Posts Tagged “Mike Portnoy”

The official three-minute collection of highlights of the fifth annual “Metal Masters” clinic, which was held on January 22 at the Anaheim, California House Of Blues, can be seen below.

The “Metal Masters 5” lineup was loaded with a star-studded cast of metal musicians. As in years past, the show started with a brief clinic offering some tips and tricks, and ended with an all-star jam session of metal cover songs.

Performers included:

* Kerry King (SLAYER)
* Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX)
* Frank Bello (ANTHRAX)
* Scott Ian (ANTHRAX)
* David Ellefson (MEGADETH)
* Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG)
* Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, THE WINERY DOGS)
* Gary Holt (EXODUS, SLAYER)
* Chris Broderick (MEGADETH)
* Philip Anselmo (PANTERA, DOWN)
* Rex Brown (KILL DEVIL HILL, PANTERA, DOWN)
* Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT)
* Steve Vai

The following songs were performed, among others:

* “Wrathchild” (IRON MAIDEN)
* “Killers” (IRON MAIDEN)
* “God Of Thunder” (KISS)
* “Sargent D And The S.O.D.” (STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH)
* “Freddy Krueger” (STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH)
* “Strength Beyond Strength” (PANTERA)
* “I’m Broken” (PANTERA)
* “Postmortem” (SLAYER)
* “Raining Blood” (SLAYER)
* “Mouth For War” (PANTERA)
* “Mandatory Suicide” (SLAYER)
* “Five Minutes Alone” (PANTERA)
* “South Of Heaven” (SLAYER)
* “Angel Of Death” (SLAYER)
* “Fucking Hostile” (PANTERA)

‘Metal Masters’ started out as two bassists teaching a clinic and has gone on to become a spectacle that includes some of the greatest musicians that defined a genre,” says Samson‘s director of marketing and “Metal Masters” founder, Mark Menghi. “What better way to learn, than seeing these amazing performers up close and personal teaching their own personal techniques of the trade. ‘Metal Masters’ has always been about doing something special for the fans and that will never go away.”

King previously stated about his motivation for taking part in “Metal Masters”: “The reason I still do it to this day is to get Phil involved, because I think the world misses him. He’s good at what he does and I’m one of the few guys he looks up to to the point where he’d come out and do it. And I’m not blowing sunshine up my ass; it’s just a fact. And everybody wants to see Phil. Everybody loves Phil. When I come out, it’s a huge applause. When Phil comes out, it’s like somebody came back from the dead; they’re not expecting it. And it’s cool.”

In a recent interview with Full Metal Jackie, Anselmo stated about performing PANTERA songs at “Metal Masters”: “I’m up there with guys that I’ve known since the ’80s who have a good five, six years on me of playing music and being successful, people that I looked up to and still look up to… The thing is just being up there with those guys is overwhelming enough, but then playing the PANTERA songs, don’t get me wrong, it feels great, it feels fantastic, and it does bring me back to a very powerful place, a very unique place in history. I guess, growing up and cuttin’ my chops and growing up with the guys in PANTERA, we always played with a chip on our shoulder and you get that rush of memory when you’re up there doing it, but it’s a lot of emotions balled up into one, but they’re all pretty damn good. For me, the most fun thing about it of all is just seeing the fan reaction. I’ve always said that PANTERA fans were the best in the world, and I truly meant that and I still mean it. That’s why ‘Metal Masters’ keeps the pulse of the whole thing going.”

Speaking to Artisan News prior to the “Metal Masters 4” event in September 2012, Sheehan and the other musicians spoke about what it was like for Billy to come in and play heavier stuff than he is used to.

“I’ve been prepped,” said Sheehan. “And it’s great. I actually love it. It’s like being on another planet. It’s like an adventure into another land, and it’s really cool. It’s challenging to play this stuff.”

