Mike Portnoy Explains Why He Left Dream Theater

Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy discussed his departure from the band.

135
Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy discussed his departure from the band for the first time during an appearance on last Friday's (September 10) edition of Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM. A Blabbermouth.net transcript of the chat follows below (only slightly edited for clarity). Q: Clearly you weren't just some drummer you were very much a focal point and driving force [behind Dream Theater]. So what went down and how did we arrive at this point that you are no longer a member of Dream Theater? Mike Portnoy: Well, I don't know how to sum it up, but I guess I could sum it up by just saying I was put in a position where I kind of had to quit in order to move forward. I love Dream Theater, I love the guys, it's been my baby for 25 years, but I just needed a break from Dream Theater. And a lot of people have already misinterpreted my press release, saying, "Well, if he needs a break, why is he playing with all these other bands?" I didn't need a break from playing and from touring and doing projects I really just felt like Dream Theater needed a break. We have been on a write-record-tour cycle for a solid 12, 15 years almost 20 years at this point without any real breaks, and I was just feeling like it was... I don't know... It was just a pattern that needed to be broken. And this isn't something that I just started feeling and decided overnight; I mean, this dates back to last year. I was already feeling it [back then]. We were in Europe on the Progressive Nation tour last fall and I even suggested to the guys, "Why don't we not tour as much in 2010?" We were gonna do an American tour in the spring and we ended up blowing that out just 'cause I really felt the need to shake up the cycle and break the pattern that we'd been doing for so long because it was starting to become a little stale to me. I would go off and do these other projects and they were very refreshing to me and yet I'd come back to Dream Theater, and as much as I love the music and as much me and the bandmembers are brothers, I just felt like we needed a break from each other in order to reignite the flame. Dating back to last fall I was feeling it, and then when I was out with Transatlantic this last spring, I was talking about it with some people on that tour. And then when we were out with [Iron] Maiden this summer, I knew it was coming to a head. And finally I brought it up to the guys and suggested, "Why don't we just take a little bit of a break? We've been going non-stop for so many years, I think maybe a couple of years' hiatus would do us good. It would give us each a chance to recharge our batteries and be reinspired." And those guys didn't agree with me. They wanted to keep going, and they wanted to start a new album in January [2011], and I just really felt strongly that a break could do us some good. And we just disagreed on that point. And, basically, it came to... After this initial discussion, we went off for about a week or so to think about it, and we came back together a couple of nights ago to talk about it, and they didn't wanna budge; they really wanted to start the album in January with or without me. And I really felt if I was forced to go into the studio in January feeling the way I'm feeling that my heart wouldn't be in it and I would be going through the motions and not really doing what I really, really felt in my heart I should be doing, which is getting a breather... And that's what happened. Basically, I was put in the position where I either had to do the album in January against my will or I had to say goodbye, and I chose to say goodbye. It was the hardest decision I've ever made in my life and I feel really sad about it, and those guys are really sad about it. It's kind of weird that it came to this because none of us really wanted it, but inevitably this is the way it went down. Q: You didn't wanna quit and obviously they didn't want you out. It really just seems like it was a disagreement as to where you were in your life with the band and what they wanted to do, and I guess the odds came out to four against one, and they decide they're going without you. Portnoy: That's exactly it. I mean, I didn't wanna quit and they didn't want me to leave, but yet here we are; it was the only way that they could happily move on and I could happily move on. It's a weird kind of break-up, because it was a break-up where we still loved each other. I got, like, the nicest e-mail today from John Petrucci [Dream Theater guitarist] and I got a great e-mail today from Jordan [Rudess, Dream Theater keyboardist]. They miss me and they're sad about this, and I'm sad about it and I'm heartbroken, but we just strongly disagree. I really think that the band could have used a few years to recharge our batteries and so many bands have done it whether it be Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Jane's Addiction, Phish, Rage Against The Machine... A lot of bands, when you're going this long and this strong, they take a break and then come back bigger and better than ever, and that's kind of what I hoped would happen with Dream Theater, and I was hoping that would be the path we could take together, but it was not to be. Q: How much do you think that