Mike Portnoy Says He Almost Played For Nickelback, ‘I Would’ve Been Fired Immediately’

Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy once almost played for Nickelback back in 2022.

In the latest released video portion of his recent interview with Drumeo, the drummer recalled getting a call from Nickelback for a show when their drummer was temporarily out of the band due to health reasons. He revealed why he could not play with the band:

“I got a call from Nickelback in spring of ’22. Their drummer [Daniel Adair], I guess, was having surgery and they asked me to play a show with them. And I said, ‘Yeah, that’d be a fun gig.’ I was all set to play this gig with Nickelback — it was for a festival [in Canada] — and the festival ended up getting canceled. But I was this close to playing a gig with Nickelback.”

Why Portnoy Would Have Been Fired From Nickelback

In the video, Drumeo also requested Portnoy to perform the song ‘Burn It To The Ground,’ a track he wasn’t familiar with. Since he did not know how to play the song, he used plenty amount of double kicks, and when he was finished, he confessed:

“I would’ve been fired immediately.”

Though he has never heard of any Nickelback songs, he is sure that his family would know every lyric to the songs:

“Chad [Kroeger] sent me the setlist. My daughter and my wife were, like, ‘You’re gonna know every one of these songs,’ and I was, like, ‘I’ve never heard any of these songs.’ I don’t listen to the radio, so I don’t know any Nickelback songs.”

He also added that if he ends up touring with them one day, it would be the most fun thing he had ever done.

Portnoy’s Return To Dream Theater

In September 2010, Portnoy announced his departure from Dream Theater. The band recruited Mike Mangini as his replacement. However, on October 25, 2023, Dream Theater revealed that Mike Portnoy was rejoining the band, leading to Mangini’s departure.

The drummer and band took to social media to announce their reunion, as well as give their regards and thanks to drummer Mike Mangini, who has been with the band since Portnoy’s departure.

James LaBrie’s comments on the drummer’s comeback were nothing but positive. Like the fans, he too was genuinely thrilled to witness Portnoy’s return to the band:

“Wow, what can I say, I’ve been pretty silent and overwhelmed with the reaction… Thank you for the incredible response to the reunion of Dream Theater classic line up. We are beyond grateful and excited. Gonna be one hell of ride for all. Welcome home, my friend.”

You can watch the latest Drumeo video below.