Ever since we announced that Mike Portnoy had parted ways with Dream Theater last September, speculation has run wild about the drummer who would ultimately take his place.
The wait is over. After a long period of silence – while the band conducted auditions, wrote new material, and recorded a new album – Dream Theater has announced that Mike Mangini will take over the drum chair once so closely associated with Portnoy. With his superhuman chops and perfect pedigree, Mangini seems like a logical choice, but he did have to outshine six of the world’s most extreme chops monsters to score the gig: Marco Minnemann, Thomas Lang, Aquiles Priester, Derek Roddy, Virgil Donati, and Peter Wildoer.
“The day that I got the phone call to be in Dream Theater, it took my brain a minute to assemble what was going on, and when it sank in, the feeling was just of tremendous relief,” Mangini said. “It means so much to me, I almost felt like crying a couple of times [laughs]. I didn't know what to do. What it means to me to be part of not only such a legendary band, but this band, is a sense of fulfillment and purpose. I feel like a puzzle piece, and with Mike [Portnoy] in particular, I feel really honored to carry on the torch for him; I'm carrying on his spirit.'” To watch the final video installment documenting Dream Theater’s drummer auditions, in which Mangini get the all-important phone call from the band, go here.
You can look for the band’s upcoming album and extensive world tour, which kicks off on July 4 in Rome, Italy, as well as more special coverage only on DRUMmagazine.com.