Portnoy doesn’t think he’s a great drummer

Mike Portnoy says he doesn’t consider himself to be a great drummer.

The Winery Dogs sticksman is known for his range of work across all aspects of the rock genre and has picked up many awards during his career. But he says while it’s nice to be recognised, he still thinks of himself as just a kid who loves to play drums.

He tells RockMap: “All the awards to me are very flattering but also intimidating because they then put this expectation on me, and I don’t consider myself a great drummer – I consider myself just a music fan that’s a very passionate artist and the drums just happen to be my instrument.

“But every time I win one of these awards, it’s nice but I don’t want people to think that I think I’m this great drummer because to me, I’m just a kid playing drums and I love music. I don’t even like doing drum solos live – it doesn’t really interest me.”

Portnoy has a busy 2016 ahead and will split his time between The Winery Dogs, Twisted Sister, Metal Allegiance and the Neal Morse Band. But he refuses to take the credit for his success and say it’s his fans who have helped shape his career.

He continues: “I have a lot of gratitude for this incredible career. I get to play with so many great musicians and I have great fan support.

“There’s not many drummers that could leave such a high profile band and have a career that’s as busy and successful as mine has been.

“I don’t take the credit for that – I give the credit to my fans for allowing me to be able to have a career like this.”

The Winery Dogs continue their tour in support of latest album Hot Streak next month, when they visit Japan. They’ll then head to South America for a run of shows.

The Winery Dogs remaining 2016 tour dates

Apr 15: Osaka Zepp, Japan
Apr 17: Hiroshima Blue Live, Japan
Apr 18: Nagoya Bottom Line, Japan
Apr 20: Toyko Dome, Japan
Apr 21: Tokyo Hitomi Kinen Kodo, Japan
May 14: Brasilia Clube Do Congresso, Brazil
May 15: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
May 17: Rio Imperator, Brazil
May 18: Sao Paulo Tropical Butanta, Brazil
May 20: Curitba Opera De Arame, Brazil
May 21: Londrina Autodromo Ayrton Senna, Brazil
May 24: Asuncion Teatro Del Hotel Guarani, Paraguay
May 27: Santiago Teatro Cariola, Chile
May 28: Arroyo Dulce Teatro Vorterix, Agentina
May 31: Mexico City El Plaza Condesa, Mexico
Jun 02: Guadalajara C3 Stage, Mexico
Jun 03: Monterrey Cafe Iguana, Mexico

Thinking Out Loud: Mike Portnoy

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.