In a recent interview with GuitarWorld, John Petrucci, the visionary guitarist of Dream Theater, shared intriguing insights into the band’s highly anticipated upcoming album. The focal point of the discussion was the return of their original drummer, Mike Portnoy, to the drum kit. Petrucci disclosed that Portnoy would be taking on drumming duties for the new album, injecting a sense of excitement and nostalgia into the upcoming creative process.
Petrucci expressed eagerness about the imminent commencement of their new album, scheduled to kick off in less than two weeks. Reflecting on the unique bond they share, Petrucci highlighted the special significance of having Portnoy back in the band, emphasizing their longstanding friendship since their days at Berklee College Of Music. The guitarist remarked, “Having him back in the band is really special to all of us. I know he’s really excited as well.”
Addressing whether they have initiated the composition process, Petrucci revealed that they haven’t written a single note yet but anticipated that the collaborative energy when they reconvene would evoke a sense of familiarity akin to “old times.” The guitarist expressed his anticipation for the creative exploration that awaits them.
The return of Mike Portnoy to Dream Theater is a significant chapter in the band’s history. Portnoy officially departed from Dream Theater in September 2010, leading to the recruitment of Mike Mangini as his replacement. However, on October 25, 2023, Dream Theater made the surprising announcement of Portnoy’s return, resulting in the departure of Mangini.
Despite rejoining the band relatively recently, Portnoy, cognizant of the band members’ ages, contemplates that this phase could potentially mark the final chapter for Dream Theater. The drummer, in an earlier interview, discussed the impact of his return on his involvement with other musical projects, such as The Winery Dogs and Sons of Apollo.
Portnoy expressed pride in his work outside Dream Theater over the past 13 years but underscored that, for the next few years, Dream Theater would be his primary focus. He eagerly anticipates working on the new album after the New Year and emphasizes his excitement about touring and getting back on stage with his fellow bandmates, deeming it the most thrilling aspect of this new chapter. While the future of his other projects remains uncertain, Portnoy’s current focus is firmly anchored in the world of Dream Theater.
You can see the interview below.