Ex-Dream Theater drummer wishes band breakdown had happened in private – but he insists: “I’m happy as I’ve ever been”

Mike Portnoy

Moving on: Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy regrets his split with Dream Theater went sour in public, but says despite all the negative headlines he’s as happy as he’s ever been.

The drummer likens last year’s breakdown in relations with the band he helped form as similar to getting divorced in public, and insists he’d rather it hadn’t happened that way.

Portnoy says: “It kind of sucks. It was like getting a divorce on nation TV. Everything I said would be misinterpreted or taken the wrong way. A lot of people will take a little snippet from an interview then use it in a way that shows me complaining, or upset, or pessimistic.

“That’s not the case – I’m a very happy person. I’m happier than ever.

“But my intention was never to go public with it. I wanted to have a quiet little personal situation happen. But it is what it is.”

Portnoy announced his decision to leave Dream Theater while he was on tour with Avenged Sevenfold, replacing their drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, who’d died suddenly in 2009. He said he wanted to take a break from his main project but his bandmates didn’t want to stop. After exchanging press statements with Dream Theater singer James LaBrie, Portnoy revealed he’d asked to rejoin the band, but been refused.

Several months on the band are poised to name their new drummer, after drawing the announcement out over a series of publicity presentations.

Why Dream Theater drummer drama has to end

Portnoy has moved on too, and describes himself as a divorcee enjoying his new-found freedom.

“I’m sowing my musical oats,” he says. “I’m like a guy who’s become a bachelor after being married for 25 years. I’m making a lot of different music with a lot of different people and just enjoying myself.

“I’ll continue to put my heart, should, blood, sweat and tera into anything I do, and give 200 percent to the fans. I’m very excited about my future and I’m very appreciative of the fans who have supported me all these years – and especially in the transitions of the past six months.”

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