Catching Up With Mike Portnoy
Mike Portnoy's calendar has been on fire as of late. The drum hero has been traveling the world to take part in a dizzying array of musical projects. Noisecreep caught up with Portnoy for a moment to get a sense of what it's been like, and most importantly, what else he has up his sleeve.
Mike - take a quick breather - get us up to speed on what's been happening lately.
Wow...It's been such a crazy, busy year!! Just in this last month alone, I've performed live with 3 different bands on three different continents! In mid-September, I participated in Samson/Zoom's Metal Masters 2 event in New York City which culminated with a set by an incredible all-star metal band consisting of myself and Charlie Benante (Anthrax) on drums, Frankie Bello (Anthrax) and David Ellefson (Megadeth) on bass, Kerry King (Slayer) and Scott Ian (Anthrax) on guitar and Phil Anselmo (Pantera) on vocals. It was absolutely intense!! One of the coolest things I've ever been a part of...a true metal-head's wet dream!
Then you flew south.
A few weeks later, I flew down to Brazil to help out my friends Stone Sour to play drums for them at their Rock in Rio performance since their usual drummer was expecting the birth of his first child at the time and asked me to fill in. It was an incredible gig, over 100,000 crazy Brazilians in attendance! It was also broadcast around the world on TV and internet. It was one of the biggest shows I've ever played. To come in and fill-in for a one-off in front of that many people... not too much pressure [laughs].
And you just got back from another little road trip.
Then this past week, I flew over to Istanbul, Turkey to do a one-off with the metal tribute act Hail! which is a band that has a rotating cast of players that goes around the world paying tribute to the legends of hard rock and metal. The lineup for this particular show in Istanbul was myself, Glen Drover & James Lomenzo (both ex-Megadeth) and Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe).
Then there are some releases coming up in the next month, right?
In addition to these one-off gigs, this month also sees the releases of two mammoth DVD/CD box sets from two previous tours I did. Transatlantic's 'More Never Is Enough: Live in Tilberg & Manchester' is two complete shows from our 2010 tour and Neal Morse's 'Testimony 2: Live in Los Angeles' is an entire concert filmed and recorded earlier this year in May. Both releases can be purchased directly from www.radiantrecords.com. Both of these tours consisted of concerts each over three hours in length of some of the most progressive music I have ever performed. These DVD's are essential to the MP collectors.
Is any of this going to slow down soon?
I plan on slowing down a little bit to enjoy some family time with the upcoming holiday season upon us and then as once we round the the start of 2012, the pace is going to go back to lightning speed very quickly immediately after the new year begins!
In January, I plan on doing a few exclusive appearances with an all-star instrumental band that I am assembling for a few drum industry shows and I also will begin recording the debut album for my new band with John Sykes which I am incredibly excited about. [Noisecreep will have more details on both of these projects coming soon.]
And of course, early 2012 will see the releases of two albums I recorded earlier this past year. First will be the full-length debut of Adrenaline Mob featuring myself, Russell Allen and Mike Orlando and that will be followed by the long-awaited release of my band with Steve Morse, Neal Morse, Dave LaRue and Casey MacPherson. Both of these are albums I am incredibly proud of and show very different sides of my drumming and musicality."