MIKE PORTNOY's Advice To Young Drummers: 'Play With Other Musicians' And 'Write Music Of Your Own'
February 9, 2023
In a new interview with Matilda Svensson of Chile's Radio Futuro, former DREAM THEATER and current THE WINERY DOGS drummer Mike Portnoy was asked what advice he would give to aspiring musicians looking to follow in his footsteps. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "You look on Instagram or YouTube, there's all these young drummers — and I mean young; I've seen six-year-old girls playing my drum parts on Instagram or whatever. So it's pretty incredible that the bar has risen so high with these young musicians and drummers, and they're all so talented.
"What advice would I give? Try to learn as much as you can from as many people as you can, but also play with other musicians," he continued.
"As incredible as it is to see these young kids playing all of my crazy, technical drum parts, that's obviously very impressive technically, but there's more to playing drums than just playing these parts. Anybody can kind of learn how to make your four limbs do something and do it; it's another thing to create parts like that," Portnoy explained.
"So, play with other musicians. Write music of your own. It's not just about playing your own instrument yourself to Instagram followers; it's about playing with other musicians and creating music. And it's about how you utilize your instrument within the context of the bigger picture and the music you write. So that would be my advice."
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 37 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
THE WINERY DOGS, Mike's power trio with guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen and legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH),will release their third album, "III", on February 3 via the band's Three Dog Music label (via Burnside Distribution/The Orchard). Following in the footsteps of their first two albums, "III" was once again produced by THE WINERY DOGS and mixed by longtime band associate Jay Ruston.
"III" is the follow-up to the band's critically acclaimed and Billboard-charting album "Hot Streak", which was released October 2, 2015 on Loud & Proud Records via RED (a division of Sony Music Entertainment). After landing in the Top Five on many of Amazon's pre-order charts, including No. 1 on the Amazon BestSellers/Hard Rock chart and No. 1 on the Amazon Pre-Orders/Hard Rock Albums charts, it sold 30% more than their 2013 self-titled debut, landing them on various Billboard album charts including No. 2 on "Top Current Alternative Albums," No. 5 on "Top Current Hard Music" and "Top Hard Music Albums," No. 6 on "Top Current Rock Albums" and "Album Core / Genre Rock," No. 15 "Top Current Physical Albums," No. 16 "Top Current Albums," and No. 30 on the "Top 200 Albums" chart.
Upon its release, "Hot Streak" racked up rave reviews. Allmusic.com hailed, "'Hot Streak' is the trio's second album, and its loose, friendly feel shows that the trio doesn't feel compelled to rely on instrumental pyrotechnics. The bluesy, soulful 'Think it Over' would appeal to those who admire THE ALLMAN BROTHERS, while 'Captain Love' shows that the band also has some hard rock energy to unleash, and the title track lets fly some of the technical proficiency that its members are known for." And GuitarInternational.com praised, "'Hot Streak' picks up where their debut CD left off, but showcases the band coming into their own with straight-ahead rockers like 'Oblivion', 'Captain Love' and 'Devil You Know'."
THE WINERY DOGS is hitting the worldwide concert trail starting February 15 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania at the Palace Theatre for their "202III World Tour". Ticket and VIP package info can be found on the band's official web site.
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