Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci Ring in the New Year

Sermo Lupi

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From Portnoy's Twitter: "Happy New Year from MP & JP! @MikePortnoy @JPetrucci #givepeaceachance #carpediem Here's to a great 2018!"

Tried googling to see if there was any further news, but there's nothing. Obviously this has stirred up the rumour mill. The one thing I would say before indulging in some speculation of my own is that Portnoy has said in past interviews that he was still in touch with a couple of the Dream Theater guys. I always inferred to be John Petrucci and John Myung (maybe Jordan Rudess). So this could just be a picture between friends.

On the other hand, the Winery Dogs (Portnoy's self-professed 'main band') are currently on a break. I'm not sure if Portnoy has much going on right now with Sons of Apollo. Meanwhile, Dream Theater is set to re-enter the studio this year to write and record a new album once Petrucci finishes up with G3. And it was while googling for info on the tweet that I found this article from Blabbermouth published in November: John Petrucci says Dream Theater's 2019 Album Will Be a Throwback to 90s Material.

So it seems the schedules might line up. It's also hard to imagine the picture wasn't meant to be provocative, given that the two haven't been seen together in what...8 years? Why make a public appearance now? Maybe it could be Liquid Tension Experience or something else. Portnoy is all about the side projects these days. Yet there's also Portnoy's tag on the tweet, 'Carpe Diem,' which aside from being a common New Year's utterance, is the title of one of the sections of A Change of Seasons. I see it being a coincidence more than anything else, but it is hard to overlook the fact that Dream Theater played A Change of Seasons as their encore set on their 25th anniversary tour this past year, which in turn seems to have inspired some of the plans for this new album...

Anyway, not getting my hopes up. Just an interesting thing to see for any Dream Theater fans on here.
 
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TheShreddinHand

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I wonder if John is finally getting around to recording his second solo album and trying to squeeze it in? Maybe having Portnoy play on it?
 

Sermo Lupi

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I wonder if John is finally getting around to recording his second solo album and trying to squeeze it in? Maybe having Portnoy play on it?

Timing isn't right. Petrucci starts touring with G3 in 11 days, and it will take him right through until April 30th. That Blabbermouth article said that the next DT album was initially planned for 2018, but Petrucci said it'd be pushed back, probably to 2019, because of his touring commitments with G3. In other words, this means that he's pressed for time as it is...definitely no work on a solo album for the time being.

I guess that might rule out the prospects of any side projects, too, unless his contribution is small. I'd wager this has to do with Dream Theater or that maybe it was just a random New Year's photo after all.
 

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If this happens to be more than just two old friends making amends, my money would be on LTE or some other project. Maaaaaaybe a one-off reunion show, but I can’t see them jobbing out Mangini like that.
 

lemeker

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The way I understood it was that there was never any beef between Portnoy and John. It's Labrie that had issues. I'm not certain. I see this is just a New Years get together, more than anything. But I could see him behind the kit for the G3 tour.

Count me in as one of those that would like Portnoy back but I'm still not getting my hopes up.
 

Sermo Lupi

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If this happens to be more than just two old friends making amends, my money would be on LTE or some other project. Maaaaaaybe a one-off reunion show, but I can’t see them jobbing out Mangini like that.

Yeah. Then again, did you see any of the interviews Mangini was giving last year? There was one linked in a thread on here where he was describing how creatively unfulfilled he was with Dream Theater, how he had no input in the band at all, and how this was leading him to check out new forms of music ('World Music', as I seem to recall). Odd for him to be so frank in an interview, but refreshing to see. They were mid-tour, so maybe he was a bit depressed from the road. In any case, I was always in the camp that Portnoy wouldn't be coming back any time soon because Mangini signed a contract. That proved to be true (contract or not). Yet I wonder if it's the opposite scenario now, where Mangini would like to take a break rather than squeeze everything he could out of a multi-year agreement.

The way I understood it was that there was never any beef between Portnoy and John. It's Labrie that had issues. I'm not certain. I see this is just a New Years get together, more than anything. But I could see him behind the kit for the G3 tour.

Count me in as one of those that would like Portnoy back but I'm still not getting my hopes up.

Yeah, that's my understanding as well. Portnoy was always a little coy with who he was and wasn't speaking to, but even in JPs interviews he'd say he was still speaking to Mike. I mean, their wives were in a band together, their kids grew up with each other as friends...at that point it'd take more than a band breakup to separate them. To that end, it isn't weird that they'd be spending time together at New Year's (they might have been spending the holidays together for the last 5 years for all we know), it's just a question of why they'd publicise it now if something wasn't in the works. It's not like the breakup was recent, it was 8 years ago--there's no need to show there's no bad blood.

As for LaBrie, I think he still hates Mike, haha. And Portnoy has kind of shaped his post-Dream Theater identity around moving away from prog (or at least the super technical kind). There's a dozen reasons why we probably won't see him in DT again. Still, the prospect is interesting, to say the least...
 

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It was cool to see that the two of them are hanging out together. I highly doubt anything major will come in the near future, but if it does, I'll be pleasantly surprised.
 

