Mike Portnoy is an American drummer, best known as the former drummer and co-founder of progressive metal / band Dream Theater. He resigned from the band in 2010 after 25 years. Nowadays, Portnoy is known for many other bands and projects. He is a founding member of Transatlantic, a progressive rock “super-group” which also includes former Spock’s Beard keyboardist / vocalist Neal Morse. He is also a founding member of the bands Flying Colours and Winery Dogs. Portnoy has also recorded and/or toured with, among others, Adrenaline Mob, Overkill, G3 and Avenged Sevenfold. When I did this interview in June at Sweden Rock, Portnoy was on tour with the Winery Dogs and the legendary Twisted Sister with whom he has played as the tour drummer from May 2015 onward. There is always a lot going on in the world of Mike Portnoy, and here’s what the man had to tell us about his ongoing activities and immediatefuture plans.
FEATURING: BILLY SHEEHAN (WINERY DOGS/MR. BIG), STEPHEN PERKINS (JANE’S ADDICTION), PAT TORPEY (MR. BIG), RUDY SARZO (OZZY/WHITESNAKE), PHIL X (BON JOVI/ THE DRILLS), JOEL HOEKSTRA (WHITESNAKE/TSO), DUG PINNICK (KINGS-X), PHIL BUCKMAN (FUEL), TODD MORSE (JULIETTE & THE LICKS/THE OFFSPRING/ H2O), JEFF SCOTT SOTO (TSO), MARTY O’BRIEN (LITA FORD), MATT STARR (ACE FREHLEY/ MR. BIG), JOEY VERA (ARMORED ST./ MOTOR SISTER), JOSHUA RAY (SHANIA TWAIN), DEREK FRANK (SHANIA TWAIN), ELIJAH WOOD (SHANIA TWAIN), GRETCHEN BONADUCE (ANKH), ACE VON JOHNSON (FASTER PUSSYCAT), ANTHONY “TINY” BIUSO (HEDpe/TSOL), SHAWN DUNCAN (BULLETBOYS/ODIN), TANYA O’CALLAGHAN (RONNIE WOODS), NICK BOWCOTT (GRIM REAPER/MARSHALL), HOWIE SIMON (NELSON/ERIC MARTIN), JEFF DUNCAN (ARMORED SAINT), YOLANDA THOMAS,
PETTY CASH (Members From THE OFFSPRING/JULIETTE & THE LICKS/ FUEL), THE GUESSING GAME (Featuring JEFF ROUSE/ Duff Mckagan’s LOADED/ Chris Jericho’s FOZZY & GARY WESTLAKE/ Peter Frampton) & MORE!!
MANY MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED IN THE COMING WEEKS!!
** A HUGE SURPRISE SPECIAL GUEST SET – NOT TO MISS !**
ROCK ROYALTY JOIN FORCES FOR A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR TONY MACALPINE
December 12th: Benefit For Tony MacAlpine @ the Wiltern Theater, LA
Included in the show were:
John 5 & The Creatures
Steve Vai and band
Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt
The evening finale was an all-star jam with house band Portnoy, Sheehan, Sherinian, and featuring special guests.
Videos from the benefit show can be viewed below:
MacAlpine’s update on his health:
“Hello my friends,
I would like to say hello to you all and wish you the best during this holiday season. Regardless of whether you are near or far, this is the time of the year that brings friends and family together.
It has been a while since I have had the energy to write, so I will take this time to give you an update of sorts, a small window into some of my daily activities at this point.
Two months after my surgery on August 28th, I have been strictly following the course of these excellent Doctors of Medicine, and progress is being achieved at a rate they as well as I am encouraged by. It is a difficult routine that I must endure for many more months that involves a very intense series of drug therapies and constant analytical procedures that are overwhelmingly draining because of their brutal side effects, but my eyes and heart are on the big picture, which is recovery.
