Thursday, September 9, 2010

MIKE PORTNOY QUITS DREAM THEATER
Can the band beat on without its heart?


I'm a big fan of irony.

Earlier this afternoon, I loaded the entire Dream Theater catalog onto my iPod. Until this afternoon, only two of the band's 10 studio albums were found on the 80GB drive. Why the sudden urge to drown myself in musical theory? Avenged Sevenfold.

A quick timeline: In 1985 - one year after the youngest member of the band Avenged Sevenfold is born - Mike Portnoy forms the band Majesty while attending the Berklee College of Music. Majesty would become Dream Theater.

Over the next quarter-century, Dream Theater would release ten studio albums and come to define the progressive metal genre. Likewise, Mike Portnoy is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time.

Avenged Sevenfold, meanwhile, burst from their Southern California roots and emerged as a hard rock and heavy metal powerhouse with City of Evil, their major label debut in 2005. When drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan died of a drug overdose late last year, many wondered what would come next for the band - and in the most unlikely of announcements, Mike Portnoy was enlisted to record drums on new release Nightmare, as well as accompany them on this year's tours to support the album.

Earlier today, on Twitter, I said of the record: The new @TheOfficialA7X is musical quicksand - it's got me waist-deep and keeps pulling... (Pull me under, I'm not afraid.)

Absorbed in Nightmare, I was inspired to listen to more Dream Theater. Makes sense, right? Not to Dream Theater.

About five hours after my Twitter post and ensuing addition of the Dream Theater catalog to my iPod, Mike Portnoy announced that he was leaving Dream Theater [read his full statement here].

I've been a fan of Dream Theater for the past two decades, and at the forefront of that fandom have been Mike Portnoy and frontman James LaBrie. Portnoy was the band's heart, LaBrie the band's soul.

Science was never my strong suit in school, but I'm fairly certain that losing your heart isn't a good thing.

The journalist in me wants to wait to hear both sides of the story, but this is a rare instance where I feel justified to overrule my professional sensibilities. Or, as my career has paralleled that of Dream Theater, perhaps I'm honoring those sensibilities...

A number of people have asked me how this happened, as well as why it happened. While I don't know anything more than I read in Mike Portnoy's statement, I can say this - when I made the decision to leave Metal Edge, a magazine I dedicated my blood, sweat and tears into running for a decade, people asked the same questions.

Sadly, sometimes the decisions that are the hardest for us to make, are also the easiest. Not because we want to make them, but because we know that we need to make them. By the time I left Metal Edge, I knew that there was no other option. The magazine was destined to fail under its new ownership, and I realized that I was in no position to prevent that from happening.

Two years and three editors later, Metal Edge went out of business.

What does this have to do with Dream Theater? Everything. I can relate to Mike Portnoy's decision, because I know exactly how it feels to know that you're out of options.

And he was clearly out of options - you don't walk away unless you have no other choice.

So, yes, the irony isn't lost on me that on the day I plunged back into the swirling waters of Dream Theater, their drummer made the choice to climb out of the water and towel off.

I'm the first person in the world to defend Journey without Steve Perry, Van Halen after they hired Sammy Hagar, and KISS with only half their original members.

But Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy?

Where's the heart?


LINKS
:
Mike Portnoy on Twitter
Avenged Sevenfold on Twitter
Paul Gargano on Twitter

ADDENDUM:
About 12 hours after I posted the above piece, Dream Theater released their statement concerning Portnoy's departure from the band [read their full statement here]. If you're looking for additional insight into the band's dynamics, focus on the line: "File this episode under ‘Black Clouds and Silver Linings.’ As planned, we begin recording our new album in January 2011..." In other words, the band views Mike's departure as a black cloud, with the silver lining being that they'll record a new album without him. For people that think Mike Portnoy is bitter - perhaps now you understand why. Great bands overcome great trauma - Rush gave Neil Peart the time he needed to deal with tragedy, Metallica aired their dirty laundry in therapy for the world to see, and even the Police were able to pull it together for a reunion. Sure, there are many more examples of bands that haven't persevered inner-band turmoil, I just never expected Dream Theater to be one of them.

83 comments:

ZeTh said...

Without Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater will be JUST ANOTHER PROG BAND.

In the future (not very distant, i guess) DT will just split.

Portnoy is Dream Theater's soul, heart as you say.

I'm deeply dissapointed and sad :( I can't belive it.

Jamie said...

