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Dream Theater Gives Lengthy Interview for Music Radar

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John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater recently sat down with Music Radar and gave a long and in-depth interview in which they cover lots of topics, including the new album, Mike Portnoy's departure, Mike Mangini's arrival and a host of other things.

One of the most interesting bits, excerpted below, is when Petrucci and Rudess talk about how Portnoy asked to rejoin the band, and why Dream Theater turned down his request.

This is particularly interesting when read adjacent to Portnoy's comment's on the matter, and taken together seems to be a classic case of trying to win the breakup. You can read the entire interview with Petrucci and Rudess at MusicRadar.com.

Music Radar: Well, apparently, it wasn't. He went off with Avenged, but in December, when it became clear that he wasn't staying in that band, he came to you guys and asked if he could rejoin.

Rudess: "Yeah, that was a very challenging time. It was several months later, and what basically happened was… [pauses] You know, just to give you an idea of how deep this was to lose him, how difficult it was… after we got off the phone with him, when he told us what was going to happen, that he was leaving… I literally sat on the steps of my studio and cried. This is a guy who's a friend of mine, who we all love and admire. We didn't want to see it come crashing down. The whole thing brought me to tears.

"But we all realized that we had to find a way to keep going. This is our business. We enjoy it, we love it – how do we keep doing this? So we went into motion. Through us putting our heads together, we decided, OK, we've got to find another drummer. And that resulted in us finding these seven amazing drummers to check out. And that, too, was also very emotional: How do you bring a new guy into a situation where you've been with somebody else for so long? It was a very heavy thing."

Petrucci: "It was sort of like when somebody dies. After you're done crying, the planning kicks in: 'OK, we've gotta do this, we have to arrange the funeral and put everything in order.' Even though we were in shock and were filled with a lot of emotions, we knew we had to carry on."

Music Radar: But still, Mike asked to rejoin…

Rudess: "Yes, well, OK, so we put everything together. We got the drummers in, which everybody knows, and we filmed the audition process and put a lot of care into the documentary. So after that whole process, we found somebody who we thought was great - Mike Mangini. 'Oh my God, this guy is fantastic! This can work. We can do it.'"

Petrucci: "And something I should point out – Mike Mangini's life changed dramatically. He was a professor at Berklee, and he had to give notice that he was leaving. He's got a wife and two kids – the whole thing. So he came down and we started making a record. Everybody was supportive at the label. Things were feeling good. We had our feet on the ground again. And then Mike asked if he could get back in..." [He shakes his head]

Music Radar: It was too late.

Rudess: "Yeah. You know, Mike Mangini resigned from Berklee. You can't just tell him… We were in motion with him. We were invested in Mike Mangini and our future. Everything was going full steam. So Mike Portnoy came to us and asked to rejoin: 'Hey, guys I've reconsidered, I've made a… a mistake.' It was like, 'Oh my God, you can't do this to us. You can't pull the rug out from under us like this.' It was... [sighs] it was hard. Here we went through this whole drama, and we finally found this new guy who we were happy with. At a certain point, you just throw up your hands and go, 'This can't be happening!'" [laughs]

Source: Music Radar

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15 Comments on "Dream Theater Gives Lengthy Interview"

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btbamfav20's avatar

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1. btbamfav20 writes:

Exactly. It may be your band that you started out in, but it is STILL a paying job. One that you have to leave family, most friends, and practically your leisurely life behind to achieve minimal dedication to the band. On TOP of that you need to practice the new songs (which are hard), make sure your live performance outmatches Portnoy, AND balance a long-distance relationship with your family for who knows how long... Not to mention leaving a well paying job for one that's obviously going to pay more...
Then mike steps in all high-and-mighty, thinking DT will just swipe aside their new drummer and let him back... What a douche

NP: Cloned (Day Of The Robot) - Deceased

# May 30, 2011 @ 3:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Greyback writes:

As if that sniffling A7x blower wanted back into the band, after they'd already found Mangini? No thanks, Portnoy, go stick with your stupid whiny, lack-luster a7x. All the best to DT and the new record and Mangini.

# May 30, 2011 @ 7:26 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

3. deathbringer writes:

This almost makes me feel bad for the drum machine gag. Almost. :-)

# May 31, 2011 @ 9:43 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
btbamfav20's avatar

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4. btbamfav20 writes:

^LMAO!!

NP: Digitalis Destructi - Tony MacAlpine

# Jun 1, 2011 @ 2:26 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. DreamHeater writes:

I would feel sorry for Portnoy if he was a little less of an a$$hole.
But, he's not.
Once I heard he was listed on the Golden Gods Awards thing as the drummer for Avenged Sevenfold, I lost what little respect I had left for him.