More often than not the biggest hurdle is knowing that after you engage yourself in this fight – this battle on a weekly schedule – you still must reserve some energy to think positive, as that is a very important and necessary mechanic in this healing process.
Your prayers, messages and positive energy are not going unnoticed, and although I have quite a long road ahead, it is not traveled alone, as I have all of you there for support. And I thank you all for that!
I will touch base and give you further updates soon.”
TONIGHT, Nov. 25th 2015, Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan and drummer Gregg Bissonette will reunite at Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood, California, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of David Lee Roth’s Eat ‘Em and Smile album with a one-time-only show.
They’ll be joined by guest vocalist Ralph Saenz, also known as Steel Panther’s Michael Starr.
The show is free, and it’ll kick off 8:30 p.m. It will mark the first time in 30 years that Vai, Sheehan and Bissonette have played together. They’ll be recreating music from the 1986 album and tour.
Eat ‘Em and Smile was the first of two Roth albums to feature Vai and Sheehan.
This show is part of “Ultimate Jam Night,” a series of free performances that take place Wednesdays at Lucky Strike Live. This particular “Ultimate Jam Night” certainly lives up to its name.
The 30th Anniversary of the EAT EM’ and SMILE BAND” featuring STEVE VAI, BILLY SHEEHAN, and GREGG BISSONETTE along with guest vocalist RALPH SAENZ (“Michael Starr” of Steel Panther)
ROCK ROYALTY JOIN FORCES FOR A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR TONY MACALPINE
(Los Angeles, CA) Guitar legends Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde and John 5, along with drum powerhouse Mike Portnoy, bass icon Billy Sheehanand keyboard phenomenon Derek Sherinian are joining forces to play a benefit concert for guitar and keyboard virtuoso Tony MacAlpine, who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer.
The Benefit for Tony MacAlpine will take place at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on December 12, 2015, at 7:00pm, featuring performances from John 5 & The Creatures, Zakk Wylde with Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Derek Sherinian; Steve Vai and band, and culminating in an all-star jam with house band Portnoy, Sheehan, Sherinian featuring special guests. Eddie Trunk will serve as master of ceremonies for the night.
In addition to this extraordinary musical event, Steve Vai, John 5, Paul Gilbert and Joe Satriani have all graciously donated personal guitars to be auctioned during the event. Tony’s gear manufacturers Ibanez, Hughes & Kettner, EMG Pickups, Ernie Ball, Source Audioand Voodoo Lab have also generously donated equipment to be raffled.
Tony’s cancer diagnosis comes on the heels of his wife’s diagnosis with breast cancer in June, making the situation even more trying for Tony and his family.
“Tony is a dear friend, an absolutely sweet human being and one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever worked with,” says Mike Portnoy, “We are coming together to help raise money and awareness to help him fight his battle and come out on top!” Adds Steve Vai, “It’s a great privilege to take to the stage with my friends Zakk, John, Mike and Billy in support of our dear friend Tony. Tony has always been blessed with an exceptional talent and more so, he’s an exceptionally cool guy. It’s a great cause and will be a magical evening of guitar extravaganza.”
“Tony has been such an inspiration to me,” says John 5 “He is an incredible musician and an unbelievable talent. Please let’s all come together and beat this!”
“Tony is our brother. We look forward to making a historical night, and raising a lot of money to help our friend in need.” said Derek Sherinian.
Tony MacAlpine is widely known as a guitar virtuoso who is just as skilled on the keys. Edge of Insanity, his classic debut album, was recently ranked by Guitar World magazine as one of the Top Ten Shred Guitar Albums of all time. Aside from his solo work, Tony has also been part of several rock supergroups including Planet X with Derek Sherinian and Virgil Donati; PSMS (Portnoy/Sheehan/MacAlpine/Sherinian); as well as the Grammy nominated CAB with bassist Bunny Brunel and drummer Dennis Chambers. MacAlpine also spent seven years playing guitar and keys in Steve Vai’s touring band The Breed.