If you're saying this is Avenged's fault it's not.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy was the oldest member of A7X. Johnny Christ is the youngest.

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree. Mike compained that he was tired and needed a break to "recharge" his batteries. But at the same time he is the most involved in side-projects. That would be like me going home to my wife and say "honey I need a break, 'cause there is this new young beautiful girl at work and she's tons of fun and our marriage is burning me out". That's how I see it so far.

Tom said...

Fantastic blogpost, man! And I couldn't agree more! Greets from Norway!

Tom Meier

Anonymous said...

This pretty much sums up my feelings about this, except I've had every album they've released up to that point for years, so it hit me pretty hard.

pmigueljr said...

Hm... very oriented post... Just let me listen to entire body

Tommy said...

Awesome post! Correction though: Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan was the OLDEST member of A7X. Johnny Christ is the youngest.

Stanley said...

Why would you write something that will only fuel that egotistical fools ego? His head is big enough.

PickyDave said...

Totally agreed with you.

There can't be a Dream Theater without a Mike Portnoy.

Without any of the members for that matter, even though as you say, Mike is the heart, every DT member has brought its soul into the game, although, for me it's all about Mike and John Petrucci. With any of those guys of the game, I'm out.

It's just really nonsense that they wouldn't understand Mike's position and just left him leave and made the un-comprehensible decision of moving on without him. It's just plain nonsense.


A brokenhearted DT fan from Culiacan, Mexico.

Randall said...

This touched my heart... really! :')

Anonymous said...

What a drivelling pile of self-referential crap. Any idiot can tell you that Dream Theater still has 4 very healthy hearts to pump its blood.

Birdieguy said...

Very well said!

SevenEight Sound said...

I completely agree with what you said. In my opinion, his decision to leave was based on sanity. Sanity meaning that for the past 25 years, he's been the producer, the orchestrator, the face, or as you put it, the heart. When you are placed with this task, self-inflicted or not, it will take its toll. I truly believe Mike just wanted to just play drums and that's it for a while which is understandable.

On the flip side, I do think it is a little selfish of him to ask his counterparts to do the same. Petrucci, Myung, and Rudess live and breathe music, and to ask them to take a break?

Personally I believe this is just the making of another future epic reunion story. People with musical chemistry that strong cannot be apart for too long.

I look forward to seeing what DT can do with some fresh talent and I would not mind seeing Mike continue with his projects (I hear Chickenfoot has an opening). But overall, this is nothing more than a detour in Dream Theater history.

Jefe said...

Thinking the same thing.

My "fanship" towards DT has been declining after the awesome "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", but their first albums are still carved deep in my heart. Portnoy was always my hero and that is kind of weird beeing a guitarist and having Petrucci also there. I can't really say I'll miss him in Dream Theater because their latest albums aren't so great to me.

I'm not a fan of A7X and of any other Portnoy's projects. Well, what I can say is that I really miss Mike.

Guille said...

Wow... those are really tough words but I get here you come from. It's really hard for me to imagine Dream Theater without Portnoy's beats (see what I did there? heh...). But I guess it's hard not to understand what the other guys must think.
It must be rather difficult to be asked to stop doing something you think is ok in order for one of the members to go soul searching, without any reassurance if, and when, he will come back to such project. On the other hand, the point you make in the article and from what I read on MP's post, he also makes a solid point that cannot be argued with.
You have to keep true to your heart in the end.
I have no doubt that MP will keep doing what he loves, and so will the rest of the guys in Dream Theater.
As I stated at the beginning, is really hard for me to imagine Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy, but I can only hope that the decision they made is for the best. I've been a fan of the band for about half my life and I will continue to support them... wether or not they are together.
I'm sure it was a difficult decision for everyone and this, at least for me, has been a truly sad day for music. Again, I hope it all turns out for the best for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Where's the heart?

Dunno.

But my father was an active fellow -- hell, his energy level even astounded me.

Until he found out he was almost dead because 80% of all his major arteries were blocked.

A quadruple bypass later and some healing: and he's stronger than EVER.

Portnoy is awesome, I'll give you that. But sometimes, one has to leave because they are the blockage, not the other way around.

Personally I listen to A7X and while the music is ... 'ok': it's far from anything I would listen to with regularity.

That's great if that is what he wants to do: but like you said, there have been other bands before who, after losing a 'critical member' -- have ended up getting the shot of adrenaline they needed, and turning out better in the end.

Time will tell.

