DREAM THEATER Singer James LaBriewho recently said it was “great” to be on good terms again with the band’s former drummer Mike PortnoyShe was asked in a recent interview with Scott Penfold from Loaded Radio if there is a chance that the two musicians will work together again. He replied (as transcribed from BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I think anything is possible. Listen, mike and I’m in a great place. We texted every now and then. I wished him a happy birthday; He wished me a happy birthday… So let’s keep in touch.
“Listen, mikeis a great musician” LaBrie continued. “Let’s put it this way… Who knows what the future holds? Maybe there’ll come a day when I’ll be like, ‘Holy shit. This track would be perfect to have mike do that.’ Or it could be something coming from him, from his side. We will see. You know what? I’m open. And that’s the thing, we’re in a really good place now. And yes, it should have happened a long time ago. But people, we tend to…our pride overwhelms us.”
Portnoy took part DREAM THEATER‘s concert on March 4th at the Beacon Theater in New York City. It was the first time he had seen his former bandmates perform live since he left the legendary progressive metal formation more than 11 years ago.
Corresponding DREAM THEATER fans who attended the show LaBrie given Portnoy a shoutout from the stage and mike waved. Several fans also took photos of it Portnoy at the venue, with mike and his wife are said to have observed the performance near the soundboard of the Beacon Theatre.
The next day, Portnoy shared some backstage photos from the concert, and he added the following message: “After 36 years, I was finally able to celebrate my 1 DREAM THEATER Show last night! It was a wonderful evening and it was a great pleasure to be able to spend time with my old friends again.”
LaBrie spoke about his renewed friendship Portnoy in a recent interview with Rodrigo Altaf the tonal perspectives. Speaking of how mike‘s backstage reunion with his former bandmates came about James said, “What happened was my manager … That’s about two hours before the show … So you know the story with me mike and me. The thing is what was sad about the whole duration where mike and I disagreed on when DREAM THEATER started, “Images and Words”  and ‘Awakening’ , mike and I were best friends – a long time ago – and then we started falling apart for a number of reasons. It doesn’t matter – the details don’t matter – it’s just that we started having a problem with each other. And so, about two hours before the show in New York, my manager wrote to me and he said, ‘Listen, mikewill be there tonight. He wants to come back and see you. He wants to make amends. I don’t intend to do this…’ And I said, ‘Frank‘ – I said to my manager – ‘You put this on my lap two hours before I play in front of how many thousands of people in New York. Are you kidding me?’ So I thought about it. You know what? I went for a walk, believe it or not. I went incognito and took walks in New York. And I walked the streets and started thinking about it, and I said to myself, ‘You know what? Enough is enough. There’s enough hate in this world; There’s enough damn negativity in this world. If mike wants to come to me and make amends, then I should be receptive.’ And I got in touch… And John Petrucci [DREAM THEATER guitarist] Was there too. So he said: ‘mike want to know if he can come back and say hi to you’ like i just said. And I said, ‘You know what? Yes. let him know Certainly. Tell him to come back and see me after the show.’ And we did. We chatted. We had a good, long discussion. We made up and hugged and took a picture together.
“When I was on stage before all of this, I was just like, ‘Hey, I just want to let you guys know Mike Portnoyis here. Hey, welcome bro, to the show.” And that was it.
“The thing is, you get to a point in life where you… you can’t carry that around with you. Don’t carry hate around with you; don’t carry negativity around with you.” LaBrie continued. “We’ve been carrying it around far too long in my opinion and it hasn’t served a purpose; it just served the damn division. It was very divisive and very damaging.
“Hey, listen, just the other day mike text me and he was like, ‘Hey, JamesI just want to congratulate you [DREAM THEATER‘s first-ever] grammy. You bloody well deserved that – you and the band. Fantastic. Hats off. Bravo, all that stuff. And I write mike back, and I said, ‘Frick, man. mike, that is very admirable of you.’ I said, ‘I think it’s pretty cool that you’re saying those things.’ And he said, ‘Great, man. Love it.’
“Well, it’s great to be back”, James added. “We talk to each other, we chat and all that stuff. And that’s the kind of world I want to live in, as opposed to negativity, hate and damn… It’s just not worth it. It is not worth it. “
Portnoythe co-founder DREAM THEATER 37 years ago, in September 2010, the band left abruptly while on tour AVENGED SEVENFOLD. It has now been replaced by mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, STEVE VAI).
Portnoy was a guest Petrucci‘s second solo album, “Top speed”which was released in August 2020 via Sound Mind Music/The Orchard. The effort marked the first time Petrucci and Portnoy recorded together for over a decade and played together for the first time since Portnoy left DREAM THEATER. John later shot down speculation below DREAM THEATER fans that it’s only a matter of time Portnoy returns to the band and tells Spain metal hammer: “I think it’s really important for everyone – for the fans to understand that. I think it’s important, out of respect for both drummers – for Mike Mangini and Mike Portnoy – that there is nothing misunderstood: ‘Oh, that means something else.’ That is [Portnoy] playing on my solo album, which is a really happy moment for me… I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about it. I don’t want to create drama or madness because everything is positive. I made a solo album – finally, after 15 years – and I got my boyfriend to play the drums, who I haven’t played with in 10 years. So that’s the vibe.”
In a 2017 interview with Rockhok, Portnoy insisted he had “no yearning for a reunion”. DREAM THEATER but said he would return to his former band “for the fans”. He explained: “The ball is in their court, to be honest. I have no desire to reunite with them; it’s not necessarily something I do or want to do. I’m very happy with all the eighty-seven bands I have “I’m busy right now so I need this. But I would do it for the fans because I’m a very sentimental person and I have a lot of great, loving memories these guys and the times. I’m a sentimental guy.” , so I would never close the door. Well, really, the ball is in their court, honestly. [But] if you ask me about the odds [of a reunion happening]I’d say don’t bet on that because I know their personalities too and I don’t think they’re the type to look backwards.”
A few years ago, Portnoy told According to that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to broaden his musical horizons. “[I didn’t] wanna go to my grave and just be the drummer DREAM THEATER“, he said. “I knew I had a lot more to offer.”
Since leaving in 2010 Portnoy, Petruccialong with keyboard player Jordan Rudeshas taken on a large part of the songwriting burden for DREAM THEATERincluding the controversial double concept album from 2016, “The Amazing”2019 “Distance Over Time” and the band’s latest LP, 2021 “A View from the Top of the World”.
LaBrie previously talked about his relationship Portnoy in an interview in November 2021 with radio forest. He said at the time: “I haven’t spoken to him mike, since he left the band to be perfectly honest. I think that pretty much says it all.”
LaBrie had previously apparently closed the door on the possibility of one DREAM THEATER goodbye with Portnoytell Chiles Radio Futuro in an August 2013 interview: “That possibility, I never see it happen; it’s not going to happen. Because in the first place Mike Mangini is a full member of the band now, he’s a phenomenal drummer and he does everything we could possibly want as a drummer in a band. He helps us to realize exactly what we want to do musically. And he’ll be our drummer until the day we’re done with that, when we graduate. Mike Portnoy was a big part of our past, but I think it will always be. He used to be a drummer. And as for now and in the future, it will be so Mike Mangini, and that is very important to all of us. He’s an incredible drummer, he’s an incredible asset to the band, and he fulfills our wildest dreams in terms of what we do musically and what we do with each album. So that’s the way it is.”