David Ellefson Has Concerns About Mike Portnoy’s Return To Dream Theater

Megadeth’s David Ellefson recently shared his thoughts on Mike Portnoy’s return to Dream Theater during an appearance on Johnny Christ’s podcast, ‘Drinks With Johnny.’ He mentioned concerns about how the drummer’s comeback might affect his future role in the band.

Referring to Dream Theater’s past dynamic with Portnoy, he explained:

“Look, he did everything in Dream Theater, right? And that’s no disrespect to anybody else. But he did a lot, [and] like he said, bands are not democracies. Someone has to be a leader. He was really kind of the de facto leader. He wrote a lot of the lyrics, if not all of them. He ran the band, let’s say. And every band’s got a guy who leads the charge, right? So he did that.”

Portnoy’s Feelings About His Current Role In The Band

During Mike Portnoy’s 13-year absence, Dream Theater had Mike Magini as their drummer. So, it is unclear how the original drummer’s return will affect the band’s inner dynamics in the future.

Still, according to Ellefson, Portnoy has been enjoying being only a member of the band instead of their leader:

“He would call me; we would talk all the time. ‘Man, I’m on the bullet train in Japan, it’s f**king great, we’re flying first class.’ He enjoyed not having to work so hard and just be a member.”

The Band’s Future With Mike Portnoy

Dream Theater announced Portnoy’s addition to the lineup with a statement in October 2023. Almost a month later, the drummer joined a Q&A session at Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp’s ‘Metalmania III’ to talk about how his comeback might affect future gigs.

Answering a question about whether they would include songs from the band’s Magini era in the new setlists, the Dream Theater co-founder said:

“It’s too soon to tell. When I left the band 13 years ago, I was the one writing the setlist and things like that. So, we haven’t even discussed what the new dynamic is gonna be. I’m open to it, of course, so I surely would do it if that’s what they wanna do. But it’s definitely gonna be a different dynamic.”

You can read David Ellefson’s full chat about Dream Theater’s upcoming era with Mike Portnoy here.