Benjamin Thomas, India said...

This is crazy! Crap I feel like crying! Been a DT fan for just a few years now but I've loved them with all my heart and soul. Mike Portnoy if by anychance you're reading this-please, PLEASE PLEASE for the love of The Rev, reconsider. I'm sure he'd not want you to leave Dream Theater to take his place in A7X.
Oh God please let this be some kind of prank you're trying to play on us. I don't mind. Please don't leave Dream Theater. I'm from India, I'm 20. I've never gotten to see you guys play live. I've been waiting till I finish college here and then come to the States JUST to see you guys for once in my life. Believe me-it is the 1st thing on my list of top ten things to do once I'm a free man. Don't do this to the thousands of us around the world. Please. Much love and respect.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Christ is actually the youngest member of the band. [:

Anonymous said...

One should never underestimate the awesome creative ability of the remaining members of Dream Theater.

Petrucci, Myung, LaBrie, Rudess?

We're in safe hands.

Evandro said...

Hm.. very oriented post... Maybe it's why MP care to put on the line.

I want to know, Mr. Portnoy, if the post was showing the other side of the fork, if will be on your list.

DAMN! Tired? SO JUST STOP FUCKING PLAYING WITH EVERYONE! FUCK... Asshole.

BE A MAN. If you don't want to play with DT, SAY IT! Don't blame excess of work or anything else. YOU DON'T WANT THEM ANYMORE!

Anonymous said...

Well, Mike Portnoy might have been one to make a lot of DT's creative and business decisions, it's not like John Petrucci just sat back like a tool.
If John Petrucci can actually handle the pressure of leading the band, making those calls, booking the tours, etc. etc. etc., then DT can carry on with Petrucci as the 'heart'.
Dream Theater is as much Petrucci's as it was Portnoy's.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy was not the youngest member of Avenged Sevenfold...
Jimmy born 1981 and Johnny Christ 1984.
foREVer!

Anonymous said...

excellently said Sir.

but, umm, the youngest member of Avenged Sevenfold is Johnny Christ. Jimmy was actually the oldest. but it's still cool :) (you say i know too much, i agree)

again, i very much enjoyed this blog post, but um, yeah. dates! :D

Anonymous said...

GREAT POST!

The moment I saw the "wither" video in Dec 2009, I immediately thought, "they're saying goodbye." Flash forward 9 months and here we are.

I agree with your post.

Further irony to me was that yesterday morning, Kevin Moore sent an email out about his new album.

To me, Kevin Moore resurfacing was peculiar. Maybe it was foreshadowing some ex-DT news, or maybe it was just balancing itself out in a give-and-take sorta way ("you can take away my heroes, but can you take away my pain" comes to mind - and with new Kevin Moore music, YES, my pain has been taken away.)

MAYBE Kev's email was a signal that we'll see a PORTNOY/MOORE based super-group reunion, finally!

Anonymous said...

Really nice article mate. My feelings and thoughts exactly.

Anonymous said...

word! im still not believing it

Anonymous said...

do the other members of dream theater have heart? i'd say so

Sinfonian said...

After reading the press release, I can certainly sympathize with Mike and the hard decision he had to make. Part of me wants Dream Theater to continue making music, but I can't imagine what the band will be like without Portnoy's influence. Perhaps it would be best if the rest of the band agreed to Mike's proposal of a hiatus, but I doubt they'll change their minds.

Peri said...

When Randy Rhodes has died, lots of fans and lots of people said there's no guitar player like him. And then become Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde. It's happening the same. Dream Theater is a great band and much bigger than Mike Portnoy by it self. He´s fantastic, for sure, but Dream Theater will survive iwth another great drummer.

Anonymous said...

As much as I love Mike Portnoy, and as much as his announcement saddened me, DT will be fine without him and he will be fine without DT.

The fact that DT is still going strong after 25 years says quite a lot.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you've shown nothing but class for 25 years.

However, linking to this article, today, implying that DT won't survive without you really gives me pause. I really would have expected better.

choon-kang said...

Mike did check and supervise EVERYTHING. Just think about the individualized setlists for every concert, the tours with HIS favorite bands, the recordings for the PORTNOY-ARCHIVES, write his share or the lyrics, sing backing vocals...
How will DT continue without him? He wasn't just the heart, he was (part of) the brain and the hands as well.

Paul Gargano said...

