Mike Portnoy Leaves Dream Theater...
September 10, 2010
Roadrunner Records regretfully announces that acclaimed drummer Mike Portnoy has parted ways with Dream Theater. A statement from the band and from Mike follows.
Dream Theater Statement
To all of our loyal fans and friends:
It is with profound sadness -- regret -- we announce that Mike Portnoy, our lifelong drummer and friend, has decided to leave Dream Theater. Mike's stature in the band has meant the world to all of us professionally, musically, and personally over the years. There is no dispute: Mike has been a major force within this band.
While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that Dream Theater will continue to move forward with the same intensity -- and in the same musical tradition -- that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us.
Fans and friends: File this episode under "Black Clouds and Silver Linings."As planned, we begin recording our newest album in January 2010, and we'll follow that with a full-on world tour. "The Spirit Carries On."
All of us in Dream Theater wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed.
Mike Portnoy Statement:
I am about to write something I never imagined I'd ever write:
After 25 years, I have decided to leave Dream Theater... the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century.
To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty decision...it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so...
After having had such amazing experiences playing with Hail, Transatlantic, and Avenged Sevenfold this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater.
Please don't misinterpret me, I love the DT guys dearly and have a long history, friendship, and bond that runs incredibly deep with them...it's just that I think we are in serious need of a little break.
Dream Theater was always my baby, and I nurtured that baby every single day and waking moment of my life since 1985...24/7, 365...never taking time off from DT's never-ending responsibilities (even when the band was "off" between cycles)...working overtime and way beyond the call of duty that most sane people ever would do for a band...
But I've come to the conclusion that the DT machine was starting to burn me out...and I really needed a break from the band in order to save my relationship with the other members and keep my DT spirit hungry and inspired.
We have been on an endless write/record/tour cycle for almost 20 years now (of which I have overseen EVERY aspect without a break) and while a few months apart from each other here & there over the years has been much needed and helpful, I honestly hoped the band could simply agree with me to taking a bit of a "hiatus" to recharge our batteries and "save me from ourselves"...
Sadly, in discussing this with the guys, they determined they do not share my feelings and have decided to continue without me rather than take a breather...I even offered to do some occasional work throughout 2011 against my initial wishes, but it was not to be...
While it truly hurts for me to even think of a Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy (hell, my father named the band!!), I do not want to stand in their way...so I have decided to sacrifice myself and simply leave the band so as to not hold them back against their wishes....
Strangely enough, I just read an interview that I recently did that asked me about the future of DT and I talked about "always following your heart and being true to yourself"...sadly I must say that at this particular moment, my heart is not with Dream Theater...and I would simply be "going through the motions", and would honestly NOT be true to myself if I stayed for the sake of obligation without taking the break I felt I needed.
I wish the guys the best and hope the music and legacy we created together is enjoyed by fans for decades to come...I am proud of every album we made, every song we wrote, and every show we played....
I'm sorry to all the disappointed DT fans around the world...I really tried to salvage the situation and make it work...I honestly just wanted a break (not a split)...but happiness cannot be forced, it needs to come from within....
You DT fans are the greatest fans in the world and as you all know, I have always busted my ass for you guys and I hope that you will stay with me on my future musical journey, wherever it may lead me....(and as you all know my work ethic, there will surely be no shortage of future MP projects!)
Your fearless ex-leader and drummer,
Uproar TV Ep. 4: In The Studio With Avenged Sevenfold
May 30, 2010
This past week Uproar TV
hung out with Avenged Sevenfold
in the studio. The clip gives the fans their first glimpse into anything involving the recording of Avenged's
new record 'Nightmare'
- It's also the first look at Mike Portnoy's
(legendary drummer from Dream Theater
) tracking the drum intro to their first single "Nightmare
" that Jimmy
" wrote for the album before his passing.
Watch the video now below!
tracked all the drums on the record, and as a tribute to The Rev
he followed what Jimmy
wrote pretty much to a "T", with some improvisation here and there at the bands discretion. The band's choice to have Portnoy
play on the record was especially appropriate as he was also Jimmy's
favorite drummer. Mike
will be filling in as their touring drummer for Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival
and through the end of the year.
