Dream Theater - Mike Portnoy Leaves The Band (UPDATED)

Original news

In the "didn't see this one coming" department, Mike Portnoy has just announced he is quitting Dream Theater. Portnoy issued the following statement on his Facebook fan page he administers himself:

"I am about to write something I never imagined I'd ever write: after 25 years, I have decided to leave Dream Theater... the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century.

To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty decision... it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so....

After having had such amazing experiences playing with Hail!, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater...

Please don't misinterpret me, I love the DT guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with them... it's just that I think we are in serious need of a little break...

Dream Theater was always my baby... and I nurtured that baby every single day and waking moment of my life since 1985... 24/7, 365... never taking time off from DT's never-ending responsibilites (even when the band was "off" between cycles)... working overtime and way beyond the call of duty that most sane people ever would do for a band...

But I've come to the conclusion that the DT machine was starting to burn me out... and I really needed a break from the band in order to save my relationship with the other members and keep my DT spirit hungry and inspired.

We have been on an endless write/record/tour cycle for almost 20 years now (of which I have overseen EVERY aspect without a break) and while a few months apart from each other here & there over the years has been much needed and helpful, I honestly hoped the band could simply agree with me to taking a bit of a "hiatus" to recharge our batteries and "save me from ourselves"...

Sadly, in discussing this with the guys, they determined they do not share my feelings and have decided to continue without me rather than take a breather... I even offered to do some occasional work throughout 2011 against my initial wishes, but it was not to be...

While it truly hurts for me to even think of a Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy (hell, my father named the band!!), I do not want to stand in their way... so I have decided to sacrifice myself and simply leave the band so as to not hold them back against their wishes....

Strangely enough, I just read an interview that I recently did that asked me about the future of DT and I talked about "always following your heart and being true to yourself"... sadly I must say that at this particular moment, my heart is not with Dream Theater... and I would simply be "going through the motions", and would honestly NOT be true to myself if I stayed for the sake of obligation without taking the break I felt I needed.

I wish the guys the best and hope the music and legacy we created together is enjoyed by fans for decades to come... I am proud of every album we made, every song we wrote and every show we played....

I'm sorry to all the disappointed DT fans around the world... I really tried to salvage the situation and make it work... I honestly just wanted a break (not a split)... but happiness cannot be forced, it needs to come from within.... You DT fans are the greatest fans in the world and as you all know, I have always busted my ass for you guys and I hope that you will stay with me on my future musical journey, wherever it may lead me... (and as you all know my work ethic, there will surely be no shortage of future MP projects!)

Sadly... Your fearless ex-leader and drummer, Mike Portnoy"


The rest of the band has made the following announcement:

"To all of our loyal fans and friends: It is with profound sadness - regret - we announce that Mike Portnoy, our lifelong drummer and friend, has decided to leave Dream Theater. Mike's stature in the band has meant the world to all of us professionally, musically, and personally over the years. There is no dispute: Mike has been a major force within this band.

While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that Dream Theater will continue to move forward with the same intensity - and in the same musical tradition - that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us.

Fans and friends: File this episode under Black Clouds and Silver Linings. As planned, we begin recording our newest album in January 2011, and we'll follow that with a full-on world tour. "The Spirit Carries On."

All of us in Dream Theater wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed."

Source: facebook.com
Band profile: Dream Theater
Posted: 09.09.2010 by Dominus


‹‹ Back to News
Comments: 128   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 805 users
09.09.2010 - 03:56
No... No...
09.09.2010 - 03:57
Totemic Lust
Good for him... he could have stayed and made music he didn't enjoy, but he is being honest to himself. I am curious as to how Dream Theater will sound without him though...
09.09.2010 - 04:02
Underpaid M.D.
The only words I can think of are HOLY FUCK!!! Didn't see that coming, now I can expect lots of comments talking about how shitty is A7X and the last Dream Theater albums... but still he is a great drummer and we can't deny it (at least I can't).

I can't imagine what will happen with Dream Theater now, I mean, Portnoy was THE MAN of DT...

Well, it's his choice, and I think most fans will have to accept it, when your heart and soul is not in what you make anymore, it's better to leave it before something worse happens. Still, I will regret I've never come to see them performing live with him.
"Les vers savent qu'ils n'ont pas d'ailes, c'est pour cela qu'ils se cachent sous terre"
09.09.2010 - 04:04
el parcero
Don't really know why, but I'm not surprised. Somehow I feel they're starting to take the same route Metallica took, not retiring when they should and just keep going only puttting out crappy stuff...
love is like a jar of shit with a strawberry on top
09.09.2010 - 04:12
I'm not that surprised either for some reason. I guess that he just needs a change of scenery and to do something different which is certainly understandable. I'm also curious to hear what's in store for DT in the near future.
09.09.2010 - 04:13
Lit. Metalhead
Account deleted
Wow, that shocked the hell out of me. I actually thought for a second that he was quitting to become a part of A7X., but then I thought, "Nah, That'd never happen."
Huh, I'm a little blurry on this. I'll launch an opinion tomorrow.
09.09.2010 - 04:15
Totemic Lust
Written by Daggon on 09.09.2010 at 04:02

Well, it's his choice, and I think most fans will have to accept it, when your heart and soul is not in what you make anymore, it's better to leave it before something worse happens. Still, I will regret I've never come to see them performing live with him.

