Portnoy in no-win situation over Dream Theater
Mike Portnoy regrets that he can’t talk openly about his former band Dream Theater, because of the emotional response it generates.
He believes he’d outgrown the band he co-founded, named and then sensationally quit in 2010.
But he retains fond memories of his time with the prog metal outfit – and he’s grateful they tolerated his obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Portnoy tells Modern Drummer: “With Dream Theater I very much ran the show because my OCD allowed me to handle the additional roles.
“Luckily those guys always trusted my direction. OCD can be a detriment, though; I know it sometimes makes my wife crazy, and I’m sure it must have driver the guys in Dream Theater crazy at times too. But they rolled with it.
“When I first met John Petrucci and John Myung when we were 18 years old, I think they immediately recognised that part of my personality, and they were comfortable with that dynamic. John Petrucci and I balanced each other out through the years. He never cared much for all the little details and organisational stuff, and I never cared about the business or financial aspects, which he was very good at.”
Portnoy feels one of the main reasons he decided to leave the band was: “I changed. I mean this totally diplomatically, but when I heard the new material it simply wasn’t my cup of tea.
“It’s great – but I couldn’t relate to it any more. People change, where it be as a listener or as an artist.”
But the split, and the public spats, have led to a situation where the Prog Award-winning drummer has to watch his words. “I feel bad that I can’t talk openly about Dream Theater any more without being torn to shreds,” he admits.
“I wish I could without there being a backlash – but it’s become the reality that I’ve accepts. I feel it’s a no-win situation.”