Mike Portnoy takes drumming very seriously. And, can you blame him? He's regarded as one of the top modern drummers out there right now. Mike is currently doing some overseas shows with a band consisting of Billy Sheehan, Tony MacAlpine and Derek Sherinian. At a recent stop in Manilla, Phillipines, Mike's drums were not set up correctly and this is not good for the drum techs, because Mike was pissed… so pissed that he got on the mic and started signing about how pissed he was. Here's some video:
("Trashing" and ranting starts at about 1:10)
Mike's got a pretty good voice, no? He said he was rapping, but Mike, that is not rapping, that is just rhythmic singing.
For his part, Portnoy released a statement saying things got out of hand, explaining the reasoning for his outburst:
“Not to excuse my actions, but at least to explain the situation:
This PSMS tour has been VERY difficult on all of us in terms of gear and production. The only way we have been able to make it to such far away places such as Manila, Russia, Israel, Indonesia, etc (where it is normally VERY expensive to tour unless you are a “name” band that has been around for many years) is we’ve have had to make concessions by using supplied gear and local techs at each show.
“Granted, WE agreed to these terms and are willing to make it work – however, on at least a half dozen occasions on this tour we have been incredibly frustrated to arrive at the venue only to find the band’s gear requirements were simply blatantly ignored (wrong keyboards, wrong amps, Zildjian cymbals, etc) AND were not setup and ready for us as was supposed to be the case and what the promoters had promised.
“We have been as patient and understanding as we possibly can be…but when you get 4 guys who haven’t slept more than a couple of hours every night in order to fly to these shows without sleep…sometimes our patience can wear thin.
“In the case of the Manila show, we arrived hours before the show to find out the drums weren’t setup, cymbals were missing, Billy’s amp was wrong (again) and Tony had a buzz on his gear that would not go away…but we forged ahead because we were VERY excited to play for the fans!
“At the start of Stratus (where the video on youtube is from) – my snare drum mic fell off and I motioned for the tech to come put it back on the stand/drum…and instead, he comes up to the drum kit and takes the mic away…leaving me playing with NO snare mic!!! (you’ll hear I begin playing the high tom instead of the snare)…realizing he had no idea what was going on or how to fix the situation, I stopped playing and did my little ‘rap’ while they fixed the situation and we wouldn’t have to play the whole song with no snare in the mix.
“In the video, you can see I was at least making a joke out of it and wasn’t maliciously trying to hurt anybody or storming off in anger.
“Moral of the story: WE ARE HUMAN! And sometimes frustrating circumstances create frustrated behavior. I’m not saying I was right in stopping the song…but if you see a video from later in the show, you’ll see I explain to the audience that I’ve been waiting my whole career to play in Manila and I wasn’t going to let ANYTHING ruin my night or their show!!
And we carried on and everybody had a great night…
“And I look forward to returning…
(although this may be the last time I tour without my own kit and my own drum tech…hahahaha!!!)
We all have our off days, Mike! I can't wait for your gangsta rap CD though.