MIKE MANGINI Accepts That He Will Never Be Fully Embraced By 'A Small Group' Of DREAM THEATER Fans

October 18, 2021

During a new appearance on "The Everyman Podcast", DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Mangini discussed the fact that he has yet to be embraced by a contingent of fans who pine for the days when Mike Portnoy was still in the band. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're under a microscope to the point that it's almost hilarious. It doesn't matter how long [I've been in the band] — there's a small group of fans that just, no matter what, there's nothing I can do right. Which is fine — people are used to what they're used to and all that. That just doesn't bother me. I'm just, like, 'Okay, that is what it is.' I understand that. But even with that crowd, all the first comments that come up are slamming us and it's all that crowd. Why are they always the first ones to comment? If it's true, they're just waiting for it and just waiting to be the first ones [to say something]. They're always waiting on our every move even though they don't like us anymore. I find that bizarre.

"All I know is one thing — that they're there, and they're there all the time," he continued. "So I'm just wondering why as far as that. But maybe it's, again, a nostalgia thing where, 'Hey, I'm a fan of AC/DC. I really don't want them going too far off from 'Back In Black'. I don't.' Every band has had a couple of albums, an era or whatever it is, that certain people just like. And when it gets changed, it's uncomfortable.

"Here's the thing, the bottom line about it all: I understand that. I said it from day one: I'm not gonna be liked by X percentage of people. And I wouldn't like me either. [Laughs] So whatever."

Mangini joined DREAM THEATER in late 2010 through a widely publicized audition following the departure of Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 35 years ago. Mangini beat out six other of the world's top drummers — Marco Minnemann, Virgil Donati, Aquiles Priester, Thomas Lang, Peter Wildoer and Derek Roddy — for the gig, a three-day process that was filmed for a documentary-style reality show called "The Spirit Carries On".

Mangini made his name in the hard rock world in the mid-1990s when he played with EXTREME, before landing the gig with guitar legend Steve Vai in 1996. Nearly a decade later, Mangini took up a full-time teaching position at the world-renowned Berklee College Of Music.

DREAM THEATER's new album, "A View From The Top Of The World", is due on October 22. The LP marks DREAM THEATER's second studio album with InsideOut Music/Sony Music. The artwork was created by longtime cover collaborator Hugh Syme (RUSH, IRON MAIDEN, STONE SOUR). "A View From The Top Of The World" was produced by Petrucci, engineered and additional production by James "Jimmy T" Meslin and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap.

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