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Mike Portnoy Leaves Dream Theater

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When one thinks of the prog titans Dream Theater, the mind spins to drummer Mike Portnoy — he did form the band, after all. Well, as of now we’re all going to have to picture what the band will be like without him. “While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that Dream Theater will continue to move forward with the same intensity — and in the same musical tradition — that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us,” the band said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Portnoy took to his personal Facebook to announce his parting with his band of 25 years, detailing struggles with feeling stressed and overworked as his reasons to leave. “Dream Theater was always my baby…and I nurtured that baby every single day and waking moment of my life since 1985 … 24/7, 365,” Portnoy wrote, “never taking time off from DT’s never-ending responsibilities (even when the band was ‘off’ between cycles) … working overtime and way beyond the call of duty that most sane people ever would do for a band.”

He continued, “But I’ve come to the conclusion that the DT machine was starting to burn me out … and I really needed a break from the band in order to save my relationship with the other members and keep my DT spirit hungry and inspired.”

Portnoy said he captured a feeling of excitement while playing with Hail, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold in the past year, giving him a reason to leave. “I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater.”

By his account it seems the intention was for the band to call it a day, but the remaining members have no plans to slow down or quit with plans to record the follow-up to ‘Black Clouds and Silver Linings,’ with recording slated for Janurary 2011.

If you want to remember better times and see Portnoy talk about the future of Dream Theater including him, you can watch the video interview we did with the drummer a little over a year ago. Oh, how things change.

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