Mike Mangini landed his dream job back in 2011, when he was asked to join Dream Theater. The drummer got emotional shedding a few tears as he graciously accepted the invite on the phone. Since then the drummer has had time to get comfortable and settle into his role behind the kit for the band.

Mangini opened up about being a part of the progressive metal band, in a recent interview with Australia’s I Heart Guitar Blog, saying. “It’s been a major point in my life with the fulfillment of what I want to be and who I want to be.” He adds, “It’s a sense of fulfillment that I’m in a band where there are five of us all moving in the same direction.”

Mangini also recalled getting emotional when joining the band. He describes all the work he put into playing the drums and his journey paying off saying, “That’s why I cried, because I wanted liberation of the spirit. It’s part of the gifts I’ve been given. It was really emotional for me.”

After Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater parted ways in 2010, Mangini and many other drummers went through several rounds of auditions to get the coveted gig. The band turned their search for a drummer into a web-based reality show called ‘The Spirit Carries On.’ Mangini remembered the audition process referring to playing with the band as “easy” and “not technical.” Mike added that his “pattern recognition is really high” and that he can “work with very, very large, multi-simultaneous time signatures.” He continued, “I was able to do everything the first time they asked me and make music with it.”

Mangini has recorded two studio albums with Dream Theater, as well as the live disc ‘Live at Luna Park’ and the soon to be released ‘Breaking the Fourth Wall (Live From the Boston Opera House),’ which will arrive on Sept. 30.

Dream Theater will head back out on the road starting Sept. 24 in Santiago, Chile. Check out their tour dates here. Read the entire I Heart Guitar Blog interview with Mike Mangini and keyboardist Jordan Rudess here.