Portnoy: I Literally Ate, Breathed And Shat Dream Theater For 25 Years

Joe Daly of The Nervous Breakdown recently conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold).

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Joe Daly of The Nervous Breakdown recently conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold). A couple of Blabbermouth.net excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Nervous Breakdown: Adrenaline Mob started the year off with a big personnel change, bringing on Disturbed bassist John Moyer. I know that you actually reached out to him. What about his style made him your choice?

Portnoy: Well, I knew John from when Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold toured together on the Uproar tour a couple summers ago, so John and I had spent a lot of time together. I knew that he was a super cool, down-to-earth guy, so I knew he'd fit in personally and stylistically, and with all of his time in Disturbed, I knew it was a musical background that would fit right in with what the Mob is doing. Most importantly was the fact that Disturbed had just announced that they were going on an extended hiatus, and it was critical for us to find a bass player that didn't have any other bands or commitments. We assumed we'd have to get a complete nobody or an up-and-comer because everybody else already had other bands and other things going. It just happened to turn out that it was the perfect time for John because he now has this downtime when he can commit to us and we don't have to worry about any scheduling conflicts. So on every level, John was the perfect choice.

As the drummer, it's obviously important for you to find somebody that you can do business with in the rhythm section, so even before John hit the radar, was there a criteria that you personally had in mind for a new bass player?

Well, we were looking for somebody that was a team player and somebody who was into doing song-oriented music. Even though I have this reputation for being this over-the-top drummer and even though Mike Orlando is this incredibly flashy guitar player, we weren't looking for a crazy over-the-top bass player. We were looking for somebody who was more of a foundation type of player. So John was exactly the type of player we were looking for - a bad-a-s motherf--ker who could hold down the fort. John absolutely fit our criteria.

Guitarist Rich Ward left the band recently. Are there any plans to replace him?

No, we're gonna keep the band a four-piece. When we auditioned John Moyer on bass, the other thing that we were auditioning was ourselves to see how we would sound as a four-piece. In rehearsals it sounded great, so we said, "Let's just keep this a four-piece." It's easier, it's one less scheduling obstacle to work around, and it sounded big and full, and some of our favorite bands were four-piece bands, like Black Sabbath, Van Halen and Pantera, so we felt that it would be a good lineup to go forward with.

Now that some of the dust has cleared, and in view of all you've done since Dream Theater, where do you see that band fitting in your overall legacy?

Dream Theater will always be the thing I'm most known for. It was twenty-five years of my life and it was something that I poured my heart and soul, blood sweat and tears into. I literally ate, breathed and shat Dream Theater twenty-four/seven for twenty-five years, so regardless of where they go in their career and regardless of where I go in my career, I will always and forever be linked to Dream Theater and that's fine with me - I'm proud of every song I wrote in that band, every album I recorded in that band, and every show I played with that band. So I have no problem with the fact that I will forever be known as "Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater." That's something that will never change. That's always how it's gonna be and I'm proud of that. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Read the entire interview from The Nervous Breakdown.

