UG Articles Archive

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mike Portnoy has left Dream Theater

Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy posted on his facebook page today that he has officially parted ways with the band, which he started 25 years ago and has led ever since. 

The world-renowned drummer wrote that after 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..."

The statement is leading me to believe that Portnoy may become Avenged Sevenfold's full-time replacement for Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, a decision that makes me both happy and, as a guy who has a deep appreciation for the music of Dream Theater, sad at the same time.  Until today, Dream Theater contained two of the musicians I look up to the most - Portnoy and John Petrucci.  These guys are true masters of their craft, and to hear that they won't be composing and playing music together anymore is pretty hard to believe.

Portnoy's letter continued: "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 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 suppose in the end, if you're not happy doing what you're doing, you shouldn't be doing it.  Portnoy is moving on to projects that make him happy, and I can't say I blame him for it. 

Go kick some ass with Avenged, Mike, and we'll see you in Madison October 4th. 

The full text's of Mike's open letter can be found at his facebook page:!/notes/mike-portnoy/mike-portnoy-leaves-dream-theater/137362372974878


  1. Here's what I think will happen:
    The band will get a new drummer.
    Portonoy will enjoy his break for ~3 years
    3 years later, he wants back in, but the band is happy with the new drummer.
    5 years later (from today), the new drummer leaves for some reason.
    Portonoy steps up as his replacement.
    I think this will just end up being a revitalizing undertaking for him and the band--much like that of Priest or Maiden, although a drummer leaving doesn't have the same magnitude as the singer leaving.
    We shall see.

  2. Well I think in this case the drummer is also the main creative director of the band. It will be interesting to see if they stay "prog" or go more mainstream now.

    However, with Petrucci still in the band, we can surely expect more epic-length tunes with neverending solo sections.