Mike Portnoy has told Australia's Loud that he has come to terms with the fact that he will probably always get asked about his time with DREAM THEATER, despite the fact that he has been involved in a dozen other recording and touring projects in recent years.
"I'm sure there's not a single interview that Roger Waters does where he's not asked about PINK FLOYD," Portnoy said, "and his tenure in PINK FLOYD was 15 [years] — mine in DREAM THEATER was 25, so it's a long time. I'd rather not talk about it, and I refuse to talk about where they are without me, but if I'm asked about my 25 years, it's part of my history. I can't not talk about it.
"I see the headlines on Blabbermouth," he continued, "and the fans are saying, 'Why is he always talking about DREAM THEATER?' I'm not talking about DREAM THEATER! I get asked about it. When I sit down to do an interview, I try to be polite and answer the questions that I'm asked. I'd rather not, but I've accepted the fact that when I am, I try to answer as honestly as I can."
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 30 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
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."
"I love when people know me from things other than DREAM THEATER," he added. "That was one of the reasons… even when I was in DREAM THEATER, I started doing a lot of drum clinics and drum festivals, and I really started to establish my name for myself. That was important to me. I got known in the drum world. After I left DREAM THEATER, and I was doing AVENGED SEVENFOLD, TWISTED SISTER… all these other things, I made a lot of new fans in a lot of new areas. It was important to know who I am, all these different pieces of the puzzle."
Portnoy has just completed a tour with his SHATTERED FORTRESS project, with which he performed DREAM THEATER's "12 Step Suite" in its entirety for the first time ever. The music documents the drummer's battle with alcoholism, and is an ensemble of five songs recorded by DREAM THEATER from 2002 to 2009, with titles that reflect his struggles: "The Glass Prison", "This Dying Soul", "The Root Of All Evil", "Repentance" and "The Shattered Fortress".