Mike Portnoy: I miss being in control of Dream Theater

Mike Portnoy
Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy admits he misses the control he had in Dream Theater.

The drummer was the mastermind behind much of their work for 25 years before he left in 2010. Though he’s always maintained it was the right decision, he says the collective songwriting process for his other projects The Winery Dogs and Flying Colors can be “incredibly frustrating.”

He tells Noisefull: “To be honest, I miss being the captain of a ship. Because after I left Dream Theater, I’ve never been the clear leader.

“Everything I’ve done like Flying Colors, The Winery Dogs, they’re more collaborative roles – and to be honest, I do miss the amount of control that I had in Dream Theater. I was able to make 90% of the decisions and direction in Dream Theater on my own and didn’t really discuss everything and those guys kind of trusted me with that. So, I do kind of miss that.”

He continues: “One of the things about being in a band is that sometimes the collaborative process can be great, but it’s also incredibly frustrating at times.

“Having to go through 100 emails on every single decision sometimes, you pull your hair out of your head and I miss the days that I had in Dream Theater, where I ran the show. But honestly it’s okay, because that was then and this is now.”

Last month Portnoy admitted that he feared the double-album he made with The Neal Morse Band, The Similitude Of A Dream, would be compared to Dream Theater’s latest two-disc work, The Astonishing.

The Neal Morse Band head out on the road from January in support of the album.

The Neal Morse Band 2017 tour dates

Jan 15: Nashville Rocketown, TN
Jan 17: Seattle Triple Door, WA
Jan 18: San Francisco Regency Ballroom, CA
Jan 21: Whittier Center Theater, CA
Jan 22: Phoenix Nesbitt-Elliott Playhouse Theater, AZ
Jan 24: Denver Oriental Theater, CO
Jan 25: Dallas Curtain Club, TX
Jan 27: St Charles Arcada Theater, IL
Jan 28: Cleveland Beachland Ballroom, OH
Jan 29: Toronto Mod Room, ON
Jan 31: Montreal Club Soda, QC
Feb 01: Quebec City Salle Jean Paul Tardif, QC
Feb 02: New York Highline Ballroom, NY
Feb 03: Washington State Theater, DC
Feb 07-11: Cruise To the Edge, FL
Mar 22: Barcelona Apolo, Spain
Mar 23: Milan TBA, Italy
Mar 24: Pratteln Z7, Switzerland
Mar 25: Aschaffenburg Colo-Saal, Germany
Mar 26: Berlin Lido, Germany
Mar 28: Warsaw Progresja Music Zone, Poland
Mar 29: Hamburg Markthalle, Germany
Mar 30: Verviers Spirit of 66, Belgium
Mar 31: Cologne Stollwerck, Germany
Apr 01: Malmo KB, Sweden
Apr 02: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
Apr 04: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luxembourg
Apr 05: Paris Divan Du Monde, France
Apr 06: Birmingham O2 Academy 2, UK
Apr 07: Glasgow O2 ABC, UK
Apr 08: Manchester O2 Ritz, UK
Apr 09: London O2 Islington Academy, UK
Apr 12 Tel Aviv Havana Club, Israel
May 06: Gettysburg RosFest, PA

Thinking Out Loud: Mike Portnoy

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.