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.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
Once again here we are again as the Finnish Metal-Rules.com two-man-team made their annual road trip to Sweden Rock. The 2016 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock as usual. Over 70 bands offered one hell of an experience for the attendees during the four day festival. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past ten years always being sold out like this year. However, it took a bit longer until all the tickets were gone this year. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article of several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. It was sad to see the final show by Twisted Sister, but of course fabulous to see a whole bunch of other bands. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal talks touring with Metal Allegiance for East Coast Trek
Interview by Robert Cavuoto
Metal Allegiance are proud to announce their Destination (Almost) East Coast Tour! The seven day trek that’s kicks off March 31st in Providence and ends April 7th at the Gramercy in New York! With their critically acclaimed self-titled album under their belt, they are bringing their all-star team and epic live experience to the East Coast! The touring band consists of some great metal musicians like Mike Portnoy [The Winery Dogs], Alex Skolnick [Testament], Chuck Billy [Testament], Mark Menghi, Chris Jericho [Jericho], Mark Oseguesda [Death Angel] and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of [Guns & Roses].
They will be performing their songs along with a ton of other hard rock and heavy metal song with plenty of surprises, making it a night not to be missed. Check out their tour dates and tickets info here ticketspin.com/metal-allegiance.
I was able to catch up with Bumblefoot to talk about his role with Metal Allegiance, the second Art of Anarchy CD due out in June, and risking it all to bring metal music to foreign counties!
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.”
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.
Metal Allegiance have released the first lyric video from the upcoming self–titled release available worldwide on September 18th via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. “Can’t Kill The Devil” features Chuck Billy on vocals; Alex Skolnick, Phil Demmel & Andreas Kisser on guitars; David Ellefson on bass; and Mike Portnoy on drums. The lyric video for the song impacting radio today can be seen here: https://youtu.be/zjXEXx-mIdc.
“I am very honored to be a part of the Metal Allegiance record. The track ‘Can’t Kill The Devil’ was fun and challenging for me,” states vocalist Chuck Billy. “Working outside of Testament lets me try different things with my voice. I think the fans are going to be singing along to this track for sure.”
Progressive metal maestros Dream Theater have always been diligent Finnish visitors. The band made its live debut in Finland in 1995. This show on Feb.24th, 2014 was their tenth show here. The band released its 12’th studio album DREAM THEATER in September 2103 and it’s been a worldwide success on the charts. The album has received critical acclaim and the first single “The Enemy Inside” was nominated for a “Best Metal Performance” Grammy Award. Understandably, the recovery process took its time but it stands to reason that the band is doing very well without its founding member/drummer Mike Portnoy who left the band under difficult circumstances in 2011. It’s time of another “Evening with Dream Theater”!
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 »
Mike Portnoy issues video message to fans about Adrenaline Mob’s upcoming UK & European tour. Legendary ex-Dream Theater sticksman Mike Portnoy has taken time out of his schedule to film a short video message from his studio for his UK and European fans, which reveals what they can expect from his upcoming debut live tour with heavy metal super group ADRENALINE MOB (Mike Portnoy, Russell Allen, Mike Orlando and John Moyer).
Watch Mike’s video message here:
Portnoy has also commented: “After having now given the US a taste of The Mob live, I cannot wait to bring the incredible raw energy of this band to Europe and the UK! It’s going to be a blast to play a bunch of the great festivals that have always been summer highlights for me as well as making the rounds in select cities with our own club shows.”
2012 is shaping up to be some year for ADRENALINE MOB who released their new vicious slap “Omertá”, via Century Media Records this spring, reaching #5 on the US Billboard Rock Album Chart and also landing #62 on the Billboard Top 200.
Catch the band on the UK & European leg of their tour at the following cities: June
8 – Sweden Rock – Sweden Rock, Sweden
10 – Nosturi – Helsinki, Finland
13 – Studio Club – Krakow, Poland
14 – MMC Club – Bratislava, Slovakia
15 – Pesca Music Club – Budapest, Hungary
16 – Szene – Vienna, Austria
17 – Conrad Sohm – Dornbirn, Austria
18 – Z7 – Pratteln, Switzerland
20 – Orion – Rome, Italy
21 – Gods of Metal – Milan, Italy
23 – Graspop – Dessel, Belgium
24 – Maroquinerie- Paris, France
25 – Colos-Saal – Aschaffenburg, Germany
26 – Knust – Hamburg, Germany
29 – King Tuts – Glasgow, UK
30 – Moho Live – Manchester, UK
1 – Academy2 – Birmingham, UK
2 – The Junction – Cambridge, UK
3 – Kings College London Student Union – London, UK
5 – Rockfabrik – Ludwigsburg, Germany
6 – Theaterfabrik – Munich, Germany
7 – Matrix – Bochum, Germany
8 – Bospop Music Festival – Weert, Netherlands
Watch the video to ‘Indifferent’ – the first single from the album Omertá here:
Mike Mangini is an American drummer, and the current drummer for the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Mangini joined band in 2011 after the departure of founding drummer Mike Portnoy. Later on that same year the band released its latest opus DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS. Mangini’s earlier playing credits include Annihilator, Extreme and Steve Vai among others. He’s also well known for his work as a session musician and lecturing for years at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mangini has also written two books titled Rhythm Knowledge about his unique drumming techniques, a practice method for deconstructing and simplifying complex poly-rhythms and time signatures. Dream Theater opened their 2012 European leg of “Dramatic Tour of Events” from Helsinki in mid January. It was at this tour stop that we had a pleasure to sit down with Mr. Mangini and discuss the current state of Dream Theater and some older stuff as well. Read on!
American progressive metal masters Dream Theater arrived once again Finland to please its constantly crowing fan base. Although band has recently released new album BLACK CLOUDS AND SILVER LININGS this current tour was advertised under banner Progressive Nation 2009.
I don’t know if it’ s something to do with the recent revival of older metal/hard rock on the scene – initiated by the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Mötley Crue but it seems that metal is more popular than ever. Almost every concert in Finland is selling pretty well and tonight Dream Theater had the sold-out crowd head banging in wild abandon for the duration of their two-and-a-half-hour set. It’s quite impressive when we talk about a band which plays heavy, complexed and hard-driving hybrid of metal and progressive rock.
Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment Intervied Jan. 1999 by David Lee.
The term “Supergroup” is one that has its origin in the seventies when groups like EMERSON, LAKE and PALMER and BLIND FAITH ruled both the airwaves and concert stages. Since that time the concept and term have been used endlessly with less and less justification to do so. Finally, with the release of LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, the progressive rock world has put together a group which is justifiably and demonstrably a “Supergroup.”
Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci of DREAM THEATER, Jordan Rudess of THE DREGS and Tony Levin who has played with everyone from PETER GABRIEL to YES came together for five days to hammer out an extemporaneous recording that only professionals of their ability and experience could have even attempted. The record has been called a “stroke-fest” by some but if what is contained in these 70 minutes is pure pomp the circumstance for it are perfect. Every number on the disc is pure adrenaline just this side of extreme. There are no singers and no ballads, just straight ahead virtuosity and passion. It is just what the music scene needs right now.
I spoke with LTE’s motivating force, Mike Portnoy about this project and about the state of progressive rock in general.