Petrucci Talks New Dream Theater

05/12/2011
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(Gibson) In a new interview by Artisan News Service, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci talked about the process of hiring a replacement for drummer and founding member, Mike Portnoy. The prog rock giants auditioned seven candidates for the job, broadcasting the process to the world on a three-part web series, titled "The Spirit Carries On." On April 29, the group revealed the winner was former Extreme/Steve Vai/Annihilator drummer Mike Mangini. Because Mangini's audition was broadcast first among the competitors, it was speculated by some fans online that there was a fix.

"No," Petrucci responded. "Of course we didn't know all along [who the new drummer would be]. It's just that Mike was the first guy, he was literally the first one to audition. And he came in there and he just knocked us out. He just has all of the elements in place. So it's probably why it kind of came across that way; there was a very natural chemistry between all of us. He's like one of us: East Coast guy, Berklee—he's one of us."

Having played with Portnoy since the beginning, Petrucci said that it was strange playing with another drummer in Dream Theater. "Up until that point, we had never played with another drummer. Dream Theater had never existed with another drummer, we never played with another drummer as Dream Theater, so it was like the first time we were kicking into a song with this stranger—not that Mike Mangini was a stranger—and it just blew us away. I mean, that could have [gone] any way if it was somebody else or whatever. And it was like, 'Wow. We could have played these songs in front of an entire audience and it would have been perfect.'" more on this story

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