Added Bello: “It’s great seeing [Billy] come into this world, and step up as he did. I mean, Billy Sheehan is playing [chuckles] he’s playing SLAYER and EXODUS tonight — without a pick. Just think about those lines right there. He totally kicks ass in it, too. The guy stepped up to it, and you can’t ask for more than that. So for these kids, seeing a treat like that, man, it’s a good time.”

Said Holt: “[If you had told me that] this guy here [pointing at Billy], who is one of the greatest musicians in rock history, would be standing there watching my fingers as I’m playing [EXODUS‘s song] ‘Piranha’, I would havee called you a stone-faced liar and said, ‘Get outta here!'”

Setlist:

metalmasters5setlist_638

Highlights:

Full show:

metalmasters5

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On September 16, Louder! Magazine conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) after THE WINERY DOGS‘ headlining concert La Maroquinerie in Paris, France. You can now watch the chat below.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER.

“Bands like [LED] ZEPPELIN and THE WHO, THE [ROLLING] STONES, and THE BEATLES, CREAM, and [Jimi] Hendrix. I mean, I grew up with that stuff,” Portnoy told Voice Of America. “And, although I’ve been able to pay tribute to it throughout my career with tribute bands and things like that, I’ve never been in an all-original band that was kind of playing classic rock power trio stuff. That’s how I describe this band: just a straight-up rock band.”

Regarding the songwriting process for THE WINERY DOGS‘ album, Portnoy said: “In all cases, the music was the very first element and from there, Richie would start melodies on top of it. Sometimes the final lyrics were there, coming up on the spot, and other times he would take the melodies and write lyrics later. There were a couple of examples of Richie having something and bringing it in. In those cases, like ‘Damaged’ and ‘Regret’, we just left them. Because in those two particular cases, the songs were great as they were.”

Portnoy was full of praise for his THE WINERY DOGS bandmates, telling Voice Of America: “Billy Sheehan is my favorite bass player on earth and he has been for almost 30 years now. So to work with him and make music with him for me is an honor. And Richie is someone I have the utmost respect for as an artist. I mean, he is just so underappreciated, not only as a guitarist, but as a singer and a writer as well. I think for me, the most exciting aspect of this band is for people to discover Richie that aren’t aware of what a musical genius he is.”

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Journalist and musician Barbara Caserta of Italy’s Linearock conducted a 30-minute video interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) prior to THE WINERY DOGS‘ concert at Live Club in Trezzo sull’Adda, Milan, Italy. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked what led to his departure from ADRENALINE MOB, the band featuring Russell Allen (vocals; also of SYMPHONY X) and Mike Orlando (guitar), Portnoy said: “I’m very proud of the album I made with ADRENALINE MOB and I think that there was really a great chemistry there; it was a great band. I was definitely behind it. I spent two years of my life developing it and trying my best. But at the end of the day, I came out of DREAM THEATER wanting to do a lot of different things, and I wasn’t ready to commit exclusively to any one band. I had just spent 25 years with one band — and side projects, obviously, but committed to one band. And I said right from the beginning I was gonna plant many different musical seeds and see which grew, and that would kind of dictate where I would go and what I would do. And I spent a good solid two years giving my all to ADRENALINE MOB. But it only blossomed a little; I kept waiting for it to truly blossom and waiting for touring opportunities to come around, which never happened, and waiting for certain things to happen that never happened, so when it came time for them to start to want to do a new record, it’s, like, well, I have five months of THE WINERY DOGS dates on the calendar, so I had to make a decision; I couldn’t be in two places at the same time. Luckily, up until now, I’ve been able to juggle all these different things and make the schedules work out, but finally it came to a head where it’s, like, ‘OK, do I do a record with ADRENALINE MOB or do I tour with THE WINERY DOGS?’ And it’s, like, well, ADRENALINE MOB is not really growing fast enough. I don’t have time to get into a van and play to a hundred people a night for the next ten years to develop this when I have other opportunities and things like THE WINERY DOGS and other things that are offering opportunities and situations that I need to follow through with. So I haf to make a decision, and one shoe had to drop, and unfortunately, it happened to be ADRENALINE MOB.”