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well that photo/post was not only shared in facebook by JP and MP pages of course, but it was shared by the main DT page too, soo?????

if that doesnt help for speculation dont know what. I know the two of them are DT and it appeals to fans, but why the maiin page of DT would share that?,

count me in into the bring MP back to DT, nevver liked mangini, and hopefully next album would be havier and closer to their older stuff.

that, OR.... maybe MP is gonna help the boys in the production department? maybe he wont play but it would be involved as a producer, since he and Jp used to produce the albums, and never really liked much the new stuff
 

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I guess it's my turn to comment then. Anyways, I'm glad that Mike and John are back together if you'd call it that and I would love to see some upcoming collaborations between the two. As for Portnoy playing on a Dream Theater album again, I don't really see it being something that's going to happen in the near future but I will welcome it with open hands.

In regards to the new album, my biggest prediction is that it would be a combination of their 90s material as mentioned in the Blabbermouth article with elements of Train of Thought and Octavarium thrown in there as well.
 

JSanta

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It's not Dream Theater without Portnoy, IMO. I haven't enjoyed anything since he left/was pushed out/whatever. I know that Mangini is a beast, but I'd love to see MP back behind the kit.
 

Ralyks

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If anything, maybe LTE. I feel like Mike said Sons of Apollo is his priority right now. I mean, I wouldn’t mind Mike back in DT whatsoever, but I think right now would be jumping to murderous conclusions.
 

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Mike Portnoy coming back to DT would be a dream. He was the necessary moderating force that kept Petrucci and Rudess from creatively taking over and going down "cheese road" together, which they eventually did after he left, culminating in the unbearably cheesy Spinal Tap moment that is The Astonishing, which I just cannot stand. Mike brought a very necessary raw and ballsy element to the group that it absolutely needs in my opinion.

From a purely musical point of view, I feel his drumming has a lot more energy and "oomph" to it compared to Manginis as well, which although technically brilliant feels very dry and sterile in comparison, to my ears at least. It has been interesting to hear Mangini play the old songs, and how he technically nails them, but also how different they feel solely due to his very different style of drumming.

The fact that the official Dream Theater Facebook page shared this picture makes this speculation valid. I don't think they would do it if there weren't something going on. That combined with some statements made by Mangini about feeling creatively empty in the band, as well as JPs statements about their next album going back to their roots... It is an exciting thought.

However, I do not think they would kick Mangini out if all was going well creatively and personally, but if there really is a situation of a creative lull going on, or that he feels like he is not really a contributing member for any reason, then they could perhaps reach a mutual agreement for him to leave.

If the above were to happen, the only thing left that I think would keep it from happening is the relationship between Labrie and Portnoy. Some things were said by James in interviews after Mikes departure that were pretty harsh and bridge-burning. Hashing this out would be absolutely necessary if he were to come back. Who knows, they might have already.
 
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TheShreddinHand

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Mike Portnoy coming back to DT would be a dream. He was the necessary moderating force that kept Petrucci and Rudess from creatively taking over and going down "cheese road" together, which they eventually did after he left, culminating in the unbearably cheesy Spinal Tap moment that is The Astonishing, which I just cannot stand. Mike brought a very necessary raw and ballsy element to the group that it absolutely needs in my opinion.

From a purely musical point of view, I feel his drumming has a lot more energy and "oomph" to it compared to Manginis as well, which although technically brilliant feels very dry and sterile in comparison, to my ears at least. It has been interesting to hear Mangini play the old songs, and how he technically nails them, but also how different they feel solely due to his very different style of drumming.

The fact that the official Dream Theater Facebook page shared this picture makes this speculation valid. I don't think they would do it if there weren't something going on. That combined with some statements made by Mangini about feeling creatively empty in the band, as well as JPs statements about their next album going back to their roots... It is an exciting thought.

However, I do not think they would kick Mangini out if all was going well creatively and personally, but if there really is a situation of a creative lull going on, or that he feels like he is not really a contributing member for any reason, then they could perhaps reach a mutual agreement for him to leave.

If the above were to happen, the only thing left that I think would keep it from happening is the relationship between Labrie and Portnoy. Some things were said by James in interviews after Mikes departure that were pretty harsh and bridge-burning. Hashing this out would be absolutely necessary if he were to come back. Who knows, they might have already.

Sums up my feelings pretty well too!
 

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Don't know if Portnoy is a better or worse drummer but I do know that I really haven't liked anything they've done since he's been out of the band.
 

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I suppose I should mention, for what it's worth, that I haven't enjoyed Dream Theater's music since Portnoy left. So I'd definitely be in the camp to enjoy seeing his return, but that is simply my wishful thinking.
 

bostjan

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It's interesting to hear the speculation that James pushed Mike out of the band, since Mike is the original drummer and James is the, what, third or fourth (?) singer in the band. I think that fans would have been significantly less upset about James leaving than Mike. Don't get me wrong, James is a great singer and he's been with the band since they had their first (*cough* only *cough*) big break, but he's also a huge complaint for fringe fans and non-fans of the band. I used to hear my buddies all of the time say stuff like "Wow, great music, but the singer...meh...", also, having met the guys in the band a few times, John, John and Mike always seemed really friendly toward me, and James just seemed impersonal and disinterested in meeting me. Nothing against him for that, since it's certainly not required to be super nice to me for me to respect you as a musician, but I get the feeling that other fans who met the band and tell stories about being unimpressed with their interaction with the band seem to center around James or stuff James said to the fans. And as far as the band members aging, I think James' singing has changed more than the other's playing, understandably so, but still, it would be weird to me that James would have been the primary impetus of Mike's ouster.

Portnoy as a drummer is probably replaceable, but I think as a personality/entertainer, as a songwriting force, and also as the one who interfaced with fans on tour the most, he clearly was not.
 


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