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 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.