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Mike Portnoy Talks Adrenaline Mob Finale, New Band Winery Dogs to Hit the Road

Adam Bettcher, Getty Images

There’s never a dull moment in the rhythmic life of former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. The skinsman left one of his post-DT bands — Adrenaline Mob — to focus on other projects, namely the Winery Dogs, featuring Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen. Portnoy, who is very much in touch with fans in the digital space, posted a heartfelt and detailed update about his final shows with the Mob and other things on his schedule. Meanwhile, the Dogs have posted more European tour dates scheduled for summer. From the frying pan into the fire for Mr. Portnoy, indeed!

The drummer wanted to make it clear that he did not “quit” Adrenaline Mob. It was more of a scheduling conflict for him and he was selflessly stepping aside to avoid making the band wait for his calendar to clear. He also explains why he is spreading his services around to multiple projects, as opposed to committing to a single entity at this point.

His full update is below:

“I had a great time with my AMOB brothers at these last shows in South America. Honestly, I’m sad to see it end … Although I recently announced having to step aside from the band because of current scheduling conflicts (I hate the word “quit” as so many websites took it upon themselves to so eloquently use as a stupid headline for shock value), I must say I’d always be happy to help them out whenever/however I could in the future should our schedules and situations allow. I really will miss Russell, MO and John … we made some great music and unforgettable memories together the last couple years. Through thick and thin … for better or worse. Like any marriage, family or brotherhood.

But as I’ve previously stated, I have other things immediately approaching on my calendar … and unfortunately I cannot ask them to “wait around” for my schedule to re-open if they choose to continue working right now … that is their prerogative … I get that and I totally understand it. I wish them the best no matter how it all plays out in the future … On the other hand, I cannot be “exclusive” to them at the moment as I have many other bands/projects that also require my time and attention as well … (most immediately, The Winery Dogs World Tour that kicks off next month).

Just to clarify for some people who still don’t seem to understand it: I always said from Day 1 after leaving Dream Theater, that I was going to spend a few years ‘planting many musical seeds’ … and that’s what I’m still currently enjoying doing. I spent 25 years focused on ONE band and at the moment I am still enjoying my freedom to explore many different musical, creative and personal environments with so many incredible musicians and different musical directions.

Perhaps someday I will settle down again with ONLY one band … maybe it will be with one of the ones I’m currently in? Or maybe with something entirely different? Or maybe I won’t at all … who knows? The future is impossible to predict … there is ONLY THE NOW … and that’s how I’m living. I know to some, this is a hard concept to swallow as it’s not the usual or ‘traditional’ route for a typical rock musician … But I don’t follow rules, I follow my heart!!

The remainder of 2013 for me will be focused on The Winery Dogs which I am incredibly excited about and proud of. I look forward to touring the world with Billy [Sheehan] and Richie [Kotzen] and sharing our music and our chemistry with you all. We plan on playing everywhere and anywhere that will have us … and we can’t wait to get started a few weeks from now!

Also later this year, there will be live releases (Blu-ray/DVD/CD) of my tours from last year with both Flying Colors and PSMS (Portnoy, Sheehan, MacAlpine, Sherinian) … as well as the new CD by BIGELF that I played on. In 2014, new studio albums from both TRANSATLANTIC and Flying Colors will also surface with possible tour dates for both upon their releases.

Time will tell how all of these different ‘musical seeds’ will continue to grow and blossom … but in the meantime, lets not question it all, over analyze it all, criticize and judge, etc. It’s MUSIC!!!! Let’s just ENJOY IT. Like I wrote all those years ago: CARPE DIEM!”

The Winery Dogs European Tour

9/5 – London, England | Islington 02 Academy
9/6 – Zoetermeer, Holland | Boerderij
9/7 – Saarbruken, Germany | Garage
9/9 – Aschaffenburg, Germany | Colos-Saal
9/10 – Hamburg, Germany | Knust
9/11 – Berlin, Germany | Lido
9/13 – Munich, Germany | Theaterfabrik
9/14 – Cologne, Germany | Gloria
9/15 – Paris, France | La Maroquinerie
9/17 – Prattein, Switzerland | Z7
9/18 – Milan, Italy | Live Club
9/19 – Karlsrue, Germany | Substage
9/21 – Barcelona, Spain | Apolo
9/22 – Madrid, Spain | Joy Eslava

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