Dream Theater‘s beloved original drummer Mike Portnoy departed the band in 2010, but now he’s back after a 13-year hiatus. Details TBA, but they’ve got plans to hit the road and record a new album together, the band’s 16th overall and first with Portnoy since 2009’s Black Clouds & Silver Linings.
“I am overwhelmed with joy to be returning home and reuniting with my brothers!,” Portnoy says. “There is so much shared history between us all… so many memories, so much music… to think we’re coming up on 40 years since this journey began! The idea of creating new music together is so exciting and I absolutely cannot wait to hit the road and get to play live for a whole new generation of fans that weren’t ever able to see this lineup before… There’s no place like home!!”
Guitarist John Petrucci said, “I’m incredibly excited to welcome Mike Portnoy back into Dream Theater! As an original founding member, longtime friend and incredibly talented and creative drummer, I know that his return will bring a renewed spirit, passion and energy into DT that all of us, including our fans, will joyfully welcome. I can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get back into the studio together!”
With Portnoy back, drummer Mike Mangini–who replaced him in 2010–will be leaving the group.
“I understand Dream Theater’s decision to get Mike Portnoy back at this time,” Mangini said. “As was said from Day 1, my place was not to fill all the roles that Mike held in the band. I was to play the drums in order to help the band carry on. My main role of keeping our live show working tightly on a nightly basis was an intense and rewarding experience.”
“Thankfully, I got to experience playing music with these iconic musicians, as well as some fun times laced with humor. I also really enjoyed spending lots of time with the crew. And then there’s the Grammy win, which was amazingly satisfying.:
“To the fans: Thank you so much for being amazing to me. I cherish the pictures I have of you all losing your minds and having fun. Finally, I really love the band, crew and management and wish them and the entire organization all the best.”
Petrucci adds, “Mike Mangini’s drumming is otherworldly and I’m extremely grateful for the time he spent with us in Dream Theater. I’m very proud of all the amazing music we made together that culminated in our first Grammy win last year and the countless magical moments that we’ve shared on stage over the past 13 years. I wish him all the best of success in his future musical endeavors.”
In the time since Portnoy left Dream Theater, he appeared on Petrucci’s 2020 solo album Terminal Velocity, and he reunited with Petrucci and Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess in their supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment the following year for their comeback album Liquid Tension Experiment 3.