124 comments sorted by best / new / date

    WholeLottaIzzy
    Literally, eh? Nice. And seriously, move on. It's like he's still got a crush on his first girlfriend from when his was 6 years old. She's moved on, married, has a family. Doesn't even remember your name. Damn...
    DoubleBassCrash
    Sure is Easy for a lot of you to say "Move On" , but I bet If you were in his shoes you'd be talkin' about it, too. Twenty-five years of your life dedicated to something you created is not something you can just write off in an instant. By the way, did y'all even read the god damn article? He's not even even bitchin' about it.
    Dynamight
    AndoFloyd wrote: I just want to be honest for once. I FUCKING HATE DREAM THEATER AND I DONT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THIS FUCKING GUY! Sorry if anyone got offended.
    Why would not give a **** about something, yet take the time to open a webpage about it and comment? People like you astound me.
    fenderfrenzy101
    I feel as though anything that comes out of this man's mouth anymore is quoted. I've heard more dramatic interviews than music come from him lately. He needs to settle down with it and stick to just the music.
    Dynamight
    Look at all these douchebags thinking they can tell people like Portnoy and Mustaine to move on and stop complaining. I'd like to see your reaction after getting kicked out of a band you poured your life and soul in and achieved or were going to achieve worldwide fame and success with. It's easy to sit in front of a screen and talk smack about famous people in the safety and anonymity of your lair, especially if you've never faced rejection.
    RockinZiemak19
    Not trying to be a prick or anything, but it kind of bugs me when somebody says they "literally" did something when they didn't "literally" do it.
    )ThunderhorsE(
    JadenCaruso wrote: RoxxHunter wrote: He should marry Adele and they can both go on and on about people that don't give a shit about them Imagine 21 with Portnoy on drums. "WE COULD'VE HAD IT-" *Drumsolo in 11/16*
    i lol'd quite hard at this. thank you sir.
    kill it
    i stand corrected good sir or madam
    Maiden95 wrote: kill it wrote: I wonder if there is a drum website out there that costantly posts John Petrucci stories and interviews. If there is perhaps they should start trading stories with UG. Please UG, post more articles about guitarists. Although this is a "guitar website", THIS part of the site is MUSIC news. Not Just guitar, but all sorts of music.
    buchla200
    nicksword87 wrote: Soundservant wrote: I wonder what a progressive shit would be like. Incredibly long, with violent bursts... but a sense of satisfaction afterwards... I have one of these at least twice a week
    Long winded too
    paulohd2
    Honestly, I think Portnoy is a great drummer but it sounds like he is afraid that Dream Theater and their fans will forget about him, so he feels the need to remember everyone that he "gave his life" for Dream Theater. He's got to let it go and move on. He sounds like a crying baby.
    punk_mike_88
    Why don't we just rename this site ultimate-portnoy.com? That's all you seem to report on nowadays.
    Jmoarguitar
    why is everyone telling him to move on? He was asked a question and he answered it, it wasn't like he brought up DT
    MR.LZZYHALE
    DoubleBassCrash wrote: Sure is Easy for a lot of you to say "Move On", but I bet If you were in his shoes you'd be talkin' about it, too. Twenty-five years of your life dedicated to something you created is not something you can just write off in an instant. By the way, did y'all even read the god damn article? He's not even even bitchin' about it.
    Okay but come on man its like being married for 25 years for a little your allowed to bitch about it before it gets annoying but soon enough you just have to move on with your life danm
    JadenCaruso
    RoxxHunter wrote: He should marry Adele and they can both go on and on about people that don't give a shit about them
    Imagine 21 with Portnoy on drums. "WE COULD'VE HAD IT-" *Drumsolo in 11/16*
    The_Boogeyman
    I think people are forgetting.. The reason he talks so much about Dream Theater is because the interviewers always ask him about Dream Theater. The problem isn't Mike Portnoy talking about Dream Theater, the problem is interviewers asking an ex-band member of Dream Theater about Dream Theater.
    Eirien
    Soundservant wrote: I wonder what a progressive shit would be like.
    Not entirely sure about that but I can guarantee there would be a ten minute middle section where you're not quite sure what's going on.
    Randomrings
    Actually what Mike will probably be most known for is this media frenzy that's been droning through the internet for ...a year or two now? But he does have a point though. I still think of Mike drumming while listening to Dramatic Turn of Events
    Skullivan
    I think you guys need to put a different perspective on this. Portnoy isn't going around blurting all of this to everyone. This was part of an interview, and UG decided to make this interview a news story. He's not incompetently whining around everyone, he is asked his opinion and it's over publicized.
    RoxxHunter
    He should marry Adele and they can both go on and on about people that don't give a shit about them
    latem yvaeh
