It’s official! US prog metal titans Dream Theater have announced the return of drummer Mike Portnoy to the group.
After a 13-year absence from the band, the drummer is back in the veteran prog-metal outfit’s lineup, as his replacement Mike Mangini exits the group.
The legendary sticksman will reunite with guitarist John Petrucci and bassist John Myung – with whom he formed the band at Berklee College of Music in 1985 – as well as longtime members James LaBrie (vocals) and Jordan Rudess (keyboards). The reunited Dream Theater plans to enter the studio soon to begin work on their 16th studio album and first with Portnoy since 2009’s “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”.
I am overwhelmed with joy to be returning home and reuniting with my brothers,” Portnoy stated. “There is so much shared history between us all…so many memories, so much music…to think we’re coming up on 40 years since this journey began! The idea of creating new music together is so exciting and I absolutely cannot wait to hit the road and get to play live for a whole new generation of fans that weren’t ever able to see this lineup before … There’s no place like home!!”
Petrucci commented, “Mike Mangini’s drumming is otherworldly and I’m extremely grateful for the time he spent with us in Dream Theater. I’m very proud of all the amazing music we made together that culminated in our first Grammy win last year and the countless magical moments that we’ve shared on stage over the past 13 years. I wish him all the best of success in his future musical endeavors. I’m incredibly excited to welcome Mike Portnoy back into Dream Theater! As an original founding member, longtime friend and incredibly talented and creative drummer, I know that his return will bring a renewed spirit, passion and energy into DT that all of us, including our fans, will joyfully welcome. I can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get back into the studio together!”
Vocalist James LaBrie insisted that with Portnoy back in the band, there won’t be any other lineup changes moving forward, saying: “Having Mike Portnoy back in the band is exactly where we and things should be. Things have a way of going full circle and in this case, it makes perfect sense. I am excited with the prospects of this classic DT lineup being reunited. I can say with absolute confidence this will be the final incarnation of DT with many chapters still to be written well into our future. Onward and upward guys!! Welcome back MP.”
Bassist John Myung stated, “It’s great to be back true to form with our original drummer Mike Portnoy. We started playing together as Majesty almost 40 years ago and I am excited to see what this next phase of Dream Theater creates for the future.” And keyboardist Jordan Rudess added, “We are so excited to reunite the core Dream Theater family. There is a resonance of spirit and vision that is unique and goes beyond words within our relationship with Mike Portnoy.”
Mike Mangini said: “I understand Dream Theater’s decision to get Mike Portnoy back at this time. As was said from Day 1, my place was not to fill all the roles that Mike held in the band. I was to play the drums in order to help the band carry on. My main role of keeping our live show working tightly on a nightly basis was an intense and rewarding experience.”