MIKE PORTNOY: “NEAL MORSE is Deepest Musical Collaborator I’ve Had in My Entire Career”

Morse & Portnoy

Drummer Mike Portnoy recently talked with Spanish TNT Radio. You can watch the full interview below.

Asked about the working chemistry between him and Neal Morse, Portnoy said: “This is my 18th studio album with Neal, 31 if you count live albums. Neal and I have a very deep connection, both musically and personally. Like I said, we’ve made 18 albums together, we are in three different bands—four if you count Yellow Matter Custard. So yeah, we have a lot of respect for each other, we’ve been through so many personal ups and downs together, and yeah… He is the deepest musical collaborator I’ve had in my entire career.

Portnoy also said that the future Shattered Fortress shows will include only the music he wrote with Dream Theater, the “12 Step Suite” and a few other songs that he wrote lyrics for. On the recently concluded Cruise to the Edge festival, Portnoy also performed music from Liquid Tension Experiment, Flying Colors and Transatlantic.

About how he feels to play these songs from Dream Theater, Mike commented: “It’s very therapeutic, I guess. It was one level of being therapeutic for me to write all of these songs ‘cause it was coming out of my life and about what I was dealing with with the 12 Step Suite of sobriety. So it was one level of therapy to write all of this and release it, but now to actually put it together and perform it—it’s another level. It’s kind of like unfinished business, it’s kind of like closure. I’m getting some closure on this because I never had an opportunity to do it once I completed all of the songs. It was always a dream of mine to perform them from start to finish, and it would have been nice if it was with Dream Theater, but the circumstances are what they are and I’d rather do this and get it out of my system, not only for myself but also for the fans to enjoy. I’d rather do it this way than not do it at all.

About the possibility of releasing the Shattered Fortress live material, Portnoy said: “Believe me I would love to release it for the fans, but I can’t guarantee that I can release it for the fans because of, you know, legal issues with Dream Theater. If I can release it in some form, I would love to, but there’s not guarantees, there’s lot of red tape involved.

Mike also said that he keeps in touch with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess, but that he “barely heard” from James LaBrie and John Myung. In the interview he also mentions that he started working on new Flying Colors and Metal Allegiance albums, beside an album with his new Prog-Metal supergroup.

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