playing with Avenged Sevenfold and the other projects that you do you're always busy working creatively, doing other things, whether it's Dream Theater or not played a role in this coming down, if any? Portnoy: Well, it absolutely had nothing to do with my initial thoughts, because, like I mentioned earlier, I was already discussing this with the guys last fall. And last fall, The Rev [late Avenged Sevenfold drummer] was still alive and well and I had nothing to do with Avenged Sevenfold and I was already feeling these feelings last September/October. If you watch the "Wither" video that we shot on that tour, almost all the footage is me hanging out with Mikael kerfeldt [of Opeth] or Damon Fox [of Bigelf]; I was already feeling some separation from the guys in Dream Theater. The groundwork in those feelings was already laid down back then. So, really, the feelings had nothing to do with Avenged Sevenfold, and once 2010 rolled around, I went and did some shows with Hail!, and then I went and did a couple of months of touring with Transatlantic, and then I started the tour with Avenged Sevenfold, and all three of those projects not just Avenged, but all three of those projects equally showed me how I was feeling very comfortable and happy and refreshed with some of these other bands. And I go back to Dream Theater, like on the Maiden tour, and the relationships between the five of us in Dream Theater were a bit strained; everybody was kind of just burnt out on each other sitting in different dressing rooms and not hanging out, and like I mentioned, if you watch the "Wither" video... There was a bit of that strain, and 25 years together sometimes will do that. We love each other, we're brothers, and we're family, but sometimes you kind of grow apart and need some space, and that's what I was feeling. Honestly, this all was brewing way before Avenged Sevenfold, but Avenged Sevenfold, the experience with them kind of just opened my eyes a bit, as did the Translatlantic tour, and as did the HAIL! shows. It just opened my eyes up to what a fresh relationship can be... I don't know... It's real tough for me to put in words and I really don't wanna be misnterpreted. I really don't want people to think that I left Dream Theater for Avenged Sevenfold I am not a member of Avenged Sevenfold; I'm just touring them and helping them out, and we're having a great time. I just felt like I wouldn't have my heart into going back to Dream Theater in January without having some sort of a break. I mean, the way it is now with Avenged, I guess we'll just ride this out together, because they're a band without a drummer, and now I'm a drummer without a band. We haven't made any decisions or have even discussed where we go from here. It's just for now I will continue playing with them and we'll see where we go from there. Q: The first thing I thought about when I heard about this, and I'm sure a lot of fans did as well, was that the other guys in Dream Theater probably said , "Well, he's playing with all these other bands, but when need to work, he doesn't have time for us, so that's that." But you're saying that really wasn't it. Portnoy: I don't know... Yeah, maybe they do feel that way. Q: Kind of like your girlfriend is off doing other stuff and then when you need her, she's not available. Portnoy: You know, I cannot ever be accused of not having my heart into Dream Theater. I mean, I've literally spent 25 years... It's my baby . . . I mean, I almost felt like I had to sacrifice myself from the situation so I wouldn't be holding them back and I wouldn't be doing something against my will. It's incredible for me to think that they're carrying on without me, but I guess that they're... I used to joke with them all the time. I used to say, "If I ever die, don't say 'He would have wanted us to carry on.' Because I wouldn't want you to carry on without me.'" The last thing I ever wanted to see was a Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy in it, so I used to always joke with them about that. But now, here when faced with this reality... I mean, sure, the selfish side of me doesn't wanna think of that band without me, and I kind of wish we would have just taken a break, but then there's the side of me that... I can't hold them back. They're my friends and they're my brothers and if they really wanna continue, then I can't say no; I don't wanna be an a-hole and do that to them. It's a strange situation, and luckily it ended on good terms and those guys have made it blatantly clear that the door is always open for me. So, I mean, it's a weird thing because I would go back to them in a heartbeat, just not now. I just need a break. Q: How much time did you feel that you needed that you told them that you wanted away [from Dream Theater]? Portnoy: When I proposed it, I proposed an indefinite hiatus, as so many bands go on, and all of whom have come back bigger and better than ever. But that didn't go over [well with the other guys], so then, after talking about it, I said, "Well, then how about, let's say, a year [or] a year and a half? Why don't we take off 2011 and reconvene in 2012?" John Petrucci could do a solo album he's been talking about that for the longest time and James [LaBrie] just did a solo album, and John Myung just did a Jelly Jam album, and Jordan's got plans... It made sense. It's like, "Let's just take off 2011 everybody