Thank you all for the comments so far - I have to run to a meeting, so I won't have a chance to read and respond until later today, but I did fix the incorrect line about The Rev being youngest.

My apologies, I flipped the Rev with Johnny when I looked up their birthdays last night...

I'll respond in more detail later.

Paul

Prog Power said...

By saying DT will fail without MP is an insult and undermines the preceding legends of the rest of the band. The spirit cannot carry on without JP, imagine Awake without Labrie, Octavarium without JR, or Myung's Dance of Eternity.
MP needed DT as much as DT needs MP.

Who'll run the business now? JR's a frikkin' Jew. Go figure.

If Journey can find legendary vocals disguised as a street urchin in the Philippines, there's still hope for the magic of Dream Theater to carry on. Energy never dies...

Oh, and MP did NOT give up. You did. Don't equate your decisions out of desperation (failures) to MP's choice to stay true to himself and DT. Right or wrong, he has earned the respect... and now is doing his bit to destroy it by linking this blog post on FB.

Anonymous said...

Sorry mike...I hated your last 2 years decisions...
you made too many projects, too many thing to do...other DT member don't deserve this...so it's better couse maybe DT will return to make good albums, and not albums like syst chaos, that is orrible.
DT will go on? And you? With A7F that is not a band, is very bad music...really really bad...

Trevor said...

I strongly disagree. Mike compained that he was tired and needed a break to "recharge" his batteries. But at the same time he is the most involved in side-projects. That would be like me going home to my wife and say "honey I need a break, 'cause there is this new young beautiful girl at work and she's tons of fun and our marriage is burning me out". That's how I see it so far.

Well said.

dAm2K said...

I cannot think of DT without mike, and I cannot believe that's real.
Too sad! No words.

-- dAm2K

Faulkner said...

Evandro said...

DAMN! Tired? SO JUST STOP FUCKING PLAYING WITH EVERYONE!

Ha ha ha. All the same, good point.

Sami said...

If you would learn how to read he never said Jimmy was the youngest. He Said " A quick timeline: In 1985 - one year after the youngest member of the band Avenged Sevenfold is born" Never named anyone.

On the other hand. Mike is an amazing drummer. I am sure he will find his home soon. When one struggles with such a question of a long period of time, It even makes it harder. I applaud him for knowing when to let go before things crumble.

Jay said...

Very true...
I'm confused as to how anybody could blame Portnoy for this, even those of us who take this as awful news. A break is perfectly acceptable, if not necessary at this point, and the idea that such a band refused this idea and subsequently lost a core member is quite upsetting to me. Dream Theater are one of the greatest bands I've had the privilege to enjoy, and Mike's departure will mark a change I'd rather not see take place. Why do bad things have to happen...

Anonymous said...

I wish Mike Portnoy the best of luck with his new endeavors, and the best to his family, I'm sure this is a family decision also. I'm am shocked and disappointed about him leaving Dream Theater, but he has paid his dues, and has every right to explore his creative options, play on my brother, and please continue to do the drum cams with whoever you play with, its important for us drummers!!! Tommy Guns Canton, GA

Lloyd Harvey said...

This was a great post to read. There are so many different opinions on the matter of this and for me, its really difficult to decide where I sit. I do agree with you. Dream Theater without Portnoy? Whats the point? I think the remaining members should carry on but it might be better to change their name and go a different way. I think they'll do fine but Dream Theater they are not (now).

Portnoy on the other hand, I feel, has made a big mistake. I don't know if its confirmed or what, but there seems to be an idea that he is going to be joining A7x full time. I think it hasn't been mentioned but it does seem to be on people’s minds. I hope, he doesn't join them because they are nowhere near technically adequate to match him, which would very quickly become frustrating for him.

Also, if he does join them, its a very big sell out move. But like I said, it’s rumoured. Time is going to be a key thing in story and I am more interested in what Dream Theater does now.

Sadly, I feel Portnoy has turned his back on a very large amount of people, and I think that will weigh very heavily on him. He maybe back, he may not.

I think a lot of us prog lovers can look forward to when (eventually) Tool bring out their next album. When they do, we'll all be Dream who?

(Always finish on a controversial statement)

Anonymous said...