    Mr.LZZYHALE...You give REAL Avenged Sevenfold fans, like myself a bad name, and I also enjoy Black and Death Metal as well. Anyways, Portnoy was asked about DT, and he gave an answer. At least he didn't go Billy Bob and refuse to answer the guy.
    Maiden95
    nicksword87 wrote: Soundservant wrote: I wonder what a progressive shit would be like. Incredibly long, with violent bursts... but a sense of satisfaction afterwards... I have one of these at least twice a week
    Makes me feel somewhat pretentious as well. But at least I can take a dump in 9/4 or 13/3 if I'd like.
    LIVEtoROCK86
    I could never stand Dream Theater because of Mike Portnoy. Pompous and self righteous. Even now that he's gone, I still don't like them because he's tainted the name Dream Theater that badly.
    OceansBetweenUs
    Bunch of kids reading this article and giving their judgemental internet opinions with no idea what's actually being said. He was asked a question and answered it. On top of that, most of you (guaranteed) are not even 25 years old. He left behind a HUGE section of his life when he parted with DT. It's been what...a year? And he is asked about it constantly. Tough to forget and put all of that behind you without comment.
    cryptic-writing
    Pagan_Poetry wrote: Portnoy. I'll say this in the nicest way possible so I don't offend you if you were to ever read this. Please shut your pie hole. Don't cry over spilled milk. Move on. Now you're not only saying the same thing over and over, you're literally saying the same thing over and over. You said this months ago. Let it go. When you piss, you shake twice and let it go. You don't wait for the waste to end itself. Let. It. Go.
    The interviewer asked the question and he gave an honest answer. All he said was he was in the band for very long so he will be known for being with them which is fine, and that he is proud of everything he did with them. That's probably the most neutral comment he could have made so I don't understand what your issue is.
    TomMon
    If he 'literally' shits DT, does that mean he is also 'literally' butthurt? Since it must hurt on the way out...
    thePTOD
    The second half of the last paragraph was nice, I thought/ But really, he's just gotta stop.
    kill it
    I wonder if there is a drum website out there that costantly posts John Petrucci stories and interviews. If there is perhaps they should start trading stories with UG. Please UG, post more articles about guitarists.
    GenerationKILL
    Not a month goes by where we're not reminded that Mike Portnoy has the emotional baggage of a distraught 15 year old MCR fan when it comes to his old band. Get over it, you blubbering baby.
    Inyourendo
    So does that mean he's had like 8 other dudes with their instruments inside of him in order to have shat them out? I'm just trying to grasp his meaning of literally.
    guitarplaya070
    I can't stand any of the bands he's been in, but honestly, the malicious comments here must be coming from ppl who didn't read the article. UG needs to stop trying to drum up controversy, and police the titles these authors put on their articles.
    Denjario
    I'm not defending Portnoy's whining that he's done... But if everyone would stop asking him about Dream Theater in interviews, he would be able to stop talking about them. In the last little while, it's been interviewer after interviewer asking him about Dream Theater. We get it guys, we got it when it happened, no one needs to know what happened and no one really cares. The guy has a new band, the old band is gone, just focus on that shit for a while and stop bothering him about Dream Theater so he will stop having to sound butthurt all the damned time.
    Dragon Fly
    SoA_Joseph wrote: Stop being a damn BITCH, Portnoy.
    Have you even read the interview? Looking at you comment I think not. Just shut your mouth and read the interview first. There is no sign of Portnoy being a 'bitch' in this interview.
    Dragon Fly
    hmcguire wrote: He sure talks a lot about a band hes not in.
    Well, the interviewer asks him about it. It would not be polite not to awnser it.
    TerryFinn
    Once more, blame UG, not Portnoy. I'm sick of the cold and cynical bastards getting top rated for finding funny ways to diss the man that almost WAS Dream Theater, and that I think deserves every bit of respect that he's got.
    xDONx
    Lot of Portnoy haters here.. Chill dudes, if he wasn't asked about Dream Theater, do you think he will give a comment about them? Cut him some slack. He was just answering a question, that's it.. Maybe its UG that keeps on posting this kind of article over and over again.
    ledzeppelin7510
    finally. this is the first thing i've read that portnoy has said/written since the breakup that hasn't been subtly bad-mouthing dt or implying that he's so much better than them
    napalm890
    I like how he mentions the bass player is going to will just "hold down the fort". In other words, he's going to blend into the background.
    some.will.seek
    Anyone decided to have a listen to Flying Colors yet? it's surprising it wasn't mentioned here since he had Adrenaline Mob and Flying Colors released in the same week.. and Flying Colors is actually pretty much AWESOME. I hate 'super groups'.. but, this is awesome prog.
    mrrman
    time to let the ego go and move on...yeah I like him but they all think they are the geatest at what they do