For more information on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival
Taking Dawn Join KsE, Others On God Of War III Soundtrack
February 25, 2010
Las Vegas rockers Taking Dawn
have been included on the soundtrack to the highly anticipated Gods of War 3
video game. The soundtrack (available March 2nd) will feature the unreleased Taking Dawn
track "This is Madness
", as well as new and unreleased tracks from Killswitch Engage
, Dream Theater
, and Mutiny Within
Pre-order your copy of the soundtrack via iTunes
have just released their debut album, 'Time To Burn'
, and are taking the rock world by storm, one city at a time. Blurring the lines between rock and metal, their Roadrunner Records
debut boasts huge vocals, epic choruses and even bigger guitars.
Tracklisting for the Gods of War 3
soundtrack is as follows:
1. Killswitch Engage
- My Obsession
- Shattering The Skies Above
3. Dream Theater
- Raw Dog
4. Taking Dawn
- This Is Madness
- The Throat Of Winter
6. Mutiny Within
- The End
Dream Theater's New Album Debut's At #6 On Billboard Chart
July 2, 2009
Legendary progressive metal masters Dream Theater's latest album, “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” has taken the band to new heights. The album debuted at #6 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart, with first week sales totaling 40,285. Both numbers mark the highest ever first week figures for the band, who are enjoying the greatest success of their 25 year career. 12% of the week's sales were digital, ranking “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” at #21 on the Digital Albums chart.
Drummer Mike Portnoy had this to say, "This is truly amazing. After almost 25 years together, Dream Theater is still growing and progressing and doing bigger and better than ever. I can't think of many bands that can claim that. We are truly thankful to have this incredible support from fans who believe in the band as a musical force."
Such a monumental debut places Dream Theater, a band known for lengthy epics and the true "album" format, in the cozy Top 10 company of Jonas Brothers, Black Eyed Peas and Regina Spektor, a truly remarkable feat. Portnoy continues, "An album with four songs over 12 minutes in the US Top 10? Hell must've frozen over! This is one small leap for Dream Theater, and one giant leap for music in general."
“Black Clouds & Silver Linings” is the band's tenth studio album and follow up to the band's 2007 Roadrunner Records debut, “Systematic Chaos”. In addition to the standard version CD, the album is also available on vinyl LP, as well as a three-disc Special Edition CD that includes the full album, a CD of instrumental mixes of the album and a CD of six cover songs. A limited deluxe collector's edition boxed set is also available. "This is as smart and well played as metal and hard rock gets, an album just humming with live possibilities and headphone trips waiting to happen," wrote Dennis Cook in is 6/23/2009 review at Jambase.com, while Shawn S. Lealos said in his 6/16/09 review at 411Mania.com: "Dream Theater has created their masterpiece."
Dream Theater is currently breaking records in Europe, playing to festival crowds of over 80,000 adoring fans. The band made their debut appearance in Israel last month, rocking a crowd 10,000 strong to their knees. The band's own Progressive Nation tour returns stateside on July 24 in Miami, and will feature Dream Theater as headliner, Zappa Plays Zappa, Bigelf and Scale The Summit. The tour-which marks the second incarnation of Progressive Nation--wraps on August 29th in Los Angeles.
Dream Theater Announce UK Progressive Nation Tour
June 20, 2009
New York progressive metal veterans Dream Theater
will take their Progressive Nation
tour overseas for the first time with a run through Europe and the UK throughout Sept, Oct, and Nov 2009.
founder and mastermind, Dream Theater
drummer Mike Portnoy
, once again hand-picked the bands based on musicianship, originality and diversity…not necessarily by popularity and marquee value. He comments: “After the excitement of putting together two very cool Progressive Nation
packages for North America, I knew it was time to bring the concept overseas and share some of these other great bands with our amazing fans throughout Europe and the UK”.
