On November 21, Josh Rundquist (a.k.a. That Drummer Guy) conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, THE WINERY DOGS, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, METAL ALLEGIANCE). You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Asked about his decision to leave DREAM THEATER in 2010 while he was on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, Portnoy said: "I needed to do what I did because I couldn't have lived with myself wondering, 'Well, what if?' I didn't wanna wonder what could have happened because I was too scared to take that leap of faith. So I had to [do it]. And believe me, everyone was shocked and hurt, but nobody was more hurt than me. That was the hardest thing I'd ever done, but it was 25 years of blood, sweat and tears, 24-7, I lived and breathed every moment of my 25 years for that band and the fans. So it wasn't like I jumped ship after five weeks; it was 25 years — three times the length of THE BEATLES' or LED ZEPPELIN's careers. So there was plenty of time there, and there will always be a legacy of what I created in DREAM THEATER that will be there forever for the fans to like. But I needed to explore other things in my life in order to be happy and fulfilled."
He continued: "I always follow my heart. To me, I'm not gonna follow my wallet or even follow my mind. My mind probably would have said, 'Well, the rational thing is to ride this out into the sunset the rest of your life and be financially set and have your audience. And you can play the same venues the rest of your life.' You know, that's the safer way. But I needed to follow my heart. And it's not just that move six years ago. Every decision I make, I'm following my heart. I follow with what's gonna make me happy — not just that decision, but every decision I make is based on that. If you're not gonna be happy, then it's not worth doing anything."
Portnoy revealed a few years ago that he tried to rejoin DREAM THEATER, only to be rebuffed. He explained the move in a 2015 interview by saying: "I was doing whatever it would take to keep peace and keep things going smooth. And at that point, they were just only speaking through their lawyer. But it's a 25-year relationship coming to an end, so, obviously, it goes very, very deep, not only personally and emotionally, but also legally, and all the red tape that's involved with something like that. So it was a tough time, a tough period, and, luckily, we all got through it. But, yeah, I don't wish that kind of stuff on anybody in a band. It's tough."
Portnoy's replacement in DREAM THEATER is Mike Mangini, who has previously played with ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME and Steve Vai.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).