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‘That Metal Show’ Recap: Mike Portnoy and John Sykes Reveal New Collaboration

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Ian Gavan / Jo Hale, Getty Images

On last night’s ‘That Metal Show,’ ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and former Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake guitarist John Sykes both appeared and dropped a bombshell. The pair is currently working with a bassist on a new collaboration. After their individual interviews, they revealed their new partnership with Portnoy saying, “he’s a guitar god,” about why he gravitated towards Sykes. So far, Portnoy and Sykes have laid down some tracks, demoed material and admitted that while they “have a way to go,” they are crafting “heavy rock.” They came up with 12 songs and will record this fall, perhaps with Bob Rock producing. Rock, as you may know, twiddled the knobs for a little record known as ‘The Black Album’ by Metallica!

Sykes is going to be singing for this project, even though he admitted he doesn’t prefer to do so. “It’s a pain in the ass,” he said sarcastically about being a vocalist. “I can’t party and you always have to rest your throat.”

In his separate chat, Portnoy spoke about his exit from Dream Theater, a band largely known as his “baby.” He said his emotions are mixed and likened being in a band to being a Mormon polygamist; band life is akin to being married, albeit to four wives. The skins smasher said, “I love the baby, but fell out of love with a few of the wives.” It was his suggestion to go on an extended break to refresh and recharge, since there was some disconnect between the members and himself. But the rest of the band chose to keep moving forward sans a break, and Portnoy was out.

For his chat, Sykes recalled his time in late-period Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake, admitting that he kept turning down singer David Coverdale’s offer to join that band, but that Coverdale kept upping the monetary offer so he finally relented and joined. Before the release of the mega-successful ‘Whitesnake,’ Sykes was fired. When host Eddie Trunk brought up the fact that on his ‘TMS’ appearance, Coverdale said the members of Whitesnake at the time would have killed each other had they toured with that lineup, Sykes joked that the members of the band would have actually killed Coverdale if they hit the rod.

Oh, the things that are revealed on ‘That Metal Show’ each week! It’s like the ‘Oprah’ show for hard rock fans.

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