What's weird is I saw DT on their last tour with Maiden and Mike looked like he was having fun performing, but LaBrie looked out of it. I would have expected LaBrie to leave before Portnoy... WHY!? Why couldn't this have been the case instead...
09.09.2010 - 04:18
What the hell.. did metalcore really help kill such an amazing part of the musical world? And why would DT choose to continue without the man who was possibly the greatest driving force behind them?
09.09.2010 - 04:25
BIG shock, definitely didn't see this coming. I'm am curious about who DT will recruit and what Portnoy will do next.
09.09.2010 - 04:28
Captain Obvious
Well, all I can say is that I'm glad I saw them live before this happened...
Did you ever notice that the people who tell you to get a life are normally people who should be dead in the first place?
09.09.2010 - 04:52
Wow..... Didnt see this coming at all. Big shock. I mean without Portnoy, theres no DT, and thats that. Glad i finally got to see them live when they opened for Iron Maiden before he left. Its gonna be interesting of who replaces him. Whoever it is, they are gonna have some big shoes to fill. In my opinion, i see DT going under in a few years, or calling Portnoy begging him to come back and rejoin the band. And i really hope he doesnt join Sevenfold permently because that would just fuckin suck and probably piss off a lot of DT fans haha. Well good luck Portnoy. Keep it Metal.
R.I.P. "Dimebag" Darrell Abott
Drink a "blacktooth" for Dimebag
09.09.2010 - 04:54
The Sasquatch
Silver Linings was such an amazing album..... Well, something tells me that he will come back within 6 months
09.09.2010 - 05:04
Doit Like Bernie
Good call, A7x is much more respectable than DT.
09.09.2010 - 05:08
That really sucks! I respect him for following his heart and doing what he needs to do though. Hopefully all of them can work something out though, DT just isn't going to be the same without him if they do really decide to continue on.
"I am not superstitious, but I'm a little 'stitious." - Michael Scott
09.09.2010 - 05:10
Well, at least I won't have to listen to his random shitty vocals anymore.... until he eventually rejoins.
09.09.2010 - 05:13
Au Pays Natal
For the most part when a band or band member takes a hiatus and then reunites they have different mojo, a renewed motivation I.E. Rush and Iron Maiden. Hopefully this will be the case here - let's hope the relationship can be salvaged.
09.09.2010 - 05:16
Dark Blood
The Avenger
LOL @ Marcus.

This is a shock indeed. I didn't see that one coming.
But oh well... it's his decision and if it's for the best of him, he has to do what he has to do. He's one of the world's best and respected drummers, and it'll stay that way, at least for me.
I just wonder how this will affect the band. Hope they'll be able to keep the band.
Anyways, good luck for him and for DT.
It is humanity who must pay homage to the greatness of the Universe... not the Universe to the human narcissism.
09.09.2010 - 05:16
2010 - What a strange year... o.O

Well....finaly we will have "Mikael + Portnoy Project" running!
09.09.2010 - 05:16
Black Conundrum
This is indeed shocking. He was one of the three founding members in the band remaining, and now there are two. The band did have a stable line-up since 1999, but I guess stuff like that can't last forever, just like so many other things. I wonder what the fate of this band is after this huge maneuver. Good luck finding a replacement. I wish the best to Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy for their future endeavors.
09.09.2010 - 05:29
Not sure what to think. Previously Mike was one of my all time favorite musicians. But at the moment, I'm kinda hating him.

But if it's what his heart wanted, then so be it. But I can't see how DT are going to replace him.
09.09.2010 - 05:41
Oh. My. God.
09.09.2010 - 06:00
To Arms!
Im shocked
Stay Metal !!!
09.09.2010 - 06:04
Kap'N Korrupt
Account deleted
This makes no sense...Dream Theater is supposed to be a stable unit of five people who have been together for 25 years and is supposed to continue as such...Dream Theater was supposed to be this forever stable entity that was to continue on for another 30 or 40 some years with the same guys...my "Dream" is shattered...I agree that metalcore is starting to create a rip in the metal industry bigger than I ever imagined and its ruining everyone it touches...I think I will choose to be in denial about this and simply write this off as some kind of hoax...so here goes, okay?


Nah, its just bullshit guys...Mike isn't leaving...its just some sort of story he is selling in order to get more media attention for Dream Theater...DT will come out with an album in 2011 and Mike and the gang will have been writing and recording it this whole time...I like how well done the letter he wrote is and how well he sold it to all of you...
09.09.2010 - 06:13
Got Mayhem?
In other news, reports from Hell are confirming that it has indeed frozen over.
09.09.2010 - 06:22
Wat.....the.....fuck..... D:
Follow your heart, not trends.
09.09.2010 - 06:37
I never liked Dream Theater, but I can recognize how awesome their musicians are. Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci are awesome musicians, they do not belong in such a crappy band as Dream Theater as they do not show their skills in that band.
09.09.2010 - 06:39
Written by Shuruga on 09.09.2010 at 04:18

What the hell.. did metalcore really help kill such an amazing part of the musical world? (...)

LOL, indeed man. He's a talented musician IMO he shouldn't hang out with such suckers. And another thing, Hail! is just a fkn cover band! C'mon!
I think he just liked the idea of being in a new band and all the things that involves that. Although I always thought the first one to leave DT would be James LaBrie, 'cause Portnoy IS Dream Theater.
Im sure whatever project he'll be into will improve the band but I also believe he'll be back to DT in a near future, anyway I whish him the best of lucks
The only way to learn is be aware and hold on tight...
09.09.2010 - 06:45
Fuck! Thats terrible

But I dunno about everyone saying "without Portnoy there's no Dream Theater"....I personally feel Petrucci is the most important member. He's irreplaceable. They'll find another awesome drummer and their next album will still kick ass.
09.09.2010 - 07:15
Unasuming Madnes
....I'm counting this as another metal death for this year.
09.09.2010 - 07:33
Darkside Momo
Definitely 2010 sucks.
The only positive point is that we won't have his crappy vocals anymore...

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)

Hits total: 15465 | This month: 16