DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie, who not too long ago stated that it was “nice” to be again on good phrases with the band’s former drummer Mike Portnoy, was requested in a brand new interview with Scott Penfold of Loaded Radio if there’s any likelihood of the 2 musicians working collectively once more. He responded (as transcribed by Phoosi): “I feel something is feasible. Hear, Mike and I are in an incredible place. We have been texting backwards and forwards every now and then. I needed him a cheerful birthday; he wished me a cheerful birthday… So we’re staying in contact.
“Hear, Mike‘s an incredible musician,” LaBrie continued. “Put it this fashion… Who is aware of what the longer term holds? Possibly there will be a day and I will go, ‘Holy shit. This monitor can be good to have Mike do that.’ Or it is likely to be one thing that comes from him, from his facet. So we’ll see. You realize what? I am open. And that is the factor, is that we’re in a very good place now. And yeah, it ought to have occurred a very long time in the past. However human beings, we generally tend to… our satisfaction will get the most effective of us.”
Portnoy attended DREAM THEATER‘s live performance on March 4 at Beacon Theatre in New York Metropolis. It was the primary time he witnessed his former bandmates carry out reside since his exit from the enduring progressive steel outfit greater than 11 years in the past.
In keeping with DREAM THEATER followers who attended the present, LaBrie gave Portnoy a shoutout from the stage and Mike waved. A number of followers additionally took footage of Portnoy on the venue, with Mike and his spouse reportedly watching the efficiency from close to the Beacon Theatre soundboard.
The following day, Portnoy shared just a few backstage images from the live performance and he included the next message: “After 36 years, I lastly acquired to see my 1st DREAM THEATER present final evening! It was an exquisite night and it was such a pleasure to spend time with my outdated buddies once more”.
LaBrie mentioned his renewed friendship with Portnoy in a latest interview with Rodrigo Altaf of Sonic Views. Talking about how Mike‘s backstage reunion along with his former bandmates happened, James stated: “What occurred was my supervisor… That is, like, two hours earlier than the present… So, you understand the historical past with Mike and I. The factor is what was unhappy about that complete period the place Mike and I did not see eye to eye is that when DREAM THEATER began, ‘Photographs And Phrases’  and ‘Awake’ , Mike and I had been finest buddies — approach again — after which we began to crumble, for a number of causes. It would not matter — the main points do not matter — it is simply that we began to have an issue with each other. And so about two hours earlier than the New York present, my supervisor texts me and he stated, ‘Hear, Mike‘s gonna be there tonight. He desires to come back again and see you. He desires to make amends. I do not imply to do that…’ And I stated, ‘Frank‘ — to my supervisor, I stated — ‘you are placing this in my lap two hours earlier than I play in entrance of what number of 1000’s of individuals in New York. Are you kidding me?’ So, I considered it. You realize what? I went for a stroll, consider it or not. I went incognito and I went for a stroll in New York. And I walked the streets and I began fascinated about it, and I stated to myself, ‘You realize what? Sufficient is sufficient. There’s sufficient hate on this world; there’s sufficient frickin’ negativity on this world. If Mike desires to come back and see me and make amends, then I ought to be receptive.’ And I acquired in contact… And John Petrucci [DREAM THEATER guitarist] was additionally there. So he stated, ‘Mike desires to know if he can come again and say hello to you,’ like I simply stated. And I stated, ‘You realize what? Yeah. Let him know. For certain. Inform him to come back again and see me after the present.’ And that is what we did. We chatted. We had , lengthy dialogue. We made up and gave one another a hug and did an image collectively.
“Once I was out on stage earlier than all that, I simply stated, ‘Hey, I simply wanna allow you to guys know, Mike Portnoy‘s right here. Hey, welcome, brother, to the present.’ And that was it.
“The factor is that you simply get to a degree in life the place you have gotta… You’ll be able to’t carry round that. Do not carry round hate; do not carry round negativity,” LaBrie continued. “We carried it round far too lengthy, so far as I am involved, and it did not serve any objective; it simply served frickin’ division. It was very divisive and really damaging.
