Ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy reconnected with his former bandmate Jordan Rudess earlier this week aboard the sixth annual Cruise To The Edge.
Portnoy and Rudess are among the scheduled performers on the five-night progressive rock cruise, which sailed on Monday, February 4 out of Tampa, Florida aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance Of The Seas and will visit two ports — Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico — before returning on February 9.
On Tuesday (February 5), Portnoy tweeted: "Absolutely awesome evening watching my friend @Jcrudess play a wonderful solo concert and then having a great dinner together afterwards! #oncefamilyalwaysfamily @cruisetotheedge"
Back in April 2015, Portnoy and Rudess both joined the British progressive metal band HAKEN on stage in New York City. Three months earlier, they were photographed having what appeared to be friendly banter at the 2015 NAMM show in Anaheim, California.
A litte over a year ago, Portnoy posted a photo of him hanging out with DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci in a move that clearly represented a thawing of tensions between the two musicians who had been friends for more than three decades.
On Wednesday, Rudess discussed his latest encounter with Portnoy during an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation", which is hosted by Eddie Trunk. The keyboardist said: "I think it's really nice. People whose music you love, you wanna see them getting along. So, even from my perspective, I see John and Mike together, and I'm, like, yeah, that makes sense. They were so close. They made so much music together."
He continued: "I told Mike the other night. I said, 'The way I look at our relationship is that we've toured around the world together numerous times, we've written all this music together, we've been on tour buses everywhere. How many people in this lifetime that we're in can you be that close to and have that many experiences with?"
Although Portnoy and his former bandmates in DREAM THEATER engaged in a public war of words following his exit from the group, Rudess says that he harbors no resentment toward his longtime friend.
"When Portnoy left the band, there was tension — natural tension — because it was a big deal," Jordan told "Trunk Nation". "But what's really important to me is finding that… especially somebody who I care about, who I had so much life experience with. And he's a really great guy. There are so many wonderful things about him. So I wanna enjoy that.
"People will say, 'Oh my God! DREAM THEATER is gonna have Portnoy back in the band.' That's not what it's about," Rudess added. "This is about people and people who spent a lot of time together being able to be close together and be friends."
Rudess acknowledged that some of his other DREAM THEATER bandmates have "their own feelings" about maintaining a connection with their former drummer. "But Mike and I enjoyed hanging out and chatting about old times and all the stuff," he said. "So it was really cool."
In November 2017, Mike told Loud that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to expand his musical horizons. "[I didn't] want to go to my grave and just be the drummer from DREAM THEATER," he said. "I knew there was way more to what I had to offer."