Back in 2020, John Petrucci revealed that his former bandmate, Mike Portnoy would be playing on every track of his upcoming solo album, Terminal Velocity. And with such news in the air, everyone had one thing in mind, will we see Portnoy back in Dream Theater?
Well, John answered No.
Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater might be friends again but John says it’s bad to expect anything anytime soon. John has cleared up everyone’s dilemma. He says that his solo projects and the band’s stuff are totally different. Portnoy left the band back in 2010 and the fans have always wondered about his return.
In a recent discussion with host Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation, Petrucci addressed the speculations of reunions. He commented, “I’ve been very vocal about this and outspoken and very careful about this to be clear with my intentions and Mike and I and our reuniting. The stuff that we are doing together with my solo stuff, with Liquid Tension Experiment, with Mike touring with me, this is its own thing, and Dream Theater is its own thing, and the history that we now have with [current drummer] Mike Mangini in the band for 12 years, it’s important for me to make sure that people don’t misunderstand this. Because it’s not good for anybody; that kind of weirdness or controversy, as we all know, it’s just toxic.”
He added, “Maybe I’m selfish but I feel so lucky that I get to do this with Mike and play live with him, play this instrumental music, record, and being in Dream Theater with Mangini, it’s like I’ve kind of been spoiled. I get two of the greatest drummers in the world to be able to play with. And I think it’s important for people to know that and to have that clarity. I really do.”
Mike was back on the drums with John, tours, and it could really have led towards something good but sadly it didn’t. Everything was very confusing. Sadly, all these are normal when the band is big. But the good thing is Portnoy is back on the drums.
Petrucci and Portnoy are really good friends. And looks like he talked about this matter all the way back in 2020 too. While talking with Metal Hammer Spain, he explained Mike Mangini is the current drummer of the band and his place is secured. John said,
“I understand where people are coming from with that. One of the concerns I had, a little bit – not musically at all – but about Mike, is I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea.”
“Mike Mangini has been in Dream Theater for 10 years now. How many albums did we do together already? Three? Plus two live albums. A lot of music and touring. So he’s the drummer in Dream Theater, and I didn’t want there to be any weirdness or misconception that, ‘Oh, this means that Mike’s [Portnoy] gonna come back.’ It’s just not the case. I think that for me, in a selfish way, I get the best of both worlds ’cause I get to play with two of the greatest drummers in the world, in Dream Theater and with my solo stuff. And it’s great for me as a guitar player – it’s wonderful.”
“I think it’s really important for everybody’s sake, for fans to understand this. I think it’s important, out of respect for both drummers – for Mike Mangini and Mike Portnoy – that there’s no misconstrued thing: ‘Oh, this means something else.’ This is him [Portnoy] playing on my solo album, which is a really happy moment for me. For me, I knew that that would kind of be part of the story – I accept that. So the best I can do is try to be as clear as I can. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea.”
“I don’t wanna create any drama or weirdness because it’s all positive. I made a solo album – finally, after 15 years – and I got my friend to play drums on it, who I haven’t played with in 10 years. So that’s the vibe.”
Seems like John has been saying the same thing for the past 2 years. Mike Mangini has been a firm member of the band since Portnoy’s departure from the band. The sudden reunion could totally hurt the band and looks like John understands it.
Watch John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy perform together on stage after more than a decade.