could do their own thing and reconvene in 2012." And that didn't go over [well] either; they didn't wanna do that either. I even offered to do various work with them in 2011 even though it wasn't what I wanted, I was willing to do it just to keep the band afloat. It just didn't fly. It's just unfortunate that that's the way that the chips fell. On how his role in Dream Theater and whether he thinks he can be easily replaced: Portnoy: The two situations I could think of that are similar [to this] Tommy Lee with Mtley Cre and maybe Phil Collins with Genesis and in both of those cases they both left, and in both of those cases they came back, so you know what?! Maybe that will be the case here... I don't know. But to be honest with you, to me the thing that is so weird about this is that my role in Dream Theater just went so beyond the drumming. Honestly, I think there's thousands of drummers that could walk into Dream Theater right now and could do a great job drumming-wise, but what about the other thousand things that I had to do in Dream Theater?! . . . I think they'll have no problem getting a great drummer there's lots of great drummers out there but I think they're gonna have to really step up to the plate to cover all of the other responsibilities; they're gonna each have to put in 500 percent more to cover that ground. And I guess they're up to it. I've already seen John Petrucci doing Q&As [question-and-answer sessions] on his web site, which in all these years I've never seen him do, so I guess they're each gonna step up to the plate and cover that ground that I used to cover. You know, I never in a million years thought I would ever see a Dream Theater concert, and I'm looking forward to one day doing it. [Laughs] Q: If I'm a betting man, I have to say that it won't be more than a year or two before you return to that gig under some circumstance. Portnoy: Well, you know what?! If that was to happen, then I got what I wanted [laughs] I got my break from them and they got what they wanted; they got to continue on. Maybe a couple of years from now we'll get back together and we'll live happily ever after. I don't know. But there's been so many cases you've seen it; history has shown and I've already cited Mtley Cre and Genesis, but you could talk about... Aerosmith went on without Joe Perry and Maiden went on without Bruce [Dickinson] and [Judas] Priest without [Rob] Halford... Ultimately, they all came back together and I would love it if some day that happens with us . . . The whole thing is as tough for me to swallow as it is for the fans. I feel really bad for the fans, 'cause I spent my entire career making decisions for them and trying to feed the fanbase, and I knew this was one decision that wouldn't be a popular one with the fans, but for once in my life for once I had to do what Mike Portnoy felt was right and not what was best for Dream Theater. I mean, what would have been best for Dream Theater, in my opinion, would have been to just take a few years off everybody do their own thing, recharge the batteries and come together. But we're five different people with five different personalities, and I guess we differed on that subject . . . We've mentioned these other scenarios [where the members parted ways and then] all [came] back together. The thing that scares the crap out of me, though, is I see a similarity to maybe Roger Waters with Pink Floyd and that never came back together, and that scares the crap out of me. It would be a tragedy if I never got to be on stage with Dream Theater again . . . I'm at peace with [my decision to leave the band] I really am. I'm depressed and sad and shocked over it, but I am indeed at peace with it, and I think it was the right thing [to do], because I had to follow my heart. I've never been a fake or a B.S. person, and if I would be forced to go into the studio in January, I would feel resentments, and I can't do that. I need to love what I'm doing, and I've never done a project or an album or anything with any other musician that I didn't believe in. Q: You're out with Avenged Sevenfold, which is gonna continue into the New Year, so at this point, you're just gonna hold with that gig and continue playing with those guys and I imagine you're having fun doing it, right? Portnoy: Well, yeah. I am indeed having a great time with these guys, so there's no denying that. They're a great bunch of guys, the show is awesome, their fans are awesome, and they've been great to me. The thing with them is they need to take small baby steps because of the situation they just went through with their drummer dying, so they're really in no rush to get a permanent drummer, and they're taking baby steps one day at a time. And I'm in the same boat now, because I don't wanna make any major decisions right now either and now I'm gonna take baby steps and just take this one day at a time. And I guess right now there's no pressure for me, and there's no pressure for them, to make any decisions for awhile now; we can just carry on with their tour, and we have the luxury of time now without any pressure hanging over either of our heads. So I'll carry on with them and then when the time comes that I have to make a decision to do something else, I'll climb that hill when I get there. But right now, it's nice to not have the pressure and I could just play. Thanks for the report to Blabbermouth.net.

