working with DT. He NEVER wanted the band to break up and he NEVER wanted to quit. He just wanted to do other things for a while and he hoped his friends would understand. How does no one know this? Is it because that's Mike's side of the story, and he's automatically a liar for no reason? I'm not flaming anyone who disagrees with me, I just honestly don't get why anyone thinks Portnoy's the bad guy here. I feel for Mike in this situation. From what I understand, the guy just wanted a break and his friends essentially told him to **** off. Sounds like a sad situation to be in.
    Well, he asked for 5 years....that's a little more than a 'break'.
    AxemanRob
    Hopefully he won't become another Steven Adler and act like a jealous ex for 20 years
    perilio
    He made the worst decision of his life, and btw adrenaline mob blow.
    Molomono
    Sounds to me like he and the band members got in a fight over the whole planning for the upcoming 2 years and because they weren't able to find a middle road Mike said he would quit. Later realizing this was a mistake he got ****ed over trying to get back, but then again, it makes sense that they didn't let him back in. Anyway i look at it it sounds like lots of collisions and rough tides drew him away from the band at a unrecoverable rate. Oh well, shit happens, he'll get over it in a year or 2.
    CaMacKid
    "I did hear the song and I heard an excerpt of another [forthcoming] song. And I guess I'll reserve comment on those just because whatever I say - whether it be good, bad or indifferent - it's probably gonna come across wrong and it will be completely dissected and misinterpreted ."
    Too late...
    Blackholesun00
    "Nobody wants to see their ex-wife of 25 years with a new husband moving into the house that you built for 25 years" LOL mr portnoy.. then why did you leave your old ex-wife for some hot 18-year-old intern? What a dumbass.
    queenslander47
    I feel for Portnoy, but he has definitely brought it on himself. He made a real mess of things last year.
    Apexwolf92
    portnoy, please STFU, what do you have to offer anymore, more complaining and feuding, this isn't like ozzy vs black sabbath, it's not that important to the music world, some people may disagree, but w/e
    frankness
    I'm actually suffering the same experience as that but with my ex girl it sure is painful man, hopefully I'll never live it, music wise.
    super_strat
    blackbird51 wrote: He didn't leave he was kicked out because he wanted to take things slow with the band and the band didn't want to wait for him. Idk why people keep insisting he left when it's not true.
    He left. Plain and simple. He wanted Dream Theater to take a break but the other guys wanted to keep going. So he left.
    deathbycontrol
    I understand that he feels bad about being replaced, but did he just expect the entire band to break up? I'm glad they moved on though, and I'm excited to see what this new guy brings to the table.
    CR!$+@
    Im so sick of hearing about this, if you cant bear to here DT without you then you shouldent have left its that simple, Guess you shouldent have wanted to dip your stick in A7X. Huh?
    Manmountain
    Ah Dream Theatre are ****ing shit anyway. He should quit complaining about the ****ers and get himself a new gig.
    DickHardwood
    Tough shit,Mike.You wanted to separate from your wife for a while,re-discover yourself..she thought it was a bullshit idea and you decided to leave her.Then she found out you were hooking up with a younger,hotter chick.And when that chick didn't want to commit to you and started dating a guy her age,you thought you could always crawl back to your wife and she'd take you back,only to have her tell you she's getting re-married.Tough shit,Mike.
    mrrman
    sounds like a wah wah story...he left on his own shocking the band and now wants to come back...you dont realize a good thing until its gone...Mike is a great drummer, saw them live twice....the new Mike is also good...time to move on Mike P
    Shoegaze
    "It's very difficult for me to hear. Nobody wants to see their ex-wife of 25 years with a new husband moving into the house that you built for 25 years" That's the house he walked out of, the wife he walked away from. It's his own fault.
    Cheesepuff
    DickHardwood wrote: Tough shit,Mike.You wanted to separate from your wife for a while,re-discover yourself..she thought it was a bullshit idea and you decided to leave her.Then she found out you were hooking up with a younger,hotter chick.And when that chick didn't want to commit to you and started dating a guy her age,you thought you could always crawl back to your wife and she'd take you back,only to have her tell you she's getting re-married.Tough shit,Mike.
    THIS. THIS AND ONLY THIS.
    J Mud
    I knew drumming for Avenged Sevenfold would turn out to be a bad idea