Dream Theater's Mangini happy to play support role

Mike Mangini says he’s happy being a team player and that he learned to “keep quiet” while recording Dream Theater's last album.

They released their self-titled record in 2013, the band’s 12th studio outing, and the drummer insists that because he’s surrounded by such good musicians, he was happy to leave them to it and offer a support role through the recording process.

He tells Wikimetal: “I just wanted to be a team member they could count on – somebody that, if you passed me the ball, I had a chance of making a good play.

“I think one of the most important things for me was support, being quiet so that some of the other guys could expand an idea without being interrupted too much.

“So my experience was very sacrificial. I had a lot of ideas melodically, but sometimes I just learned to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes it works out way better that I keep quiet, and other times I think I have ideas that were valuable.

“I just wanna be part of the team.”

Mangini also reveals that while he’s happy to show off his skills live, he doesn’t want to take the spotlight away from fellow bandmates – especially frontman James LaBrie.

He continues: “As far as showing off a little bit, there’s nothing bad about that – you only live once. But there’s a time and a place and you can’t show off when it means stepping on somebody.

“I’m a drummer – I don’t want the most attention on the stage, I want my frontman James LaBrie to have the most attention.

“When it comes time for me to play my best, I don’t think of it as showing off but if someone wants to call it that, they can.”

Meanwhile, former drummer Mike Portnoy recently said he doesn’t regret leaving the band in 2010 as he’s happy playing with supergroup The Winery Dogs.

Dream Theater are up for three awards at the Progressive Music Awards 2014, which will be held at London’s Underglobe tomorrow night.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.