New Dream Theater Drummer: 'I'm Pinching Myself'

New Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini tell about how he landed his new gig and the preparation for the recording process for the band's new album.

New Dream Theater Drummer: 'I'm Pinching Myself'
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Drumhead magazine spoke to new Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini about how he landed his new gig and the preparation for the recording process for the band's new album. "I'm pinching myself", he said. "I wake up most mornings thinking about my personal playing growth and Dream Theater. I have a smile and it's amazing - what a great day I have when I acknowledge what is happening to me. How did I end up here? Whoa!" "Part of my joining any band, or going for any drumming position, is me just letting what is, be. I don't want to change anything that's going on. I just want to play my drums; that's it, that's what I want to do. All I'm expecting to do is to be able to have the opportunity to come up with the greatest drum stuff that I can come up with, along with respect what Dream Theater is already." "What Mike Portnoy has made for Dream Theater - and it's not hard for me to like that - is a great thing, it's not only hectic drum stuff, it has a sound, and his sound stems from some similar influences. We both love Rush and Metallica, so it's feeling natural for me to do that. I want to continue to replicate that kind of a vibe, as well as to offer a new drum thing that I have been working on that is Dream Theater." "As for the audition, I just walked in with a great feeling and greeted everyone, 'Hi, guys, I'm ready for this.' I was absolutely ready to go in there and not make one stinking mistake. In my mind, I had to be like that. This was important to me. I just had too much interest in these people and in this music to blow it. I was not going to blow it." "So there I am. I play the tunes and everything is just forward-motion for me, meaning, I wasn't thinking, 'Oh my gosh, this is an audition!' It was more, 'Okay, I'm going to count here, I'm going to look at Jordan [Rudess] there playing the keyboard line, John Myung here, John Petrucci there, James LaBrie there, etc.' I was in the moment. My eyes were picking up everything they were doing. It was like I knew everything they did. For example, if John Myung played something different in 'The Spirit Carries On', I was ready. I was watching, listening and feeling everything they were doing like my life depended on it. When Jordan or John did something in a solo, I followed it. I thrived off that 'one' guitar riff I just had to catch. I would look at them and let them know that I knew what they were doing. [John Petrucci] picked up on everything." "We were on the same page 100 percent, it seemed. They kept coming over to me and saying the nicest things, acknowledging what I was doing." "I don't want to sound broken or needy, but I needed them to say these things. I believe we all can use acknowledgement and a dose of niceness with what we really love to do. They knew that I respected them and appreciated being there." On the preparation for the recording process for the new Dream Theater album: "John [Petrucci] sent me a demo. He didn't ask me to do anything, he just said, 'Check it out.' I grabbed it and thought, 'I'm going to get back to him quicker than he thinks I am, and I'm going to get back to him with more than he's expecting. I'm going to go the extra 17 miles.' So, I transcribed it, got into my studio and recorded it, tried stuff and just did a take. And it was okay. I listened to it and thought to let my wife hear it, and she said, 'You're holding back.' She's not a musician, but she said, 'I know you. You're holding back.' And she was absolutely right. I said, 'You know what?! I'm afraid of doing something wrong or doing too much.' Anyway, I did another take and I kind of let go. Again, because everything happened so naturally in the audition, that's what I needed to follow as a feeling: just be me. Not think too much about this, that and the other thing, and just go with what's coming out naturally. If it's not the right thing, he'll tell me." On the beginning of this new chapter in his drumming career: "So, how did it happen I prayed daily and I just put my head down and said, 'I can do this. I cannot fail those who also believe that I can do this. It's for my family, extended family, friends, fellow drummer friends, endorsement companies and students that also believe that I'll make good on the gifts I've been given. And finally it's for the Dream Theater family for giving me the opportunity.'" Thanks for the report to Blabbermouth.net.

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    squierman51
    bassthunder wrote: shwilly wrote: I hope to see a revitalized Dream Theater live show where they play like 3 or 4 classics (just to ease you in) but mostly new and/or obscure tracks Instead of releasing a new album every 2 years and then following that up with some relentless touring it'd be nice if they took a more "Tool-ish" approach -> blow us away, then disappear from the radar for a while so we won't grow tired of you (I know I'm not speaking for the real hardcore fans, but meh, f*ck 'em) Taking longer pauses in between each recording process is also a great way to prevent yourself from becoming predictable!!