Joining the tour will be DT’s
tourmates from PN08
(and Roadrunner Records
labelmates), the legendary Opeth
from Stockholm, Sweden. Vocalist/Guitarist Mikael Akerfeldt
was excited to partake in another Progressive Nation
experience: "Once my man "The Port
" suggested they're going to bring Progressive Nation
over to Europe, I more or less begged him to get us on it, haha! We had such a great time doing it in North America and it did many great things for us as a band. It's fair to say that I can't wait to get going with this one. It will be a blast, believe me!!”
Los Angeles band Bigelf
will bring their unique brand of psychedelic, progressive hard rock to PN09
. Vocalist/Keyboardist Damon Fox
adds: "When I first met Mike Portnoy
, I felt like we were cut from the same cloth, a brother from another mother. We could talk rock & roll for eons (we probably will on tour, hell yeah!). Being added to the Progressive Nation
tour feels like the planets have aligned for us and the elves have finally come home to Rivendell. The mentality of Dream Theater
and Progressive Nation
reminds me of a quote from the great Willy Wonka
, "There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you'll be free if you truly wish to be..." We eagerly await our return to Northern Europe and on a special note, we have never performed in England. This has driven us completely mad over the years. We are just brimming with passion and excitement to be able to bring our music back to the homeland which has inspired us so deeply.”
Opening the show each night will be Canada’s Unexpect
, who will surely blow people’s minds with their insane musicianship and avant garde style of extreme progressive metal. Guitarist Syriak
had this to say: "How can we rationally express that crazy excitement we feel about this awesome turn of events…Upon getting offered by Mike to be on board this amazing prog vessel, we accepted at once to participate and add our own mad musical touch to the crew! Being part of the European leg of PN09
is an extreme honor for us and playing in company of such talented musicians shall be a true and heartfelt enjoyment! See you all on stage guys!! "
The European leg of Progressive Nation
will follow on the heals of the North American version of PN09
which will run throughout July & Aug 2009 in the US and Canada featuring Dream Theater
, Zappa Plays Zappa
, Pain Of Salvation
. Progressive Nation's
successful inaugural run throughout North America in 2008 featured Opeth
, Between The Buried And Me
A festival and headlining run of Europe in June, followed by the two PN09
tours, will be the first treks across the globe for Dream Theater
in support of their newest release, 'Black Clouds & Silver Linings'
, (out 22 June). Dream Theater
performed on Download's
Main Stage on June 14, watched side of stage by none other than Brian May
), who liked the band’s recently released cover medley of Queen
so much he came to see them.
Tickets are on sale now for £30 (£32.50 London) for the following UK dates:
Fri Oct 9 – Manchester Apollo (0844 477 7677)
Sat Oct 10 – London Wembley Arena (0844 815 0815)
Sun Oct 11 – Glasgow SECC (0871 230 7131)
You can also buy tickets online at www.gigsandtours.com
or call the 24hr cc hotline on 0871 220 0260.
For more information, visit: www.progressivenation2009.co.uk www.dreamtheater.net
, or www.myspace.com/dreamtheater
(24 news stories listed.)
YEAR FORMED: 1985
HOME TOWN: New York
James LaBrie -- vocals
John Myung -- bass
John Petrucci -- guitars
Mike Portnoy -- drums
Jordan Rudess -- keyboards
Octavarium is not only the eighth studio album from progressive heavy rockers Dream Theater, but it also marks 20 years of existence for this majestic outfit. "It's pretty incredible," says drummer Mike Portnoy, "Especially given the nature of what we do. I think maybe that's probably been the secret to our longevity, is that we've never fit in. But it's still incredible that here we are, 20 years later, and we're not one of those bands that's just sticking around on the downslide. We're still growing and progressing with each album and tour."
Not only has the five-piece resolutely defied both popular trends and fickle public tastes throughout its career, but Dream Theater's sound and approach is more vibrant, powerful and wide-ranging than ever. Octavarium, produced by the longtime tandem of Portnoy and guitarist John Petrucci, and mixed by Michael Brauer, encompasses the many varieties of heavy, epic, complex rock that has drawn legions of fans to the band's monumental catalog of releases and dynamic, marathon live shows.