74 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    jollyNZ
    good on him, i understand where he's coming from, be true to the music, and yourself.
    jamieyawa
    i did this with my band, sick of the same music, needed a breath of fresh air and it worked, 2 months together again we got a new record deal and are working well with each other, i say let DT do their album, maybe tour with their new drummer...take a year out...a total of 2 1/2 or 3 years without mike and they'll get back together...mike is irreplaceable! he writes, schedules, setlists,maintains the band he does more than the call of duty of any other drummer i know of! look at tool... album one year...five years later another...bigger and better than the last..DT can follow this! best of luck mike!
    a7xb4d
    larrytheguitar wrote: I was angered when he left, but now I feel a lot more respect about his situation. Mike, I really do hope you find your way back to DT, but if not, have a good rest of your life. You are one hell of a drummer.
    +1 to that, especially that last sentence
    mulletman619
    Alkaline 64 wrote: jimmy_neutron wrote: checked But it was too ****ing long... The rules say nothing about stating your opinion on UG articles. Check that!
    .....this makes no sense to me. anyways, good for Portnoy to take a break. and, who knows in the future, reunion anyone?
    vikkyvik
    I don't understand where you're getting these presumptions from, Mike's been working hard for over 20 years non-stop, even battling alcoholism, for this band.
    You don't battle alcoholism for your band; you battle it for yourself. As Portnoy is a practicing member of AA, I'm sure he knows this as well as anyone. Best of luck to him. And best of luck to Dream Theater - I'm very interested to hear what they'll do!
    Chronologo
    Count Orlok wrote: DZCunuck wrote: Let Portnoy have his break. He is probably having fun with A7x. Easier songs to play, younger fanbase, hot scene chick flashing their titties. Im sorry but you ain't gonna get that at a DT show and maybe Mike just wants to see what thats like for a change. And before people start talking smack about this comment, i've been to a DT show when they came through town and it was pretty damn tame when compared to other metal shows or just other shows for that matter. Music is great but fanbase is 80% guitar nerds come to see god play guitar. I was one of these guitar nerds by the way. I eat guitar nerds for breakfast.
    this
    Sam Wotrey
    RDSElite wrote: Next DT album is going to be their best since 1999, because Mike Portnoy won't be directing everything. DT will "return to their roots" and Myung, LaBrie & Rudess will obviously have a lot more to say. DT will come back stronger than ever with a new drummer and Portnoy is never coming back to DT again. MP or no MP, I will always stay loyal to DT, not to their ex-drummer.
    DT's the greatest band in the world to me, and this makes the most perfect sense. Exactly what I thought when Mike left +99999
    b_flo
    Cool, looking forward to the DT reunion tour...with Portnoy and Kevin Moore.
    tnekf94
    mike, you were my hero ever since i got into rock and metal... you always will everyone should respect his decision. i hope he has a nice life and move forward like he wants to. who knows? he might come back to DT once he's ready
    rockgodman
    I feel like all of the fans agree with mike on this one, or at least most of them. Why can't dream theater see what everyone else sees that a break would really do them some good? No matter you opinion on Black Clouds, it wasnt near their best album and Portnoy knows it and a break is exactly what they need to write a better album next.
