He’s played with Annihilator, Extreme and Steve Vai… He’s a fastest-hands record holder… and now he’s the new Mike Portnoy

Mike Mangini

Reflection, Restoration, Revelation: Mike Mangini

Dream Theater have finally unveiled former Annihilator, Extreme and Steve Vai drummer Mike Mangini as their replacement for Mike Portnoy.

The 48-year-old has also been a member of DT singer James LaBrie’s solo band. He holds three world records for drumming speed including fastest hands and fastest feet.

Mangini was chosen from a shortlist of seven in October last year, a month after Portnoy unexpectedly left the band he formed in 1985. He’s already recorded an album with the prog metal outfit.

The other six men in line for the job were Aquiles Priester, Peter Wildoer, Marco Minnemann, Virgil Donati, Derek Roddy and Thomas Lang. Minnemann ruled himself out of the running last week.

Dream Theater revealed the news slowly with a series of documentary videos showing each candidate’s audition before announcing their six-month-old decision yesterday.

Mangini says: “The day I got the call it took my brain a minute to assemble what was going on. When it sank in, the feeling was of tremendous relief. It means so much to me – I almost felt like crying.

“It gives me a sense of fulfilment and purpose. I feel honoured to carry on the torch for Mike Portnoy – I’m carrying on his spirit.”

Guitarist John Petrucci explains: “To make the choice we used a method we use when we write music, which is, ‘Just hear out my side.’ At the end of the discussion our decision was clear.”

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