He continued: “[They’re a] great band, and I would have loved to have done more if they could have worked around my schedule, but I understand that they wanna keep working. So I had to make a decision and THE WINERY DOGS has a lot of buzz and opportunity and possibility and potential, so I didn’t want to not give it a fair chance.”

In a recent interview with Brazil’s “Wikimetal”, Allen stated about Portnoy‘s departure from ADRENALINE MOB: “He’s been, obviously, real busy with THE WINERY DOGS, which is his next band that he’s doing. The truth of it is we wanna keep working, we wanna keep doing ADRENALINE MOB and we don’t wanna wait around for Mike to have the time [to put into ADRENALINE MOB]. And he doesn’t know when he will have the time again, so that’s really what’s going down. Mike Portnoy was asked to be in the band by myself. Me and Orlando had already written all the material, so [ADRENALINE MOB‘s debut album] ‘Omertá’ was completely finished before Mike joined the act. And it’s a bummer, but he’s got his sights on other things, and he’s not gonna stick around. So we wish him the best of luck, but the MOB‘s gotta go on.”

ADRENALINE MOB‘s most recent touring and recording lineup also included DISTURBED bassist John Moyer

ADRENALINE MOB released “Covertá”, an eight-track EP featuring cover versions of some of the group’s favorite songs, on March 12.

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Rod Whitfield of SF Media recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the band’s new, self-titled album:

“Yeah, I’m so excited about it. I think it’s definitely one of our best, and we feel so good about it that we decided to stamp it with a self titled name, so everybody’s happy.

“We just feel that the band is at such a great point, personally and musically, that it was really time to mark this down, and say ‘Hey, you know what? If you want to know about DREAM THEATER this is it.’ It’s really a representation of who we are as people at this point in time. It was a fantastic year before this on the road with [recently added drummer] Mike Mangini, and getting him fully integrated into the band.”

On what Mike Mangini has added to the DREAM THEATER songwriting process:

“Having him come into the studio with us gave us that extra spark, not only musically, but he’s also such a lively, energetic fun guy. So it brought us to this very strong, unified and powerful level. Having him there was just a treat, because he’s such a unique person, his playing is really individual, and the way he thinks, he offered some really interesting ideas. Especially in the realm of rhythm, it was very cool.”

On the differences in the personalities and playing of Mike Mangini and former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy:

“Yeah, I feel so lucky in my career to have worked with some of the greatest drummers, and guitarists as well, but we’re talking about drummers, and Mike Portnoy is one of the greatest drummers out there. We had a great time playing for many years together. And now we’re playing with Mangini, it’s a whole ‘nother wonderful musical experience. And what’s really cool is that all these great drummers that I’ve played with, they’re all so different, but what’s especially cool about Mangini is that, not only is he a different kind of a drummer, but he can also fit like a glove into the music. So when we play the older DREAM THEATER songs, it feels very comfortable. Even though he has a different approach, it kinda fits like a glove, if you will. So that’s obviously why he got the gig, because he can do that, but he can also offer some fresh and exciting ideas into what we’re doing.”

Read the entire interview at SF Media.

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On September 15, RockNLive.org conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) before THE WINERY DOGS‘ headlining concert La Maroquinerie in Paris, France. You can now watch the chat below.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER.

“Bands like [LED] ZEPPELIN and THE WHO, THE [ROLLING] STONES, and THE BEATLES, CREAM, and [Jimi] Hendrix. I mean, I grew up with that stuff,” Portnoy told Voice Of America. “And, although I’ve been able to pay tribute to it throughout my career with tribute bands and things like that, I’ve never been in an all-original band that was kind of playing classic rock power trio stuff. That’s how I describe this band: just a straight-up rock band.”