    Enix165
    I don't like his drumming, but he seems like a nice enough guy, and he's not being all egotistical like I thought he'd be. Good for him, hope he finds something good to play in.
    Wesserz
    RDSElite wrote: Next DT album is going to be their best since 1999, because Mike Portnoy won't be directing everything. DT will "return to their roots" and Myung, LaBrie & Rudess will obviously have a lot more to say. DT will come back stronger than ever with a new drummer and Portnoy is never coming back to DT again. MP or no MP, I will always stay loyal to DT, not to their ex-drummer.
    Bingo. Dream Theater for life.
    RDSElite
    Next DT album is going to be their best since 1999, because Mike Portnoy won't be directing everything. DT will "return to their roots" and Myung, LaBrie & Rudess will obviously have a lot more to say. DT will come back stronger than ever with a new drummer and Portnoy is never coming back to DT again. MP or no MP, I will always stay loyal to DT, not to their ex-drummer.
    stndrdprcdre
    Ok so here's what Mike really is trying to say... "I want to stay in Dream Theater, but I want a couple years off so I can bang A7X groupies night after night. It's just too much fun!"
    salgala2000
    I kind of feel like this is woodstock. Most of UG actually agreeing or at least acting civilized. I applaud you. Hopefully this didn't jinx it.
    shred_wizzard
    I liked how he wants to watch a DT concert. Good for him though, his heart is in the right place and I'm sure he'll return to Dream Theater. If not, then he'll make whatever other side projects he does just that much better
    Wesserz
    I really like the interview but I hope this news passes over soon. I'm a die hard DT fan but I just want to stop hearing about this. He's gone (for now) and best wishes to him. People are forgetting that the other members of the band are the Mike Portnoys of their instruments and though Mike will surely be missed, "The Spirit Carries On" DT rules.
    Wesserz
    Second Rate wrote: RDSElite wrote: Next DT album is going to be their best since 1999, because Mike Portnoy won't be directing everything. DT will "return to their roots" and Myung, LaBrie & Rudess will obviously have a lot more to say. DT will come back stronger than ever with a new drummer and Portnoy is never coming back to DT again. MP or no MP, I will always stay loyal to DT, not to their ex-drummer. THANK YOU. Portnoy has been a detriment to the band for years now. With him out, perhaps we'll get another prog album.
    I agree with you guys. IMO everything up to Scenes was the best, but I absolutely loved Six Degrees. I know it was slowly transitioning to more metal sound but they also kept their style imo. They also had amazing solos on both guitar and keyboard for many songs. Train of Thought was when they started going downhill. I hate that album.
    danmillion
    I completely agree with what jmcibanze said. MP will then realise how musically unsatisfied he is, at which point JP is realising how irreplaceable Mike is, and MP will go back to DT. however, as a humble fan of DT, I believe JP is to stubborn to take MP back. If he does, good for everybody. If he doesnt, good for MP. MP, as he mentioned in the interview, was more than the DTs drummer; that is unquestionable. JP will not be able to cover what MP did for 25 years for DT. Sadly, although I am still DT fan, I will have a hard time to spend some money on buying DT album...I hope I do the right thing, listening to my heart as MP did.
    bamboy1104
    Mike is an amazing drummer and belongs in dream theater. but i see where hes coming from and maybe playing with avenged sevenfold well make him feel better about his situation. I am actually a big fan of sevenfolds new album. I just like Mike as a musician overall.
    markcecchetti
    Im sad to see MP leave, but I felt the last 2 DT albums were sub-standard, maybe all that is part of the reason. I am looking forward to new DT music that is refreshed and invigorating. Am sickened that he has now joined A7x permanently, frnkly they don't deserve him, the new album seems bland as hell and pointlessly angry. But its his life, who are we to judge, I wish him the best of luck in future
    Ty17983
    RDSElite wrote: Next DT album is going to be their best since 1999, because Mike Portnoy won't be directing everything. DT will "return to their roots" and Myung, LaBrie & Rudess will obviously have a lot more to say. DT will come back stronger than ever with a new drummer and Portnoy is never coming back to DT again. MP or no MP, I will always stay loyal to DT, not to their ex-drummer.
