According to Eddie Trunk — co-host of the VH1 Classic television program “That Metal Show” who has a long-running radio show, “Friday Night Rocks”, on New York’s Q104.3 FM — Mike Mangini, the 47-year-old session artist who has played for ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE and STEVE VAI, is strongly rumored to have joined DREAM THEATER as the replacement for the recently departed Mike Portnoy.
Mangini is notorious for his technical prowess and holds three out of four World’s Fastest Drummer titles. These include the Fastest Matched grip at 1,247 strokes in 60 seconds; Fastest Hands, which he earned by executing 1,203 single-stroke notes in 60 seconds without drumsticks mallets etc.; Fastest Traditional Grip which he earned by executing 1,126 strokes in 60 seconds; and Fastest Single Stroke Foot record, playing 13,222 hits in 15 minutes and 5,222 hits in five minutes.
Mangini has written two books about his drumming techniques. These books, titled “Rhythm Knowledge”, are a practice method for deconstructing and simplifying complex polyrhythms and time signatures.
Mangini joined ANNIHILATOR in 1991 and appeared on the band’s “Set The World On Fire” album. He toured with the group in support of the CD until 1994 at which point he was asked to play with the Massachusetts band EXTREME, replacing that group’s original drummer Paul Geary.
After EXTREME dissolved in 1996, Mike was informed through drummer Jonathan Mover that guitarist Steve Vai was auditioning drummers for his live band. Mike successfully auditioned for Steve Vai’s band and relocated to Los Angeles.
From late 1996 to early 2000, Mangini was the highly regarded drummer of Vai’s live ensemble, which also included bassist Philip Bynoe, guitar wizard Mike Keneally and (in 2000) guitarist Dave Weiner. Mike also recorded several drum tracks for Steve’s “Fire Garden” and “Ultrazone” albums.
In 2005, Mike accepted a full-time teaching position at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and today he is a prominent faculty member in the school’s percussion department.
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band last summer while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD.
He played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD’s latest album, “Nightmare”, following the death of that band’s drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, and toured with them in late 2010 .