Mike Portnoy Says The New Dynamic Of Dream Theater Is ‘Uncertain’

In the Q&A session at Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp’s ‘Metalmania III,’ Mike Portnoy expressed uncertainty about Dream Theater’s new dynamics after his return.

Back in September 2010, Portnoy declared his departure from Dream Theater. The band brought Mike Mangini on board to fill his position. Still, Dream Theater shared on October 25, 2023, that Mike was returning to the band, while Mangini was leaving. When asked if his comeback to the band will change how many songs from the Mangini era will be in the band’s future shows, Portnoy replied:

“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.”

Portnoy’s Further Thoughts On Future Setlist And Band Dynamic

Reflecting on how Dream Theater’s dynamic has evolved since he left the band, he continued:

“I think when I left all those years ago, I was running a lot of stuff, and I think now they’ve gotten so used to working more as a collective band that I think it’s a very different dynamic now that I’m gonna have to find my place in and without stepping on anybody’s toes. I have to respect that they’ve been doing it all this time without me.”

He said he’s flexible with whatever the band decides regarding their setlist, explaining:

“So, whatever they wanna do, I’m up for it. But that being said, there is so much music of ours to come back and play that… Personally, I look forward to revisiting all that stuff, but if they wanna do the newer stuff as well, whatever they want is fine with me.”

James LaBrie’s Positive Response To The Reunion

The return of the drummer has received mixed reactions from the fans. Still, his Dream Theater bandmate, James LaBrie, was happy to have Portnoy back in the group. He shared his feelings on X in early November, writing:

“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 lineup. We are beyond grateful and excited. Gonna be one hell of ride for all. Welcome home, my friend.”

The musician also has other side projects including the Winery Dogs, Sons of Apollo, and Flying Colors. As he revealed in the session, his main focus is now on Dream Theater. He believes that some of his other bands may continue, and he mentioned that the Winery Dogs, in particular, is likely to continue since they have ongoing plans, like touring in Japan and releasing a live Blu-ray.

You can watch the full Q&A below.