Drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) recently spoke to U.K.'s Rhythm magazine about his drum solo heroes, why he switched from busting chops to entertainment, and why he has moved on despite the pressure from fans and bandmates alike who want him to steal the spotlight one more time. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.Rhythm: What were the drum solos that first inspired you? Portnoy: When I was a kid, John Bonham's "Moby Dick" solo was the first time I'd ever heard a drummer just go off for fifteen minutes, and he did the whole thing of playing with his hands which was pretty cool. In the late '70s, I was a big KISS fan. Hearing Peter Criss do his big solo on KISS "Alive", on the song "100,000 Years", that was one of the first drum solos I ever learned note for note and actually knew as a musical piece. The next big one for me was when I discovered Neil Peart and RUSH. One of the things that blew my mind about RUSH was the drum solo. It was a centrepiece for their concert. The first time I saw him do one in person, it was one of the only times I've ever seen the whole audience with all eyes on the stage. If I had to list one more, it would be Tommy Lee. With him it was never about the technical chops — he took it as far as it could go as entertainment. On the latest MÖTLEY CRÜE tour, they had a rollercoaster on stage. That's taking it to a whole other level visually. Rhythm: Do you feel any pressure from fans to have a solo spot? Portnoy: Yeah, I get that not only from the fans but I get it from a lot of my bandmates. There have been a lot of bands I've played in where the guys go, "Oh man, you've got to do a drum solo!" And it's like, "Ah, I don't know. I'd rather do a song in that five minutes." I'm not interested in drum solos anymore. This is my personal taste as a listener and as a player. I think I've grown out of it. Maybe that will change. Most musicians go through changes and phases, so that's just where I'm at in this particular moment. Read the entire interview from Rhythm magazine.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).