    Pretty sure that's kinda what Portnoy wanted to do before he left/was kicked out
    greenwoodfan93
    What an enthusiastic guy! Wish everyone had his passion. Can't wait to see what Dream Theater are gonna do now, this injection of new blood is long overdue.
    Deece
    Seems like a great choice, more than qualified technically and emotionally. Not much shown in terms of his writing or influence on writing, but I can't imagine it being anything less than great. It's also good to see him treat Portnoy's legacy with such respect.
    Doomality
    It will be interesting if people will decide whether they like Mike or Mike better.
    Warrior47
    He's the same as the rest of the guys in the band, so it's probably the best fit that they could have had. The other guys that auditioned just didn't seem to fit as well and Mangini seems like he has the ability to come in as an equal since the guys already know him.
    Alijonroth
    tbh i think marco,donati or lang wouldve brought something fresh to the band, mangini felt like a replacement to portnoy other than a new variable in the equation lets wait and see anyway
    GasPipe
    Cool to see Mike in the band, interesting to see what he brings to the outfit. If I were Mike, I would be blown away and honoured to be part of the rhythm section with John Myung: ASIANS FTW
    bassthunder
    shwilly wrote: I hope to see a revitalized Dream Theater live show where they play like 3 or 4 classics (just to ease you in) but mostly new and/or obscure tracks Instead of releasing a new album every 2 years and then following that up with some relentless touring it'd be nice if they took a more "Tool-ish" approach -> blow us away, then disappear from the radar for a while so we won't grow tired of you (I know I'm not speaking for the real hardcore fans, but meh, f*ck 'em) Taking longer pauses in between each recording process is also a great way to prevent yourself from becoming predictable!!
    I think the 2-year album cycle with tons of tours in-between is kind of forced upon everyone signed with Roadrunner.
    haz_uk
    i_am_metalhead wrote: So they replaced an extremely overrated drummer with another extremely overrated drummer. Great move, DT. Hopefully Mangini will be able to pull them out of the downward spiral they've gotten themselves in... but since he doesn't write the bass, guitar, or keyboard parts I highly doubt it.
    more like i_am_*****.
    mark3777
    haz_uk wrote: i_am_metalhead wrote: So they replaced an extremely overrated drummer with another extremely overrated drummer. Great move, DT. Hopefully Mangini will be able to pull them out of the downward spiral they've gotten themselves in... but since he doesn't write the bass, guitar, or keyboard parts I highly doubt it. more like i_am_*****.
    Do you smell that? A troll got into this page.
    mark3777
    Great Job! seems like a really cool guy and will be a perfect fit for such a diverse band.
    Thaster
    He seems like a great guy. I'm glad that he got chosen to be part of DT.
    scawti
    Saw Mike on his first 'tour' as Annihilator's new drummer and grabbed everyone's attention - especially on the slower tunes. I think he will be a good fit for DT. Hopefully he's still friends with Portnoy
    urf_
    What a spoiler, I was still waiting on the final episode of The Spirit Carries On to hear this.
    johnyguitar
    BobChicken wrote: johnyguitar wrote: Great...now Deam Theatre can dissolve back into musical obscurity, right where they were before the drummer issue..... sorry, are you joking?
    No, But I do like Mike better than mike....Snore.....
    SOAD-4-LYFE
    metallica-#1 wrote: Nickpocalypse wrote: Oixord wrote: Not really that bold, Mike's one of the best drummers I've ever heard, but Mike easily blows Mike out of the water. I mean, Mike could stand to be a bit better, but Mike is still the better of the two. Mike's much better then Mike. Mike sucks. Better than Mike though. i wouldnt say that, Mike is amazing, but to say he's better than Mike? bold statement, bold statement indeed
    SOAD-4-LYFE
    metallica-#1 wrote: Nickpocalypse wrote: Oixord wrote: Mike's much better then Mike. Mike sucks. Better than Mike though. i wouldnt say that, Mike is amazing, but to say he's better than Mike? bold statement, bold statement indeed
    Not really that bold, Mike's one of the best drummers I've ever heard, but Mike easily blows Mike out of the water. I mean, Mike could stand to be a bit better, but Mike is still the better of the two. (sorry, Messed up the quote formatting
    Irwin Navarro
    Not saying Mangini sucks and all but DT chose a very excellent but somehow predictable replacement for a new drummer. They should have chosen someone young and who's career should be lifted upon joining DT, (im referring to Blake Richardson from BTBAM. Or someone who could add hos own personality in his drumming, and not play like a robot, someone like Marco Minnemann. Anyways, if or when Mangini leaves, I hope Minnemann will step in.