    You said it, bro.
    Ty17983
    skippy_moogoose wrote: I still get the feeling that Mr Portnoy simply loves himself too much,demanded this hiatus,and the other guys turned round and went,we,no...I mean, saying that the other guys have to put in 500% more work each...so he's saying he puts in 2500% more work than the others EVERY album? I know he produces,but frankly his lyrics suck, and when I've seen them live or watched vids of lte he's always come across as an arrogant douche
    My thoughts exactly.
    uninsane_guitar
    DZCunuck wrote: Let Portnoy have his break. He is probably having fun with A7x. Easier songs to play, younger fanbase, hot scene chick flashing their titties. Im sorry but you ain't gonna get that at a DT show and maybe Mike just wants to see what thats like for a change. And before people start talking smack about this comment, i've been to a DT show when they came through town and it was pretty damn tame when compared to other metal shows or just other shows for that matter. Music is great but fanbase is 80% guitar nerds come to see god play guitar. I was one of these guitar nerds by the way.
    Ummm where are the hot chicks flashing titties at Avenged shows? They're all like 14 years old you chomo lol. Oh well lol MP will just have to think to himself "please be 18, please be 18, please be 18" LMFAO!!!
    Ali-b912
    I'm hoping he gets involved with Mikael kerfeldt and Steve Wilson's project. It's supposedly going to be totally not metal at all, and I think he gets along pretty well with those guys.
    Second Rate
    RDSElite wrote: Next DT album is going to be their best since 1999, because Mike Portnoy won't be directing everything. DT will "return to their roots" and Myung, LaBrie & Rudess will obviously have a lot more to say. DT will come back stronger than ever with a new drummer and Portnoy is never coming back to DT again. MP or no MP, I will always stay loyal to DT, not to their ex-drummer.
    THANK YOU. Portnoy has been a detriment to the band for years now. With him out, perhaps we'll get another prog album.
    Guitar Sushi
    Mike is right here. They need a break. When Train of Thought came out I was like, "wow, Dream Theater's new direction is great. Then Systematic Chaos I was like, "this is pretty good." Black Clouds and Silver Linings: "Ewwwww..." I'm nowhere near a Dream Theater purist in the sense that some fans think the earlier stuff is the best, I disagree, but I definitely think that Black Clouds wasd just pure stale.
    niejel
    We should wait how this turns out. He has a point. Let the creativity have a bit of a cooldown, then after that, he better make the next album amazing.
    damillion
    I hope that MP will return to Dream Theater in a few years, and I think he's taking a break for the right reasons. Thinking about this from the bright side though: I think it'll be interesting to see someone fresh behind the drums. I hope they do something really experimental while Mike's away, and take the opportunity to really prog out, take in guest artists etc. and create something entirely new.
    brastelei
    I have a lot of respect for Mike Portnoy, and as well for Dream Theater. I hope their paths are both well.
    John1138
    As most folks here I can assume can relate to, being in a band with 2 or 3 or 4 other people can create a great deal of stress in a creative environment. I mean just a relationship with ONE other person in an intimate environment is tough enough! We are people and we ALL have flaws that shred the nerves of folks around us, whether it be family or in a band. Mike Portnoy made the right move for HIM. I applaud him for that. Who knows? Perhaps DT will make their "90125" breakthrough commercial disc and create a whole new career. ...I doubt that. Best wishes.
    dinley
    I'll miss him, but not his vocal additions in the more recent albums.
