I don’t think anyone could have predicted back in 2010 how loud the fallout from Mike Portnoy’s departure from Dream Theater and subsequent hire in 2011 of drummer extraordinaire Mike Mangini to replace him would be felt. Whether it’s due to mis-connections, miscommunication or misconceptions one thing was for sure – there was going to be change in the Dream Theater lineup and fans could either jump on board the new mighty sturdy bandwagon or stay afloat in the past waiting for a ship to pass in the night with a gunboat aboard hoping to hold the other members of Dream Theater hostage and demand Portnoy come back. With the album A Dramatic Turn of Events I think most fans could agree that not much was changing within the DT camp and the album brought forth the first Grammy nomination for best hard rock/heavy metal performance for On The Back’s of Angels in the bands history. You cannot argue with success. Read more
If you’re a fan of rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard of premiere rock keyboardist Derek Sherinian. He’s performed with everyone from Dream Theater to Alice Cooper to Buddy Miles and is a current member of supergroup Black Country Communion.
In late September Sherinian released his new album Oceana. We caught up with him to get the scoop.
Interviewed by: Roger Scales
Glenn Hughes (vocalist/bassist from the iconic bands Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Trapeze) is back at it with his supergroup Black Country Communion. Made up of blues rock guitarist and vocalist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin/Foreigner) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) the band is gearing up for their U.S. Summer Tour that kicks off in San Diego next week in support of their new album titled 2, set to be released on June 14th.
In our recent interview with Glenn, the living legend talked candidly about his personal journey throughout the years, his drug abuse, his recovery and the impact it’s all had on his music. With the focus then turning to his current project, Black Country Communion (BCC), one of the things we touched on was his new book, Deep Purple And Beyond: Scenes From The Life Of A Rock Star and how it relates to the songwriting on the new BCC album. Check it all out below.
Interviewed by: Valerie Nerres
Yesterday Mike Portnoy announced that he has left Dream Theater. Today the band has issued a 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 2011, 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.” – Dream Theater
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 responsibilites (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,
We wish Mike the best of luck!
Reviewed by: Roger Scales
Directed by Ramon Boutviseth, who did the same honors for the first clip for the album’s first single “A Rite Of Passage,” the “Wither” video was shot on location in the U.K. as part of DREAM THEATER’s September/October 2009 headlining “Progressive Nation” tour reaching 15 countries. See the video below:
Check out this Q&A with Mike Portnoy about the “Wither” video:
How do you feel the song’s somber emotional theme works in the context of a documentary tour video? There’s a weariness to the road (the traveling to and from the shows, NOT the onstage moments) that is captured here.
“I think this video captures the reality of what it’s really like for us on the road. Sure, the two hours on stage are amazing and ultimately why we do this….but the reality is, there are another 22 hours throughout the day which consists of a lot of traveling, interviews, meet & greets and sometimes a tremendous amount of sitting around and waiting….which sometimes can be very lonely.”
What are your thoughts about how the video turned out and how it represents the recent European tour?
“I love the final outcome of this video…it really captured the day to day and hour to hour activities that surround a day on the road with Dream Theater…not only for us, but our crew and our fans as well.”
Can you talk about the experience of performing overseas and connecting with your fans there?
“Touring in Europe and the UK are always some of our best shows and are always among the highlights throughout a World Tour for us….the ‘Wither’ shoot alone captured three amazing audiences and venues for us: The Zenith in Paris, The Ahoy in Rotterdam and Wembley Arena in London….all three of these cities, venues and fans are always favorites of ours!”