    Dime6String
    Admittedly I'm not a huge Dream Theater fan but With this guys attitude, he'll fit in perfectly! Good to see some random "nobody" make it and be able to pursue his dreams. (no pun intended :p)
    ctviens
    I was hoping for Marco Minneman or Aquiles Priester honestly, but congratulations to Mike Mangini! I look forward to Dream Theater's forthcoming album to hear how well he meshes with the guys!
    arcwarrior
    Mike Mangini looks like Professor Snape(from Harry Potter) during the auditions Iet's just hope for an epic album
    niejel
    Oixord wrote: Mike's much better then Mike. Mike sucks.
    I see what you did there. I prefer Mike than Mike though.
    flecktowned
    ehhh I was hoping for marco after watching the auditions. That'd be nice if they released the entirety of all the audition tapes too
    Chronologo
    shredder3386 wrote: ChucklesMginty wrote: Calymos wrote: I'm totally sad it's not Marco Minneman. Such a good opportunity for DT... I agree Marco is a better drummer, but Mike is a much better fit for the band in my opinion. +1 I was pumped for Minnemann, but after seeing how invested Mike was in DT I figured it was probably the better call
    I felt the same thing
    metallica-#1
    Nickpocalypse wrote: Oixord wrote: Mike's much better then Mike. Mike sucks. Better than Mike though.
    i wouldnt say that, Mike is amazing, but to say he's better than Mike? bold statement, bold statement indeed
    xDAVIDIANx
    I'm really excited! To be ocmpletely honest, my next choice was Aquilles Priester, but I have no doubt that Mangini will fill Portnoy's pedals just fine.
    shwilly
    squierman51 wrote: bassthunder wrote: shwilly wrote: I hope to see a revitalized Dream Theater live show where they play like 3 or 4 classics (just to ease you in) but mostly new and/or obscure tracks Instead of releasing a new album every 2 years and then following that up with some relentless touring it'd be nice if they took a more "Tool-ish" approach -> blow us away, then disappear from the radar for a while so we won't grow tired of you (I know I'm not speaking for the real hardcore fans, but meh, f*ck 'em) Taking longer pauses in between each recording process is also a great way to prevent yourself from becoming predictable!! Pretty sure that's kinda what Portnoy wanted to do before he left/was kicked out
    But we all know what he went off doing instead, don't we??
    shwilly
    I hope to see a revitalized Dream Theater live show where they play like 3 or 4 classics (just to ease you in) but mostly new and/or obscure tracks Instead of releasing a new album every 2 years and then following that up with some relentless touring it'd be nice if they took a more "Tool-ish" approach -> blow us away, then disappear from the radar for a while so we won't grow tired of you (I know I'm not speaking for the real hardcore fans, but meh, f*ck 'em) Taking longer pauses in between each recording process is also a great way to prevent yourself from becoming predictable!!
    edgeyyz
    I'm definitely looking forward to hearing his contribution to the band on the next album/tour.
    RDSElite
    I'm going to see them. It;s a good choice, I'm looking forward to the new stuff!
    pjpwnsu
    they picked him over marco because his name is mike and it would just be easier to still have a mike behind the kit =p he is an awesome drummer though, and im really excited to see what he brings to the table on the next album they record!
    Ligeia x
    He seems like a real genuinely nice guy. I've been watching his stuff on Youtube on clinics and with Annihilator, his stuff is amazing.... Definitely a good pick for Dream Theater.
    johnyguitar
    Great...now Deam Theatre can dissolve back into musical obscurity, right where they were before the drummer issue.....
    NeutralLuke
    Earned my respect for his words. Should be great to hear Dream Theater's new stuff
    gilbertn923
    Well now that the whole drummer secret has been revealed, maybe the fans will stop bitching about everything. I didn't even care when they were going to reveal the new drummer, I was just waiting to hear a sample from the new album. Don't get me wrong Mangini is a great choice, but it wasn't like the biggest deal in the world for me to know right away, I can wait.
    Calymos
    I'm totally sad it's not Marco Minneman. Such a good opportunity for DT...
    RiffYourFaceOff
    Just listening to Mangini talk and watching him play in the studio with DT was really exciting. He gives off that positive vibe that Marco does, but in a different way. Can't wait for the album!
    thatnstuff
    sakura'sdarkest wrote: He looks like Desmond from Lost
    hahahahaha i was thinking the exact same thing. I'm watching the whole series for the fourth third time right now and i just got to the hatch