Portnoy showed no bias on son’s work

Mike Portnoy says he showed no bias towards his son Max while producing his band’s debut album.

A Light In The Dark was released earlier this year, with 15-year-old drummer Max joined by frontman Thomas Cuce, 16, guitarist Ryland Holland, 16, and bassist Kris Rank, 15.

Portnoy Sr tells Modern Drummer: “I had to show no favouritism or bias, and I had to try to be as objective as possible with the suggestions I would make.

“I had to separate myself from the father role and be a producer.

“It was also important for their sound to match their style. Even though they’re in the prog genre, they are very heavy. They have those Slipknot, Pantera, and Lamb Of God influences, so it was important that the drum sound and guitar sound stand up in that world.

“This wasn’t supposed to be a Dream Theater-sounding album – it was Slipknot meets Dream Theater.”

Max adds: “It was really nice having him produce. He was helping us understand how to organise our time in the studio.

“If he wanted me to change something, he didn’t yell at me!”

Next To None are currently on tour across the US and will hook up with Portnoy Sr’s Metal Allegiance project on New Year’s Eve for a performance in New York.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.