Now that John Petrucci announced that his former bandmate, Mike Portnoy, would be playing on every track of his upcoming solo album, the natural question to wonder is could we ever see Portnoy back in Dream Theater. Petrucci makes it clear the answer is no.
While Petrucci and Portnoy remain close friends, Petrucci explained to Metal Hammer Spain that Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini's spot in the band is very secure.
“I understand where people are coming from with that. One of the concerns I had, a little bit – not musically at all – but about Mike, is I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea.
“Mike Mangini has been in Dream Theater for 10 years now. How many albums did we do together already? Three? Plus two live albums. A lot of music and touring. So he’s the drummer in Dream Theater, and I didn’t want there to be any weirdness or misconception that, ‘Oh, this means that Mike’s [Portnoy] gonna come back.’ It’s just not the case. I think that for me, in a selfish way, I get the best of both worlds ’cause I get to play with two of the greatest drummers in the world, in Dream Theater and with my solo stuff. And it’s great for me as a guitar player – it’s wonderful.
“I think it’s really important for everybody’s sake, for fans to understand this. I think it’s important, out of respect for both drummers – for Mike Mangini and Mike Portnoy – that there’s no misconstrued thing: ‘Oh, this means something else.’ This is him [Portnoy] playing on my solo album, which is a really happy moment for me. For me, I knew that that would kind of be part of the story – I accept that. So the best I can do is try to be as clear as I can. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea.
“I don’t wanna create any drama or weirdness because it’s all positive. I made a solo album – finally, after 15 years – and I got my friend to play drums on it, who I haven’t played with in 10 years. So that’s the vibe.”
It makes total sense, and I bet all parties are fine with it. And, I'm just waiting for new Liquid Tension Experiment anyway.
Petrucci's solo album, Terminal Velocity, comes out August 28 on all digital and streaming platforms, and on October 30 on CD and vinyl (pre-order here).