Mike Portnoy Talks About His New Musical Projects
Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy has resurfaced with not one, not two, but several new projects. Among numerous other commitments, he is currently working on a new band with Symphony X‘s Russell Allen on vocals, Mike Orlando on guitar, and Paul DiLeo on bass. The music retains Portnoy’s signature progressive, forward-thinking style, while adding a crunchy groove element.
Obviously, Portnoy hasn’t been resting on his laurels since exiting Dream Theater in 2009 and wrapping up his stint as Avenged Sevenfold‘s fill-in drummer. “[This] has been an unbelievably productive year for me so far. It’s only April and I’ve already recorded three different albums with three different projects and artists, as well as having done a string of US shows with my Beatles tribute band with Paul Gilbert,” Portnoy told Noisecreep recently. “I’m enjoying spreading my musical wings and collaborating with so many talented friends and musicians that I admire. My musical taste has always been so broad, and I’m loving tapping into so many different areas and styles.”
As for his work with Allen and Orlando, Portnoy says the project is “something I’m very excited about. It’s super hard-hitting, with strong, slamming tunes, with riffs as big as Zakk [Wylde] and Dime, and vocals as big as Dio. I think this album can make a huge splash in the hard rock and metal scene! I can’t wait to hit the road with this baby!” Those are massive comparisons, but if anyone can make a statement and back it up with amazing music, it’s Mike Portnoy.
Portnoy also revealed that his work with Steve Morse, Neal Morse, Casey McPherson and Dave LaRue “is filled with some great pop/alternative/singer-songwriter influences, but of course rounded out with great playing and musicianship.”
As if his plate wasn’t already overflowing with commitments and appearances, Portnoy also recorded Neal Morse’s latest solo album, ‘Testimony 2.’ Portnoy will also appear as a part of Morse’s live band. “I am looking forward to playing live with him for select dates throughout the US and Mexico in May,” he said.
While mere mortals would collapse in a heap just thinking about Portnoy’s Iron Man schedule, the drummer has even more planned for the rest of the year. “I also have a few other exciting things in the works for the summer and beyond. I will continue to plant all of these musical seeds and watch them all grow like a proud farmer,” he said.