Supervise EVERYTHING: Setlist rotation, Bootlegs, interviews, opening bands... A lot of stuff but guys, you know what DT is all about: MUSIC. Music is the main reason we are here, the setlist, the bootlegs are part of the deal but not the main reason, and here I clearly see that Mike is just 1/4 of the Music of DT, and I'm sure that the other guys are really really up to make music from their hearths, then there's nothing to worry about... maybe we will not have more Bootlegs, or the Setlist will not be so unique or we will not have full album live covers... but I dont care if we still have great music... I love mike but really seems like people is overrationg him as some sort of DT's Rogers Waters... But as Pink Floyd could keep going without Roger... DT will be more than fine without his great and unique Drummer Mike Portnoy.

Andres said...

I have to agree with you.

I know it wasn't easy for Mike to do it but I believe is the best for him.

I don't hope for DT to split up I just want them to realize what a huge mistake they made before it's too late.

Im not a big DT fan, i love some of their songs but not at as a diehard fan as I am with Avenged. By interviews i've read before Mike was a work maniac and he said it was a relieve to just go on tour without having to be on top of every detail. It's not A7X's fault nor anybody's.

We all love Mike and we should be supporting him in every step of his journey instead of crying about his departure from DT. The Avenged Sevenfold, Dream Theater and Metal family is really proud of everything he has done for us.



And if any remote chance Mike can see this, I want him to know that All Costa Rica is with you bro and God bless you and your family! Carpe Diem; Memento Mori

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. My entire family have been DT fans for years and years. My son learned to play drums by listening and watching Mike Portnoy. He also learned to play guitar by watching and listening to John Petrucci. I think they will move on and do well, they are a very talented group. Just sad..it reminds me of the Metallica syndrome with Jason. You play with us only. It seems it was okay for Portnoy to do his side projects when they included other members of DT, but not this time. We saw A7X with Mike drumming, he seemed at home, having fun, playing what he loves playing and it was nice to see him sitting there. I wish him and DT all the best.

Anonymous said...

So, one of the best bands of all time is now officially dead according to a dude that's reading every Twilight book?

Forgive me if I doubt your integrity on this matter.

Joe Vetter said...

there is no Green Bay Packers without Brett Favre. Or is there?

Let's wait what kind of Aaron Rodgers is taking Mike's position under center.

By the way: the secret ingredient is John Myung anyways.

Anonymous said...

Great blogpost. Odd that Portnoy would post a link to this on his Twitter and Facebook pages. I would think he would want to lay low for a bit. Let the dust settle. But his incredible ego won't allow it. Dude is a first class douche.
How long do you think he'll wait to announce that he's joining A7X? Week? Month? End of tour?

Ruben Ricardo said...

Estoy muy muy triste con la partida de Mike....
DT es como mi familia...
Mike y John son mis padres...
que esten separados...
es una trajedia !!!...
Sin Mike... DT perdera la GRACIA...

Mike es el MOTOR, el PODER...
Dios quiera que regrese.
es injusto que el sea solo el REEMPLAZO de alguien...

Abdul said...

Dream Theater comprises of 2 main cores; Mike and Petrucci. Take out any one of them and the chemistry, sound, feel, musical edge will be gone.

Lionel said...

Simplemente me duele que mike dejo a Dream Thetaer (I'm just hurts that mike leaves Dream Thetaer)...
A fan from GUATEMALA!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dream theater tidak dibangun oleh satu orang saja,dream theater adalah satu kesatuan kompleks dan utuh.jika portnoy meninggalkan DT maka DT tidak akan sama lagi,begitu jg jika DT ditinggalkan Myung ataupun Labrie.jadi menurut saya DT akan tetap eksis dan solid walaupun tanpa Myung,Portnoy ataupun Petrucci,krn kami fans Dream Theater.bukan individu,thanks...

Anonymous said...

la brie the soul and mike the heart? come on man, how about petrucci? he's the main songwriter, he is everything, and la brie is just the singer, i love mike and still love him, but i think he's the one that is more replaceable, there are great drummers in the world, he is one of the bests, I know, but the songs can be the same with petrucci and rudess still on board, and the magic on stage will be the same with all the other guys, come on DREAM THEATER!!!! I love you mike, you are the best drummer dream could ever have, and the best drummer transatlantic and hail and A7X have, but I think the DREAM will go on!!!

Anonymous said...

from GUATEMALA.... a fan just hurts this bullshit

No Regrets said...

I think Portnoy made the right decision. As much as it pains the fans, he had to do what was in his heart just like you had to do what was in yours when you left Metal Edge. Dream Theater will continue, whether it's with Mike Mangini (my obvious choice) on drums or someone else. They are an established company and when any company loses a founding member they will continue. Will it be just as good or better? Only time will tell.

