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MIKE PORTNOY Is "Slightly Involved" With DREAM THEATER's Archive Series

Doing the dirty work to keep everything accurate.

Mike Portnoy

Drummer Mike Portnoy recently sat down for an interview with The Metal Edge podcast and spoke a little bit about his slight involvement in Dream Theater's Lost Not Forgotten live archive series. Portnoy explained how new releases from his own personal archive, plus the original Dream Theater archive series—the Ytsejam label—are all fitting into the mix now under the Lost Not Forgotten umbrella.

But first, if you need some background, please allow us to help: Dream Theater used the Ytsejam label for the longest time to release official bootlegs of their live recordings and demos. "Ytsejam" is "Majesty" spelled backwards, which was the original name of Dream Theater.

As Portnoy told The Metal Edge, "I was one trillion percent involved with the originals… that was my project; I was the one that had the archives and put together all these releases with photos from my archives and extensive liner notes… 15 [or] 20 years ago…. about 16 or 20 titles.

"When they started reissuing these as their new Lost Not Forgotten series," Portnoy continued, "I wasn't involved at all; they were doing it all on their own. But they were reusing a lot of my original Ytsejam titles. So, yeah, I was appearing on a lot of these, but I wasn't involved with any of the artwork or anything like that. And it kind of bummed me out because I spent so much time on the originals, with the liner notes. The liner notes are real important for people to have context of what went behind all of these demos or live shows or whatever. So I wasn't involved in these new reissues.

"But then John [PetrucciDream Theater guitarist] and myself started working together [again] in 2020. I played on his solo album, and then him and me and Jordan Rudess [Dream Theater keyboardist] and Tony [Levin, bass], we did a third [Liquid Tension Experiment] album. So once John and I started working together, inevitably I brought it up to him: 'Hey, man, what's up with that? Why aren't the liner notes there anymore?' And I noticed some wrong things on some of the credits on the ones that they released without my involvement. So he was, like, 'Hey, if you don't mind overseeing some of the credits and things like that,' just making sure everything is factually correct, because I'm very, very anal about that. So after about their first five or six releases, John started tying me in to make sure at least all the info was correct.

"Sadly, they're still not using my artwork or liner notes, but that's their prerogative. And then once I got involved on that level, him and the band's manager asked if I'd be willing to maybe contribute some more things from my archives. And I was, like, 'You know, what the hell? Why not?' There's a bunch of things in my archives that it's a waste for them to just be sitting here at my house. So I contributed a bunch of new titles. Like, they just released our show at Madison Square Garden opening for Iron Maiden; that is a new one. And then there's a few others that are coming out soon that came from my archives. So I'm slightly involved at this point. Not as much as I was with the originals, but enough where I can give them a few new titles to add to the collection."

While Portnoy's playing is featured on all of the original Ytsejam titles as well as some new titles from his archive, there are some Lost Not Forgotten releases plannedfrom the post-Portnoy era of Dream Theater. You can watch the full interview with Mike Portnoy on The Metal Edge just below.

Meanwhile, Portnoy's other group, the killer power trio The Winery Dogs—featuring the mega-talents of Portnoy, guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen, and bassist/vocalist Billy Sheehanwill release their third LP, III, on February 3, 2023, via the band's Three Dog Music label (via Burnside Distribution/The Orchard).

As with their previous two LPs, III was produced by The Winery Dogs and mixed by longtime associate, Jay Ruston. You can check the video out below for the first single, "Xanadu," just below.

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