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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

Scott looks after Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 25 years in newspapers and magazines and in 2014 joined our news desk, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more.