"We had two goals this time," explains Portnoy about the band's focused-like-a- laser approach. "The first goal was a reaction to our last album, Train Of Thought (2003), which was intentionally very, very dark and heavy from start to finish. It was definitely the heaviest album we ever made. So when it came time to make this record, we knew we didn't want to do that again. We wanted to go back to a more traditional Dream Theater style, which is a variety of everything. We still have heavy songs, but also have some lighter songs, some epic, progressive songs -- it's more of a balance."
Portnoy adds that the group's second goal was to challenge themselves as songwriters by composing shorter pieces than the band is famous for. "Our last three or four albums, almost every song was very long. I mean, we've always had long songs our whole career, but -- we kind of did that formula to death. So we wanted to challenge ourselves this time to try and write shorter songs. For most bands, it's a challenge to write a long song, but to us, the challenge is to go the other way. There are three or four songs on the album that are very short and concise, but are still Dream Theater."
Indeed, tunes such as "I Walk Beside You" and "The Answer Lies Within" clock in at five minutes or under -- largely unexplored territory for a band known for "double digit" masterpieces like "A Change Of Seasons" and "Metropolis." But what's even more surprising about those two new tracks -- both highlights of Octavarium -- is the diversity of material they represent. "Songs like those are kind of new for Dream Theater," says Portnoy. "There's almost a Coldplay or U2 influence. It's something that we've always had and tried to tap into, but I don't think we've ever truly nailed it as strongly as we did with these songs. And then you have songs like 'Panic Attack' and 'The Root Of All Evil' which are so dark and heavy and progressive and technical, and then something like 'Octavarium' and 'Sacrificed Sons,' which are true epics."
The latter two cuts both feature an orchestra, something the band has never utilized before, while the 24-minute title cut is sure to become one of the band's signature pieces. "I think it's one of the best things we've ever written, because it encompasses a little bit of everything that Dream Theater is about in one statement," says Portnoy proudly. "I think most of our fans' favorite songs from our catalog tend to be those type of songs."
That catalog extends back to 1989, when Dream Theater released its debut album, When Dream And Day Unite. The group has formed several years earlier, in September of 1985, when Berklee School of Music students Portnoy, John Myung and John Petrucci decided to start a band together. Originally known as Majesty, the fledgling act recruited keyboardist Kevin Moore and singer Chris Collins into the fold. Collins eventually left, replaced by Charlie Dominici, while another band forced them to drop the Majesty moniker in favor of Dream Theater, named after a demolished cinema in Monterey, California.
When Dream And Day Unite made an immediate impact on the underground progressive rock scene, but Dream Theater wanted to push further. Replacing Dominici with James LaBrie, the group signed to Atco (later absorbed by Atlantic) and recorded 1992's groundbreaking Images And Words. Featuring the hit, "Pull Me Under," the album introduced Dream Theater to hordes of new fans that continue to support the band to this day.
Many more albums followed, including 1994's Awake, 1997's Falling Into Infinity and 1999's Scenes From A Memory. At the same time, Kevin Moore gave way to first Derek Sherinian, then Jordan Rudess. Personnel changes, label turnover, and the ill-timed release of 2001's Live Scenes From New York -- which arrived on September 11th, 2001, with cover art featuring a New York skyline against a backdrop of flames -- roiled the group but never truly deflected it from its musical path. "The biggest reason we've been able to endure that is our devoted fan base," says Mike Portnoy. "Our fans are as big a part of the story as we or our music is. They're the reason that we're able to keep a major label deal and go and play sheds and large theatres and stuff like that without mainstream exposure. It's due to this incredible fan base that stands by us through thick and thin from year to year."
And now that fan base is about to be rewarded once again with the June 7th release of Octavarium. The last album to ever be recorded at New York's legendary Hit Factory before it closed its doors for good in March of 2005, this record is sure to please every single diehard Dream Theater fan out there, and will continue to draw new ones to the band's skillful medley of heavy metallic power, delicate melodicism, and brilliant, literally award-winning musicianship. "There's always gonna be an audience for musicians and artists and people who actually want to create something that's valid and unique," concludes Portnoy. "The rock stardom thing and being on MTV and selling millions of records and being part of a trend has never been interesting to us. We're just five musicians that like to play and write together, and luckily there's this devoted audience that's been behind us all this time."