Whatever happens I know DT fans are man enough to say "Hey Mike...best wishes and much success to you brother! You'll do great in every you do!"

Anonymous said...

Labrie soul of DT ? LOL do you even know who writes the music in DT ? Congratulations on loosing all credibility in only one sentence. The band was created by 3 people.
And MP links to THIS ? Wow... Some bitterness in the air...

Bryson Leach said...

Certainly sad... I must say.
I've been lived and breathed and survived off of Dream Theater for 4 years now. I know every song by heart. Every beat, every note. They were my only "safe haven" in music nowadays, considering so much of it's crap anymore. Without Mike Portnoy, it's going to be... interesting.
I would like to see who DT picks up for their new drummer. In their press release, they stated the will still be recording a new album in January and will continue to go at the same "intensity" that they've always gone on.
I just hope the reunite someday. Because they're a family, and families deserve to get back together after being apart.

Anonymous said...

Please omg please how many times must it be said its not avenged sevenfolds fault they didnt force him to quit it was his own decision his own free will. Its just like anyone who plays music you play the same thing for so long you get tired you want to do something new. I understand that it is a sad day in metal but people please get laid have your own life and let him have his and not have to deal with fifty million fans bitching on facebook and every other website in the world.

Charles Bronson said...

To me one of the things that made dream theater unique was that the band was basically the same throughout all it's records. I don't think they will be successfull without Portnoy though.

I also think that a couple years from now (two, maybe three) the other members will realise they can't go on without portnoy, so they will accept portnoy's conditions to work. And mike portnoy will also realise he won't get the freedom he has in dream theater anywhere else. Consequentely they will unite once again (that is if he doesn't form a new band with daniel gildenlow, hehehe).

Jacky said...

I agree with this, I just find it a shame on a7x and Mike that suddenly there are a lot of DT fans hating on Avenged sevenfold, saying it's all their fault.

Zimbali Rentals said...

I honestly believe that over time, both parties (MP and the DT 4) will come to realise that there's an unfillable void in their souls, I know millions of people around the world experienced it yesterday.

Paul Gargano said...

To be clear, I never condemned Dream Theater to a death sentence because Mike Portnoy left the band. What I did do was express my opinion - I don't think Dream Theater will be as powerful a band without their founding drummer.

In my opinion, as a Dream Theater fan, Mike Portnoy is the heart of the band. If you don't agree, that's fine, we are all entitled to our opinions - and that is why I print every response here, not just the ones that are in agreement with me and in support of Mike.

That said, I really wish people would stop arguing that if Mike is tired, he shouldn't be playing with other bands - this break wasn't about playing, it was about personalities.

After 25 years, Mike needed a break from the band. You can compare it to a marriage, but it's NOT a marriage. It's a band. A band of Dream Theater's stature is big business, and like any multi-million dollar corporation, there are headaches that are inconceivable to many of us.

Contrary to public perception, success doesn't make problems go away, it just makes them easier to sweep under the carpet.

But what happens when that carpet needs to be lifted?

Mike wasn't tired physically, he was tired mentally. He needed a break, and clearly the band needed one, too, or they wouldn't have been so carefree about letting him walk away.

It's easy to point fingers at Mike, because he's the only one exposing himself - and from a professional perspective, as well as a fan's perspective, that should speak volumes.

Mike Portnoy told us how he feels, why he feels that way, and what he offered to do to remedy the situation.

Dream Theater responded by essentially forcing him to leave, then calling the situation a "black cloud with a silver lining" and affirming that they will be in the studio in January with a new drummer.

The black cloud is Mike leaving and the silver lining is moving on without him?

And you wonder why Mike might be a little bitter?

As a Dream Theater fan, I'm bitter, too - that is why I wrote what I wrote.

Thank you all for reading and responding!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is:
Genesis without Gabriel
Floyd without Waters
Purple withour Blackmore
Spocks Beard without Morse
...
I think Dream Theater will prevail.

Anonymous said...

Good post. Can't see how DT can continue without Portnoy. He was so much more than just the man behind the drums.

BlueThroneJeff said...

On a humorous note, I like imagine that MP's decision came after he caught Jordon Rudess in the studio, new Eigenharp Alpha in hand, wanking on a level that no one has ever wanked before.

MP: "That's it! I'm done!"

(This is for you DT fans who favor "Awake" over most other albums)

Anonymous said...