    Goose Catcher
    larrytheguitar wrote: I was angered when he left, but now I feel a lot more respect about his situation. Mike, I really do hope you find your way back to DT, but if not, have a good rest of your life. You are one hell of a drummer.
    well said
    crazysam23_Atax
    Thr3Elevenstyle wrote: ill re-interpret this interview in a few short words: "Mike didn't care for James anymore"
    Um...wtf is this shit? This ain't Metallica. Gtfo! Anyway, MP'll be back I'm sure.
    Offworld92
    Wow. The DT guys are dicks. Are they really so short sighted and stupid that they can't see how much sense Portnoy's request makes? The last couple DT albums have been really bland and terrible. I'm willing to bet that the next one will be the same way, with or without Portnoy. 25 years is a ridiculously long time to go on without any sort of break.
    jmcibanez
    Mike will take the year off, play with avenged for the rest of their Nightmare tour, in which time Dream Theater will have recorded their new album with some session drummer who is happy to just play what John tells him to. MP will then realise how musically unsatisfied he is, at which point JP is realising how irreplaceable Mike is, and MP will go back to DT where he belongs. The world is at peace once more. Have your break Mike, we'll be waiting...
    loaded_
    jmcibanez wrote: Mike will take the year off, play with avenged for the rest of their Nightmare tour, in which time Dream Theater will have recorded their new album with some session drummer who is happy to just play what John tells him to. MP will then realise how musically unsatisfied he is, at which point JP is realising how irreplaceable Mike is, and MP will go back to DT where he belongs. The world is at peace once more. Have your break Mike, we'll be waiting...
    Seems pretty realistic to me. I'll +1 this one
    DZCunuck
    Let Portnoy have his break. He is probably having fun with A7x. Easier songs to play, younger fanbase, hot scene chick flashing their titties. Im sorry but you ain't gonna get that at a DT show and maybe Mike just wants to see what thats like for a change. And before people start talking smack about this comment, i've been to a DT show when they came through town and it was pretty damn tame when compared to other metal shows or just other shows for that matter. Music is great but fanbase is 80% guitar nerds come to see god play guitar. I was one of these guitar nerds by the way.
    MegaDTSX
    This was a good insite to what went down, and I feel more respectful to his decision than I initially did (although that may be inpart to the initial shock wearing off)
    anttown
    Mr Portnoy should work with Paul Gilbert again. Their Yellow matter coustard-band was awsome
    FatLouie
    jmcibanez wrote: Mike will take the year off, play with avenged for the rest of their Nightmare tour, in which time Dream Theater will have recorded their new album with some session drummer who is happy to just play what John tells him to. MP will then realise how musically unsatisfied he is, at which point JP is realising how irreplaceable Mike is, and MP will go back to DT where he belongs. The world is at peace once more. Have your break Mike, we'll be waiting...
    Yea that's exactly what I was thinking. Pretty obvious from the interview that niether side wants this to be permentant. I see him back with the band.... 3 years at the most.....
    reservedforchoi
    He'll be back when he realizes that there are no other bands that will challenge him musically like Dream Theater does/did. But I do agree with him on a break. I think that the band needs it in order to release another album of sheer genius (i.e. 6 degrees of Inner Turbulence)
    davest62
    Dude needs a break,I dont blame him, the only trade off is whether DT finds a full on replacement or just a temporary drummer in the mean time. Good luck to both parties.
    ihaterap69
    he doesn't rule out continuing on with A7X. But he also repeats that he doesn't want this split to be permanent. So who knows.
    Rimfrost
    I hope he returns, hes important. But i am a little curious about what they put out next. Itll probably (and hopefully) sound a lot different than what weve heard recently (not that i have anything against their new stuff, but i like change ). It could be interesting, im defineately open for whatever they put out next year
    skippy_moogoose
    I still get the feeling that Mr Portnoy simply loves himself too much,demanded this hiatus,and the other guys turned round and went,we,no...I mean, saying that the other guys have to put in 500% more work each...so he's saying he puts in 2500% more work than the others EVERY album? I know he produces,but frankly his lyrics suck, and when I've seen them live or watched vids of lte he's always come across as an arrogant douche