Tony’s most recent album Concrete Gardens was released in May. Tony toured the US in June to promote the album, but was forced to cancel tours of Asia, Australia and Europe when his health deteriorated.
Tickets are on sale: Saturday November 7, at 10am PT through LiveNation.com, with all proceeds going to help Tony and his family. A GoFundMe campaign will be set up for fans who can’t make the show, but still want to contribute.
Doors will be at 7 pm with the show set to begin at 8 pm. For tickets, visit www.livenation.com
This special event will take place at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on December 12, 2015, at 7:00pm, featuring performances from John 5 & The Creatures, Zakk Wylde with Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Derek Sherinian; Steve Vai and band, and culminating in an all-star jam with house band Portnoy, Sheehan, Sherinian, and featuring special guests. Eddie Trunk will serve as master of ceremonies for the night.
EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS MIKE PORTNOY, BILLY SHEEHAN, TONY MACALPINE, DEREK SHERINIAN
LIVE IN TOKYO
~On DVD, Blu-ray, 2CD, Digital Audio, and Digital Video~
~September 3, 2013~
On September 3, 2013, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Live In Tokyo by Portnoy Sheehan MacAlpine Sherinian on DVD, Blu-ray, 2CD and digital audio and video formats [Pre-book Order Date August 18, MSRP $19.98 Blu-ray, $14.98 DVD, $16.98 2CD].Read the rest of this entry »
MR. BIG is back to announce their highly anticipated new studio album entitled « What If… » on February 8, 2011 on Frontiers Records.
«What If… » is MR. BIG’s first all original album since the reunion of the four original members, Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey back in early 2009. Sixteen years after the release of « Hey Man », the new recording is set to bring back MR. BIG on the height of the current Hard Rock scene.
Guitarist Paul Gilbert said: “This is the first MR. BIG album I have been a part of, since fourteen years and it was done in a snap. It was fun and we had really a good time in making this one”. Continues Billy Sheehan “It’s so great to be back with Paul, Eric and Pat too. We wrote this record like we did in the old days for the first 2 records. Jamming together in the same room to write songs”. Pat Torpey adds ““Some of the recording process is different now from what we were used to in the old times. But I think this record really managed to capture the performances of the band, not of the individual musicians”.
Eric Martin concludes: “I like to compare this to the first album, when we just got to know each other in a reharsal studio and cut it in 8 or 9 days. This is like chapter 2. We had so many years, so many records and so many things behind us. Now this feels like a beautiful brand new chapter starting for all of us”.
« What If… » was produced by Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Rush, Iron Maiden) and the release will be followed by a World Tour which will kick off in South America in March and will hit Europe in early summer.
Formed in 1988, Mr. Big forged its place in hard rock history by combining trademark “shredding” musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies. The original line-up – vocalist Eric Martin, guitarist Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer Pat Torpey. Mr. Big produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres – be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock.
Their hits included “To Be With You” (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and record sales in the multi-millions), “Wild World”, Green-Tinted sixties Mind”, “Just Take My Heart”, and a host of heavy metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances: “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy”, “Addicted to that Rush”, “Colorado Bulldog”, and “Take Cover”.
“What If…” will be released in a special edition CD + DVD in digipak, regular CD, vinyl and digital download and in a limited edition luxury box including the CD, DVD, LP and exclusive memorabilia.
“What If…” tracklisting includes: Undertow; American Beauty; Stranger In My Life; Nobody Takes the Blame; Still Ain’t Enough for Me; Once Upon a Time; As Far As I Can See; All The Way Up; I Won’t Get In My Way; Around The World; I Get The Feeling; Unforgiven (exclusive bonus track for Europe / North America – not on vinyl edition).
The DVD will include the videoclips of “Undertow” and “All the Way Up” plus a documentary “Making of” the album including interviews and exclusive behind the scenes features of the four members.