Mike Portnoy Doesn’t Want to Write Lyrics for Dream Theater
Though behind the kit, it's safe to say that Mike Portnoy was often the most visible of Dream Theater's members during his initial stint with the group, but how will things work now that he's returning to the band? In a chat with Drumeo (seen below) that was recorded shortly after his return was announced, Portnoy addressed how his reunion with the group may change the dynamic and how he expects things to differ from his first run with the band.
Within the chat, Portnoy shares how he and guitarist John Petrucci took leadership roles during his first stint with the band, and that he recognizes that he was "a control freak" during his time with the group. But he expects a different dynamic will eventually play out upon his return.
“When I left the band, I was very much a control freak. But now, in the last 13 years or so, they’ve had to redesign their structure and how they function and how they work and I think John produces the albums himself now, so it remains to be seen how the new old Dream Theater will function, but I think we’re now all older and wiser," says Portnoy.
Part of that being older and wiser was the new experiences that Portnoy endured over the last decade-plus as well as the band redefining themselves in his absence. He explains, “When I left the band 13 years ago, I was a control freak. Absolutely. I’ll be the first to admit that, but I think as time has gone on, I’ve loosened up on all that and with the bands I’ve done over the last 13 years. I had to learn how to compromise, how to collaborate and let go of things. I’ve even had these hired gun gigs with Twisted [Sister] and Avenged [Sevenfold] where I just play drums, so we’re just going to have to find our feet in the new dynamic.”
As for what he envisions upon his return, he's ready to work through his various responsibilities and roles within the group as it currently exists.
“I think there will be many areas that I hope I can regain some control, like writing the setlists was always a big one for me," says Portnoy, then adding, "But then there’s other areas that I’m more than happy to step away and not be involved with. I’d be happy to not have to write any lyrics again. I used to always write a lot of lyrics back in the day, but I’m fine with not doing that."
He continues, "There’s a lot of things designing the artwork or the merchandise. There’s a lot of things and you’ve got to pick your battles. I guess we’ll find our feet and see where everybody fits into the structure of the new dynamic.”
Things will ramp up here for Portnoy pretty quickly. While the drummer says he has a few commitments touring wise with his other bands, he explains that work on a new Dream Theater album will start just after the new year.
“It remains to be seen where the first gig or gigs will be but that’s what I’m most excited for," admits the drummer. "I can’t wait to be on the stage again in front of the most devoted fanbase in the world. The energy and the excitement of that first gig, I’m getting goosebumps right now. I’ve dreamt about it. I’m telling you for the last 13 years or so, I can’t tell you, I’ve dreamt about 100 times about what it would be like to be back in Dream Theater, so it’s going to be amazing to actually do it."
Mike Portnoy Addresses His Return to Dream Theater With Drumeo
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