MP burns himself out. When the other boys are resting up with their families after a world tour MP is touring heavily with side projects. He is also a control freak, which is fine, but don't blame the other members for not pulling their weight. He has historically been too heavily involved in "Managing the band" rather than delegating.........to management. He is touring with A7X and all of the sudden he doesn't have to do anything.......he just has to turn up and play. Of course he is "having more fun" than with DT. I know Mike might believe it but there is no i in team. Pleeeeeease......DT is bigger than 1 man, no matter how good he may be. Cheers, The Wise One from Downunder.

Anonymous said...

wtf, how can you possibly say that laBrie is DT's soul. makes no sence at all, the most dispensable member of DT is James, even though I love his singing. Portnoy is not more than anyone in the band, all of them are the heart and soul so cut the crap, DT without Petrucci is as fucked up as without portnoy, or myung. if you don't consider this you are just another ignorant speaking about a matter he does not know enough.

Marina C. said...

Im scared. Is hard to think about my big favorite band without a leader. Without a heart [like you said], can´t be the same thing. But, I´ll to wait, anxiously.

This is not a good thing.


Greets from Brazil ;)

Nice post btw.

Anonymous said...

Mike's departure sounds just like this: nonsense.

I'm still believing this is just an April's fool...

Anonymous said...

Don't shed a tear for MP burning himself out on DT. He made those choices to try to be all things. Maybe others in the band tried to intervene. Maybe he didn't let them. Maybe his burn-out is his own fault and the others were equally tired of his control complex coupled with a martyr complex. Whatever. DT as we knew it is over. Who knows what the future holds. One thing is for sure. Time will shine more light on the breakup...and the soul and perseverence of all involved.

Chris said...

Nothing can live without a heart to pump blood..

apalagi said...

so, who's gonna replace MP's position ? i suggest DT to have a younger drummer than A7X's youngest member (the one you guys 've argued about). fair enough.. :)

Double Your Dating said...

There can't be a Dream Theater without a Mike Portnoy. Without any of the members for that matter, even though as you say, Mike is the heart, every DT member has brought its soul into the game, although, for me it's all about Mike and John Petrucci. With any of those guys of the game, I'm out. It's just really nonsense that they wouldn't understand Mike's position and just left him leave and made the un-comprehensible decision of moving on without him. It's just plain nonsense.

Anonymous said...

It's really sad news. DT without MP .... hmmm I just can't imagine what it is. But I will respect his decision. Good luck for your future journey. All the best. I'll stay with DT. Sorry Mike.

Anonymous said...

portnoy we miss you on dream theater but...is your choice.
dream theater is = portnoy, petrucci, myung, rudess and la brie.
And dream theater is = petrucci, myung, rudess and la brie.
your baby is dream theater don't forget.
returns soon...

Anonymous said...

LONG LIVE DREAM THEATER
from the Philippine! \m/

André Fadel said...

I would be more disppointed if Jordan Rudess had left. I believe Rudess-Petrucci are the blood pumpers now. Regards from Brazil

Anonymous said...

when they said youngest member, they were talking about johnny. they only mentioned jimmy about the overdose and how mike had to fill his seat for the studio and tour. its sad to see this, but this is what mike thinks needs to be done. you dont leave your baby unless its time to.

Anonymous said...

"Mike Portnoy forms the band Majesty"? Give me a f'n break, the four of them did. Don't make this look like he formed the band by himself, got them to legend status all by himself and then the guys turned their backs on him. That's just unfair.

Anonymous said...

The "Heart" of the band threw the other 4 internal organs under the bus. I mean, whant kind of option is it to say no more business for a few years? And right after the IM tour just brought in thousands of potential new fans. In this case, we have myocardial infarction, so it's high time for a translpant.

Rohini said...

I mourn this with you. It's too brutal a thing to accept as a fan. :( Don't want to accept this...

Anonymous said...

True Dream Theater will not be the same but were they the same band when Kevin Moore left? Mike does TONS of side projects and sure he needs his "space" to recharge but why should the rest of the band put the career of DT on hold? Portnoy isn't the only "heart of the band". Are we forgetting John Petrucci...he has written some of the most intense lyrics ever. True Portnoy/Petrucci have been an amazing production/songwriting team but I don't think this is the end of Dream Theater...will it be the same? No. Will it be better or worse? Who knows but this I do know, as fans we should support both Mike and the remaining members of Dream Theater and see what the future holds.