“Hey, hear, simply the opposite day Mike texts me, and he was, like, ‘Hey, James, I simply wanna congratulate you on [DREAM THEATER‘s first-ever] Grammy. You frickin’ nicely deserve this — you and the band. Superior. Kudos. Bravo,’ all these items. And I textual content Mike again, and I stated, ‘Frick, man. Mike, that is very admirable of you.’ I stated, ‘In my ebook, that is fairly rattling cool so that you can say this stuff.’ And he stated, ‘Superior, man. Find it irresistible.’
“So, it is nice to be again,” James added. “We’re speaking to at least one one other, we’re chatting and all that stuff. And that is the type of world that I wanna reside in versus negativity, hate and frickin’… It is simply not price it. It is not price it.”
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER 37 years in the past, abruptly give up the band in September 2010 whereas on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been changed by Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, STEVE VAI).
Portnoy was a visitor on Petrucci‘s second solo album, “Terminal Velocity”, which was launched in August 2020 by way of Sound Thoughts Music/The Orchard. The trouble marked the primary time Petrucci and Portnoy recorded collectively in over a decade, in addition to their first time taking part in collectively since Portnoy departed DREAM THEATER. John later shot down hypothesis amongst DREAM THEATER followers that it is solely a matter of time earlier than Portnoy returns to the band, telling Spain’s Metallic Hammer: “I feel it is actually essential for everyone’s sake — for followers to grasp this. I feel it is essential, out of respect for each drummers — for Mike Mangini and Mike Portnoy — that there is not any misconstrued factor: ‘Oh, this implies one thing else.’ That is [Portnoy] taking part in on my solo album, which is a very glad second for me… I do not need folks to get the mistaken concept. I do not wanna create any drama or weirdness, as a result of it is all constructive. I made a solo album — lastly, after 15 years — and I acquired my good friend to play drums on it, who I have never performed with in 10 years. So that is the vibe.”
In a 2017 interview with Rockhok, Portnoy insisted that had “no longing to reunite” with DREAM THEATER however stated that he would return to his former band “for the followers.” He defined: “The ball’s of their court docket, to be trustworthy. I’ve no longing to reunite with them; it is not one thing I essentially am seeking to do or need to do. I am very content material with all of the eighty-seven bands I at the moment have going, so it is one thing I want. However I’d do it for the followers, as a result of I am a really sentimental individual and I’ve plenty of nice, fond reminiscences of these guys and the occasions. I am a sentimental man, so I’d by no means shut the door on it. So, actually, the ball’s of their court docket, truthfully. [But] when you’re asking me the chances [of a reunion happening], I’d say, do not wager on it, as a result of I do know their personalities as nicely and I do not suppose they’re the sort which can be wanting backwards.”
A few years in the past, Portnoy instructed Loud that he left DREAM THEATER as a result of he needed to increase his musical horizons. “[I didn’t] need to go to my grave and simply be the drummer from DREAM THEATER,” he stated. “I knew there was far more to what I needed to supply.”
For the reason that 2010 departure of Portnoy, Petrucci, together with keyboardist Jordan Rudess, has taken on a lot of the songwriting load for DREAM THEATER, together with 2016’s controversial double idea album, “The Astonishing”, 2019’s “Distance Over Time” and the band’s newest LP, 2021’s “A View From The High Of The World”.
LaBrie beforehand mentioned his relationship with Portnoy in a November 2021 interview with Radio Forrest. He stated on the time: “I have never spoken to Mike, to be fairly trustworthy, since he left the band. So I feel that just about says all of it.”
LaBrie had beforehand seemingly closed the door on the opportunity of a DREAM THEATER reunion with Portnoy, telling Chile’s Radio Futuro in an August 2013 interview: “That chance, I do not see it ever occurring; it is not gonna occur. As a result of, initially, Mike Mangini is a full-fledged member of the band now, he is an outstanding drummer and he is doing the whole lot that we might presumably need as a drummer in a band. He is serving to us notice precisely what we wanna do proper now musically. And he will probably be our drummer till the day that we end doing this, after we conclude. Mike Portnoy was a giant a part of our previous, however I feel that is the place it’ll stay. He was a drummer from the previous. And so far as presently and into the longer term, it is going to be Mike Mangini, and all of us really feel very strongly about that. He is an unbelievable drummer, he is an unbelievable asset to the band, and he’s fulfilling our wildest desires so far as what we’re doing musically and what we’re doing with every album. In order that’s the best way it stands.”