Regarding the songwriting process for THE WINERY DOGS‘ album, Portnoy said: “In all cases, the music was the very first element and from there, Richie would start melodies on top of it. Sometimes the final lyrics were there, coming up on the spot, and other times he would take the melodies and write lyrics later. There were a couple of examples of Richie having something and bringing it in. In those cases, like ‘Damaged’ and ‘Regret’, we just left them. Because in those two particular cases, the songs were great as they were.”

Portnoy was full of praise for his THE WINERY DOGS bandmates, telling Voice Of America: “Billy Sheehan is my favorite bass player on earth and he has been for almost 30 years now. So to work with him and make music with him for me is an honor. And Richie is someone I have the utmost respect for as an artist. I mean, he is just so underappreciated, not only as a guitarist, but as a singer and a writer as well. I think for me, the most exciting aspect of this band is for people to discover Richie that aren’t aware of what a musical genius he is.”

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On September 13, myRockworld conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) in Munich, Germany. You can now listen to the chat below.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER.

“Bands like [LED] ZEPPELIN and THE WHO, THE [ROLLING] STONES, and THE BEATLES, CREAM, and [Jimi] Hendrix. I mean, I grew up with that stuff,” Portnoy told Voice Of America. “And, although I’ve been able to pay tribute to it throughout my career with tribute bands and things like that, I’ve never been in an all-original band that was kind of playing classic rock power trio stuff. That’s how I describe this band: just a straight-up rock band.”

Regarding the songwriting process for THE WINERY DOGS‘ album, Portnoy said: “In all cases, the music was the very first element and from there, Richie would start melodies on top of it. Sometimes the final lyrics were there, coming up on the spot, and other times he would take the melodies and write lyrics later. There were a couple of examples of Richie having something and bringing it in. In those cases, like ‘Damaged’ and ‘Regret’, we just left them. Because in those two particular cases, the songs were great as they were.”

Portnoy was full of praise for his THE WINERY DOGS bandmates, telling Voice Of America: “Billy Sheehan is my favorite bass player on earth and he has been for almost 30 years now. So to work with him and make music with him for me is an honor. And Richie is someone I have the utmost respect for as an artist. I mean, he is just so underappreciated, not only as a guitarist, but as a singer and a writer as well. I think for me, the most exciting aspect of this band is for people to discover Richie that aren’t aware of what a musical genius he is.”

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Jeffrey Easton of Metal Exiles recently conducted an interview with Richie Kotzen of THE WINERY DOGS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Exiles: The three guys that make up THE WINERY DOGS is an amazing musician in his own right. How did you make room in the songs for each one of you to stretch out?

Richie Kotzen: That is the interesting thing with this record, is that nobody lost their identity. It could have been really easy to get into the studio and everybody starts fighting for space, and there is a few reasons why it worked out the way it did. One, it is a three-piece and I am comfortable in a three-piece; it’s all I ever do when I play with my band. I think Mike [Portnoy, drums] wanted to try something new, so let the cards fall where they may, so to speak. He is being Mike Portnoy, but he realizes that it’s a three-piece, so he is listening and understands we are playing off of each other and playing on a smaller kit as well. Billy [Sheehan, bass] and I have played with each other for years, so we knew how to play together. Also, I think it had a lot to do with the way the material was written. We have songs on there that were written out of jams, just sitting in a room together and all of the parts just locked together. There were a few songs that I had written previously that I thought would be good for THE WINERY DOGS, but even on those songs, it was pretty well mapped out what was going to happen. The third thing that tied it together is that we have been musicians for so long that you learn how to work with other people.

Metal Exiles: As musicians, you have had very diverse careers from each other. How did you make all of this diversity come together in the writing process?

Richie: For the blues-based thing, you have to find a common ground and for anybody that knows me knows I am not a blues guy by any stretch, but my influences, even though they were rooted in rock, were heavily blues-influenced. For me, this record was not a stretch stylistically, but when you compare the other guys and their influences, they all have the same influences; they are just getting it from another place. We can sit down and talk about 20 bands and there might be 10 that we completely disagree on, but then there are those that we can connect on like CREAM, LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO and the list goes on. So with me being the guitarist, singer and primary songwriter, in the end I am going to push us in that direction.

