Drummer says he doesn’t feel the need to dominate new projects like he did Dream Theater… but that might change
Mike Portnoy says he’s not in full control of his new band, Adrenaline Mob – and that’s just fine with him.
The drummer was well-known for taking charge of every artistic element of former outfit Dream Theater, from song arrangements to artwork, right down to which bands they took on tour with them.
But after a year which saw him dramatically quit the band he formed, ask to rejoin only to be refused, and finally surface with Adrenaline Mob following a number of side-projects, Portnoy says he’s a new man.
He tells MusicRadar: “Yesterday was our first rehearsal and we sounded amazing.
“We recorded our album earlier this year, but we never stood in a circle before and fired up. It was electric – I couldn’t believe what was happening before me.”
The band includes Symphony X singer Russell Allen, guitarists Mike Orlando of Sonic Stomp and Rich Ward of Fozzy and Stuck Mojo, and bassist Paul DiLeo.
And although he accepts the lyrics on their debut album have a “looking-back, looking-ahead quality” appropriate to his recent life experiences, Portnoy says he had no input in the writing of them.
“I think the words are things everyone can relate to – but I didn’t have any influence,” he comments.
In fact, he’s chosen not to exercise editorial control over everything the band does. “I’m not the leader, but I’m definitely on the board of directors, and that’s okay.
“With Dream Theater every creative aspect of the group went through me. I enjoyed it. That’s how I operated. With the projects I’ve been involved in this past year I’ve worn several different hats.
“I’m not stressing out over every detail – I’m sharing the load.”
But he admits: “At some point I might need something where I call the shots more, because that’s just my nature. But right now it’s a refreshing breather to share the decisions. I’ve done the opposite for years, so a break is welcome.”