Mike Portnoy’s Dream Plays Out: Wins “Drummer Of The Year” and “Best Metal Drummer” In The 16th Annual Drummies

Mike Portnoy

San Jose, Calif., — Mike Portnoy, considered one of the most powerful players in the world, has garnered his first “Drummer” Of The Year” award in Enter Music Publishing’s 16th Annual Drummies reader’s poll awards. Definitely a dream come true for Portnoy, he also took “Best Metal Drummer” and came in second place in the “Progressive Drummer” category.

Portnoy’s Prominence, or Rather, A Landslide

Portnoy succeeded in beating out some other highly regarded drummers in the “Drummer Of The Year” category. Benny Greb took second, Shadows Fall drummer Jason Bittner was third, Gavin Harrison of the prog-rock band Porcupine Tree came in at fourth, and Slipknot’s Joey Jordison took fifth place.

"It's amazing," said Phil Hood, co-founder and publisher of Enter Music Publishing, “that in a year in which Portnoy left his band, Dream Theater, he was selected by so many drummers. He became more well-known for leaving his group than he would have if he had stayed.”

Harrison A Hit In Prog

Gavin Harrison, another highly regarded drummer also known for his association with King Crimson and other groups won “Progressive Drummer Of The Year” for the first time. Similar to Portnoy’s victories in the “Drummer Of The Year” and “Best Metal Drummer” categories, Harrison shared the category with some formidable competition with Portnoy again taking second place, Danny Carey coming in third, Portnoy’s Dream Theater replacement Mike Mangini in fourth, and Blake Richardson in fifth place.

Stanton Moore Steps Up As Best Funk Drummer For A Second Straight Year

Let’s face it. Stanton Moore is one of New Orleans’ most in-demand drummers, which is no easy feat on Bourbon Street. So, it should come as no surprise to anybody in the industry that he has taken “Best Funk Drummer” again. And as in the other drum categories, Moore faced stiff competition from veteran funksters and up-and-comers, strutting past David Garibaldi, Dennis McKenzie, Dennis Chambers, and Chris Coleman.

“Stanton gets down and is considered a Cresent City great,” Hood said. “He definitely is a master of second-line drumming in its traditional sense and in contemporary settings.”

Travis Barker Tops Mainstream Pop

Barker is certainly no stranger to the Drummies. He has won numerous “Best Drummer” awards and in February 2011 was inducted into DRUM!’s hall of fame for his five wins in the “Best Punk Drummer” category. So far in 2011, his career is right on track. That’s why his victory as “Best Mainstream Pop” drummer is no surprise. Barker beat out Dominic Hayward, Daniel Adair, Rian Dawson, and Taylor Hawkins.

There were plenty of other fascinating additions to the 16th Annual Drummies List.

"This year many new faces got votes and finished as winners or runners-up," said Dave Constantin, managing editor of Enter Music Publishing. “Artists like newcomer Arin Ilejay of Avenged Sevenfold, who won ‘Rising Star Of The Year,’ led a field of young drummers who entered the running for the first time.”

A Field Of First-Time Winners

Kris Myers of Umphrey’s McGee won for the first time in the “Jam Band” category, beating out stalwarts such as Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers and John Fishman of Phish. Additionally, Dominic Howard, drummer of the huge chart-topping band Muse, was a first-time winner in the “Alternative Rock” category, and Tony Royster Jr. won in the “Urban/Hip-Hop” category. Also in the urban category was Aaron Draper, who has played with Common, Jill Scott, LL Cool J, and others, and walked off with a convincing victory in the “Live Performer Of The Year” category.

Rich Redmond of country hit maker Jason Aldean was a surprise winner in country. Benny Greb, well-known for his outstanding video from Hudson Music, was “Clinician Of The Year,” and the perpetually in-demand Josh Freese was an overwhelming choice for “Studio Drummer Of The Year.”

Hand Percussion Slaps As Well

A wide range of styles were represented in the hand percussion categories with Karl Perazzo of Santana taking “Percussionist Of The Year.” Umphrey’s McGee percussionist Andy Farag won the “Rising Star” award, and Jesús Diaz captured two awards for “Worldbeat” and “Percussion Clinician Of The Year.”

Products, Products, Products

Hundreds of drum products received votes in 12 different categories, from “Best Stick” to “Best Percussion Accessory.” Leading vote-getters included Tama’s Superstar drum set, Mapex’ Black Panther snare drum line, and Zildjian’s 22" K Constantinople Bounce Ride cymbal.

Record Returns For A Second Straight Year

Enter Music Publishing experienced record-breaking voting returns in the 16th Annual Drummies. According to Surveymonkey, approximately 8,500 drummers cast 100,000 votes in the 42 categories that comprise the Drummies, as compared to the 6,500 who participated last year.

As previously reported, Enter Music Publishing attempted to alert drummers from a wide variety of backgrounds to participate this year through marketing and PR. The news was spread via email blasts, forum postings, and syndication through top music news sites. This pro-activity resulted in the record voting this year.

Enter Music Publishing would like to congratulate all the winners in the 16th Annual Drummies and thank all the drummers, other musicians, and fans who participated.

For a complete listing of all the winners, visit http://www.drummagazine.com/drummies. Those who are interested can find out there who won everything from “Best Drumming Web Site” to “Best Cymbal.”

About Enter Music Publishing

Founded in San Jose, California in 1992, Enter Music Publishing, Inc., is a leading publisher of drum/percussion magazines, with distribution in 40 countries. DRUM! is the flagship publication of Enter Music Publishing, Inc., and continues to set the industry standard for editorial quality and innovation. Enter Music Publishing, Inc., also publishes great content on its Web site, drummagazine.com. Over the company’s history, Enter Music Publishing has pressed other well-respected publications, such as How To Play Drums, and TRAPS magazines. The company’s mission is to be the best source of drumming news and info on this planet (and others as they become populated.) The company’s founders, Phil Hood and Andy Doerschuk, are well-respected drum industry veterans with more than 50 years of experience in the field.