Mike Portnoy has been talking about doing a band with Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt since at least 2010, though the project never quite came to fruition. Portnoy was originally supposed to be included in Storm Corrosion, which consists of Åkerfeldt and Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson, but the duo just didn't feel like the music called for that much in the way of drums. So Storm Corrosion came and went in 2012, and the Portnoy / Åkerfeldt collaboration just hasn't happened yet.
However, Portnoy isn't giving up hope! He tells Team Rock that he's still very much interested in working with Åkerfeldt despite his busy schedule.
I love Mikael dearly. He and I are kindred spirits. First of all, I love the music he makes. You won’t get a bigger Opeth fan than me. I love everything they’ve done, from the most brutal music to the most prog epics. You put it together and you get ‘bru-tiful music.’ As a fan, it moves me so much.
But as a friend and as a person, we’re both music enthusiasts and historians and record collectors. We get together and we can just talk music and rock’n’roll trivia and history together – I love and respect and admire him so much.
He is the one person that I have yet to work with. We’ve toured together, and I’ve taken Opeth out when I was in Dream Theater, and he and I constantly flirt with the idea of doing something together. We’ve been talking about it for 10 or 15 years now. We’re just waiting for the right moment, for the right vehicle.
It’s the one collaboration that’s still eluded me and I’m still patiently waiting for. I would do it tomorrow – Mike knows that. I think he’s a bit more hesitant. I’m obviously very good juggling 87 bands. I think he’s a little more, ‘Can I do this? Is the time right? What will it be?’ I keep trying to nudge him: ‘Mike, dude, whatever it is it’ll be great – let’s just fucking get in a room and play together.’
Åkerfeldt just recently announced he'd be taking a bit of a sabbatical from Opeth and hopes to have a new album out in maybe 2019, so it sounds like there's some time to jam in the future. Åkerfeldt also recently spoke about doing a group with Devin Townsend and some mystery musicians, so who knows! Maybe it's already underway.