Mike Portnoy has opened up about reuniting with Dream Theater after 13 years away from the band. The drummer detailed the steps that went into his return to the veteran prog-metal act, including “reconnecting with [singer] James LaBrie.”
As previously reported, Dream Theater announced in October that founding member Portnoy is back in the band following his departure in 2010. He replaces Mike Mangini, who was had been the band’s drummer since Portnoy’s departure.
Drumeo recently shared a clip of Portnoy playing Dream Theater’s “Pull Me Under” for the first time in 13 years, and now the online drumming platform has unveiled its full interview and playthrough session with the legendary stickman (watch below).
In the interview, Portnoy explained how the reunion came together, saying, “I guess it really started to gain some traction during COVID lockdown because I couldn’t tour and Dream Theater couldn’t tour, so [guitarist] John [Petrucci] decided he wanted to do a solo album and he asked me to play on it. A few months later, I did a [Liquid Tension Experiment] album with John and [keyboardist] Jordan [Rudess], so that brought three of us back together. And then the following year, I ended up doing John’s solo tour and our wives’ bands were opening for us … so it just seemed like it was all starting to come together on a personal level and then the musical level as well.”
He continued, “I think the final piece was me reconnecting with James LaBrie, because James and I hadn’t spoken in over a decade. I went to see Dream Theater play in New York around 2022 and that was my first time seeing James in over a decade…within five seconds of seeing each other it was hugs, kisses …. and it was like any of the drama and bullshit that happened during all of those years of the split, it just melted away immediately.”