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MIKE PORTNOY Talks DREAM THEATER's Old-School Recording Process, Says Band Is "Really Proud" Of Upcoming Album

“It's nice to just be a part of each one of these steps, like the old days. It's been a while since I made a record this way."

Dream Theater 2024 Studio

In a recent chat with The Prog Report, Mike Portnoy shared some thrilling news about the progress of Dream Theater's sixteenth studio album. It should be noted right up top that in a separate Facebook post, Portnoy noted the interview was recorded a few weeks ago, so things have obviously progressed since then.

Portnoy revealed: "It's going great. The writing is done. My drum tracks are done. Guitars are done. So, this week we're in bass land. I'm home at the moment. So I'm kind of jumping back and forth between the studio as needed. I'm not there 100 percent of the time. But I'm gonna go back for keyboards in a few weeks and then we're gonna start the vocals, I think, next month."

Elaborating on the recording process, Portnoy mentioned Dream Theater's old-school recording approach. Unlike his work with other projects, where members typically record individually at home, Dream Theater has a more traditional, collaborative studio environment, strategy.

"It's a long process. I haven't spent this much time making an album in a long time, because usually NMB [Neal Morse Band] or Flying Colors or whatever, you kind of get together, do the writing and the tracking, and everybody does it at home. But Dream Theater is still old school where the band is in the studio the whole time. And it's not like anybody's doing anything at home separately. We do it all together, coming in one at a time to work and record.

"So, yeah, it's a longer process than I've had in quite some time. But it's great… It's the old way. It's the way I always made records with Dream Theater. I just hadn't done it that way in so long, but it is good. And the process is really detailed this way. In all these other bands and projects, everyone kind of just does their own thing on their own time at their own place. But this really gives a real unified kind of band vibe."

"Even a couple of weeks ago, James flew back out, came down from Japan and we spent time collaborating on vocal melodies, so lyrics can be written to those melodies, which is kind of the way the process is in Dream Theater. So, it's nice to just be a part of each one of these steps, like the old days. It's been a while since I made a record this way," Portnoy explained.

The drummer also expressed his excitement about the upcoming release but remained tight-lipped on specific details. "I can't give away much details about Dream Theater's next LP, but we are all just really, really excited about it, really proud of it. And just can't wait to unleash some info, but I can't do that just yet," he said.

This album is particularly significant as it marks the band's first LP since Portnoy rejoined them last October.

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