Mike Portnoy Returns To Dream Theater

26 October 2023 | 11:01 am | Mary Varvaris

"I am overwhelmed with joy to be returning home and reuniting with my brothers."

Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy (Source: Supplied)

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Legendary progressive metal drummer Mike Portnoy has returned to Dream Theater 13 years after his departure.

A co-founder of the band alongside guitarist John Petrucci and bassist John Myung, Portnoy initially departed the band after 25 years in September 2010, citing burnout, better relationships with other bands he was working with, and needing a break.

By February 2011, Portnoy was reportedly ready to return to Dream Theater, but relationships between himself and his former bandmates and their lawyers had become strained and increasingly controversial as his departure played out in the media.

Portnoy told Loudwire in 2013, “They are the ones that have closed the door on it. I've only needed a break, and I've had that break. So I'm ready, willing and able. But I honestly don't think they ever will; they've closed their door on it, and I think they're too headstrong in having to prove themselves without me. So I wouldn't count on it. But my door is always open.”

Outside of Dream Theater, Portnoy has been a prolific drummer in numerous bands, including the supergroups Winery Dogs and Sons Of Apollo, while he’s also played with Avenged Sevenfold, Metal Allegiance, Adrenaline Mob, Flying Colours, Neal Morse, The Neal Morse Band, and more.

Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini has departed the group, and the band is heading to the studio with Portnoy to record their first album together in 15 years.

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“I am overwhelmed with joy to be returning home and reuniting with my brothers,” Portnoy commented in a press release. “There is so much shared history between us all…so many memories, so much music…to think we’re coming up on 40 years since this journey began!

“The idea of creating new music together is so exciting and I absolutely cannot wait to hit the road and get to play live for a whole new generation of fans that weren’t ever able to see this lineup before…There’s no place like home!!”

The current Dream Theater line-up consists of founding members Petrucci, Myung and Portnoy, alongside vocalist James LaBrie and keyboardist Jordan Rudess.

Rudess said about Portnoy’s return, “We are so excited to reunite the core Dream Theater family. There is a resonance of spirit and vision that is unique and goes beyond words within our relationship with Mike Portnoy. On the stage and off there is no denying the magic that happens when we are together.

“I’m thankful we have the opportunity to work together again as Dream Theater and am looking forward to sharing our excitement and passion with our amazing fans for a long time to come.”

DREAM THEATER ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF DRUMMER MIKE PORTNOY GRAMMY®-winning, progressive music titans Dream Theater are...

Posted by Mike Portnoy on Wednesday, October 25, 2023