Dream Theater Shocked By Mike Portnoy

(Gibson) When drummer Mike Portnoy left Dream Theater last fall, it was the end of a 25-year musical relationship. While Portnoy had moonlighted with Avenged Sevenfold and others, there was little indication that he was looking to leave the prog metal powerhouse permanently. According to singer James LaBrie, no one in the band saw it coming.

"Absolutely not," he told BigMusicGeek.com. "And I think that's why it came as such a shock to everyone of us. It wasn't like we were all bangin' each other's heads, not seeing eye-to-eye or wanting to be in the same room with one another. None of that was going on. Everything was cool. It was quite simply a surprise. Mike had mentioned that it wasn't something that was spur-of-the-moment. He just doesn't operate like that. When he mentioned to us that he had been thinking about it off and on over the last year, it was obvious that he had been having these feelings for quite some time, wanting to separate himself from anything regarding the future of Dream Theater. It was simply something that we didn't see coming in any way, shape or form. It was just an absolute surprise."

Rumors have abounded for several months now about who would replace the superstar drummer, though it sounds like the band will be making an announcement on the matter in the near future. "We've already completed the auditioning process," said LaBrie. "At this point, it's all just a matter of us coming to a decision and announcing it when the time is truly right. more on this story

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