Mike Portnoy: I'm not a good drum teacher

Mike and Max Portnoy
Mike and Max Portnoy

Mike Portnoy says he doesn’t give his son Max drum lessons because he’s ‘not a good teacher.’

Teenager Max is the drummer in Next To None and has followed in his famous dad’s footsteps. But he goes elsewhere for drum lessons rather than getting regular instruction from the former Dream Theater man.

Mike Portnoy tells Metal Wani: “Max does go for lessons with somebody else, for two reasons. I’m not home consistently enough and I think it’s important for any young drummer to get lessons consistently.

“The other reason is that I’m not a teacher. It doesn’t matter how many awards I’ve won, it doesn’t make me a good teacher.”

But even though Max works with another teacher, some of his dad’s style does appear in his playing.

Mike Portnoy adds: “Max growing up on tour and sitting behind my drums and watching me, you can inevitably see a lot of my style in his style. I’ve always been supportive of whatever he wanted to do. But that fact he picked up a pair of drumsticks is totally cool.”

Max says he hopes to take Next To None on the road in the coming years, with Europe one of his desired destinations.

Max Portnoy says: “We haven’t even gone out to the West Coast yet, so we’d love to get out to California. And we’d also really like to play in Europe too.”

Mike adds: “I think European audiences would love Next To None, I think they’d do great over there. Hopefully that’ll be in their future soon.”

As well as his work with the Winery Dogs, Mike Portnoy is touring this year with Twisted Sister and Metal Allegiance. He recently revealed his plans for a rock cruise to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Next To None issued debut album A Light In The Dark last year.

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.