Mike Portnoy: 'I've Fought Very Hard To Keep The Prog Flag Alive'

Drummer Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, Flying Colors, ex-Dream Theater) is featured in a new interview with Germany's Rock And Roll Circus.

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Drummer Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, Flying Colors, ex-Dream Theater) is featured in a new interview with Germany's Rock And Roll Circus. An excerpt is available below:

RnR Circus: First of all congrats to your two nominations for the progressive music awards. What does it mean to you that many young people see you as a guiding light in prog music?

Portnoy: Thanks, it's an honor for me. It's something that I think is important. For the last 20 years or more I've fought very hard to keep the prog flag alive and well. You know, forming Transatlantic is something I did to really keep prog alive. Putting together Progressive Nation a couple of years ago is another thing I did for that purpose. As well as choosing bands to tour with Dream Theater, I always picked up-and-coming prog bands: Spock's Beard, Porcupine Tree, Fates Warning and Pain Of Salvation. I always handpicked young bands to help and utilize whatever power and influence I have to help expose them to our fans. This is very important to me and to be recognized for that is an honor, it means a lot to me.

Will Adrenaline Mob and Flying Colors be more than on-off projects?

Well, I think Adrenaline Mob is more of a band because we are definitely a live-act. You will see it tonight. So I think Adrenaline Mob stays to spend more time on the road and has a lot of opportunities to play live, festivals or whatever. And also everybody in Adrenaline Mob is very committed to the Mob without many outside distractions. So really, Russ, Mike Orlando and John are all fully committed to Adrenaline Mob at the moment, so as long as my schedule permits we could stay very very active. Flying Colors on the other hand is at the mercy of so many outside schedules. Steve Morse is obviously fully committed to Deep Purple and has his solo career, and Neal has his solo career, Casey has Alpha-Rev. So, Flying Colors is a little bit more probably of a part time band like Transatlantic. So we can maybe do an album and a tour every couple of years. It's more than a project, I'd like to call it maybe a part-time band. Sort of in-between.

Go to this location for the complete interview.

Adrenaline Mob's video clip for "Undaunted" can be seen below:

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Thanks for the report to BraveWords.com.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    lVlaniac
    How sad that Flying colors has less oportunities to become something even better. In my oppinion its the best of the two projects Portnoy has been involved in lately.
    travislausch
    Cheeseman Jay wrote: There are plenty of other prog artists and musicians out there who've done as much or more than Portnoy to keep prog alive.
    Like who? And by what definition of "alive"? Mike is probably the closest thing to an actual prog rock star we have nowadays. DT is one of the most mainstream acts in prog right now. That puts Mike in a really good position to help a lot of young prog bands and their struggling careers. Without him, we might not have a lot of the younger bands that are influencing this generation of prog. And let's face it, there are plenty of people doing work to keep prog alive and relevant, like Steven Wilson, but not many of them have even half the reach Portnoy does. Dislike the guy's drama over the DT break all we want, he has a great chance to bring prog into the limelight and he's damn well using it.
    Arr0wHead
    Did he just call Fates Warning, a band that could be considered the single biggest influence on Dream Theater and Portnoy's style, an "up and coming prog band"? Maybe it was just a poor choice of words ("lesser widely known" maybe?), but that rubbed me the wrong way.
    Arr0wHead
    travislausch wrote: There was a time they were "up and coming" while DT was riding the success of "Pull Me Under".
    Under-appreciated, maybe, but Fates Warning were "coming up" long before DT hit the scene. FW, Queensryche, Crimson Glory, etc... were all having their greatest success while DT was still in high school. DT is great, and really unparalleled as a band, but as far as the prog-metal banner I consider them the second wave of U.S. prog metal, whereas Fates Warning was one of the bands leading the first wave.
    Cheeseman Jay
    Flags are living creatures now? To be quite frank, Portnoy annoys me with his own sense of self-importance. There are plenty of other prog artists and musicians out there who've done as much or more than Portnoy to keep prog alive.
    Maiden95
    Mike is absolutely right. Huge influence. Sorta like the Eddie Trunk of Prog
    travislausch
    He's also talking past tense here. There was a time they were "up and coming" while DT was riding the success of "Pull Me Under".
    travislausch
    Fair enough, but DT certainly surpassed them in popularity by the time Images And Words came out. To anyone on the outside looking in, Fates Warning was the "up and coming" band compared to DT.