# Jun 1, 2011 @ 7:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
btbamfav20's avatar

Member

6. btbamfav20 writes:

It's also pretty bad that the only time he gets anywhere close to the GGA is through is work with one of the most overrated bands in rock history (like Guns 'n' Roses). Like, DT have been around for over 25 years... and NOW he gets a nomination? His drumming on that sh**ty record wasnt even close to his best...
I remember that list for the GGA, it was BS from start to end

NP: Carry On My Wayward Son [Kansas] - Within The Ruins

# Jun 2, 2011 @ 12:06 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. Portnoy Is a God writes:

Why is everyone such a Portnoy hater all of a sudden. DT were right to not let him rejoin, with having Mangini in place. You could see on the videos what it meant to Mangini. But theres no doubt Portnoy will be back with them in a few years....and it will be special

# Jun 2, 2011 @ 11:56 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

Member

8. Drum_Junkie writes:

PIAg,
I think there are three primary reasons why people are Portnoy 'haters'.
1. For him to leave because the other four members didn't want to stop the forward momentum of the band (and their jobs/livelihood/passion) was egocentric on his part.
2. To jump over to Ax7 is viewed by many as a big leap down in metal credibility. Recording the album to honor the rev, was one thing. To tour and join in the publicity machine of the band is quite another.
3. For him to ask to come back and expect the rest of the band to say "sure, no problem!" is also egocentric of him.

Many have written him off, because those actions and his handling of everything displayed a solopsistic viewpoint. The Ax7 connection was the match on the powderkeg.

# Jun 2, 2011 @ 2:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
btbamfav20's avatar

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9. btbamfav20 writes:

^the exact reason why right there

NP: Christscum - Azarath

# Jun 8, 2011 @ 8:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
WOLF7's avatar

Member

10. WOLF7 writes:

While I don't really care for their music that much, I do appreciate them keeping the new guy in the band. That shows character.

It's great Rudess and Petrucci understood the social responsabilities as well. If you quit your job in times like these, you better have the next job lined up. Doesn't matter who you are.

Hopefully they'll find some new inspiration with him, and who knows, will come up with a decent album...

# Jun 9, 2011 @ 4:58 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. MP writes:

I hate to disagree with one major part of the interview but Mike had gone back to the guys at the end of Oct. NOT Dec. I was in Europe with him at that point and it was long before anyof the stuff DT said even happened!

# Jun 9, 2011 @ 9:38 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

Member

12. Drum_Junkie writes:

MP: I have to disagree with a major part of your comment.
If Mike Portnoy was in the middle of the European tour with A7X during October, why would he ask DT then - in the middle of all he had going on at the time.
On Dec. 10th, DT announce that they had found a drummer.
On Dec. 16th, A7X announce their dismissal of Mike.
On Dec. 20th, MP revealed that he asked to rejoin but was rebuffed.
Why would he wait two months to make that public?

Based on the established timline, it seems as though the attempted return occurred during December, 'coincidentally' after he was relieved of his duties in AX7.
(fwiw, I like Mike. Great drummer, intense work ethic, seems like a good guy. I just think he made a human mistake with his handling of DT.)

# Jun 9, 2011 @ 2:47 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. mp writes:

The attempt to rejoin was done while on tour with A7X while he was in England. They had not announced their drummer nor did they start recording. Mike did play with A7X through 2010 as planned. That is a fact!

# Jun 9, 2011 @ 5:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

Member

14. Drum_Junkie writes:

mp,
You may be correct. No offense, but I still find it difficult to believe an anonymous source posting on one site on the internet.
Your claim is equally hard to swallow in light of the timeline published on multiple websites.
Knowing how media savvy Mike has proven himself to be in the past, it seems odd that he would withhold that information for almost two months and release it when it makes him look the most vulnerable.
Again, you may be correct, but the published facts suggest otherwise. You can submit another rebuttal (preferrably with a verifiable source), but I'm not interested in arguing over the internet.

# Jun 9, 2011 @ 6:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. mp writes:

no! please don't think I want to argue cause I don't, :)really I don't want to argue with anyone. I just get upset when I read things that arent true or accurate. Then I read this stuff for months and it just eats at me and then I finally post. I really shouldn't. I do understand what your saying and I see how everything looks to the public but it truely is NOT how it went down. Again I really don't want to argue : ) I would love to give you and the fans more info but I'd be typing forever.

# Jun 9, 2011 @ 6:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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