Metal Exiles: I know you have worked with Billy many times in the past but this was your first time with Mike Portnoy. Were there any growing pains in the studio while doing this record?

Richie: It went surprisingly smooth, and I honestly thought there would have been some hiccups here and there, but there weren’t. There were a few times where one of the guys was excited and trying to convey an idea and one of the other guys was trying to get his idea through, but that shit is normal in that environment. There were no problems; everybody gave the right amount of space. Those guys trust that I am the singer and guitar player, and although the door is open for ideas, eventually you have to let someone do their job. If I write a song, I am going to suggest a certain drumbeat because a song is written around a drumbeat, but it’s your job and I am not going to tell you how to do your job. I dont want to do that; I don’t want to tell you how to play because I do not want someone to dictate how I play.

Metal Exiles: The album is out and it did really well the first week. Do you think it did well because of the names on the album or the music itself or a combo?

Richie: I think it was combinations of that, but remember, they had plenty of time to hear the music because the record was out a month and a half in advance in Japan. People have followed the band on YouTube because we have three videos out and then you have the elements of the names, because they know who we are and they are curious. They want to know what we are going to do. Are we going to make a record where I can listen to the songs or is it going to be chaos? Let’s be honest, people were wondering what it was going to be like. In the end, when you hear the record, you say, “Cool, these guys made a musical record where you can hear some crazy playing but then you have songs you can listen to and remember.”

Read the entire interview at Metal Exiles.

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Meanwhile, Mike Portnoy says he’s sick of being “torn to shreds” by the band’s fan base whenever he makes a comment.

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In the October 2013 issue of Modern Drummer magazine, drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) spoke about how the combination of his obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and having a memory unlike most other people’s would make him an obvious choice for taking on more of a leadership role in a band setting.

“With DREAM THEATER, I very much ran the show because my OCD allowed me to handle the additional roles,” he explained. “Luckily, those guys [the other members of DREAM THEATER] always trusted my direction. OCD can be a detriment, though. I know it sometimes makes my wife crazy, and I’m sure it must have driven the guys in DREAM THEATER crazy at times too, but they rolled with it.”

He continued: “It was never about being a control freak because I was an egomaniac. It was just my obsessive-compulsive nature.

“When I first met [future DREAM THEATER bandmates) John Petrucci and John Myung when we were eighteen years old, I think they immediately recognized that part of my personality, and they were very comfortable with that dynamic. John Petrucci and I balanced each other out through the years with our strengths and weaknesses. He never cared much for all the little details and organizational stuff, and I never cared about the business or financial aspects, which he was very good at.

“When you’re in a band, you have to understand each other’s roles and you have to delegate, and I don’t think those guys ever resented the role I played. And … you can’t create that type of personality. People like me and [METALLICA drummer] Lars [Ulrich] — it’s just our personality, and we happen to apply it to our careers, our bands, and our music. I now find that I have to shift and mold with different personalities, and my role changes depending on the particular project. I haven’t been in a leadership role to the capacity I was in DREAM THEATER in anything else I’ve done since.”

Portnoy also spoke about the public backlash that followed his split with DREAM THEATER and his reluctance to discuss the band because of how it might be interpreted by the fans.

“I feel bad that I can’t talk openly about DREAM THEATER anymore without being torn to shreds,” he said. “I wish I could without there being a backlash, but it’s become the reality that I’ve now accepted, because I feel it’s a no-win situation.”

When the interviewer suggested to Portnoy that that over time the drummer naturally grew out of his place in DREAM THEATER, or perhaps he simply grew apart from where the rest of the band was going musically, Portnoy agreed, telling the magazine: “Yes! Thank you! That’s a big reason why I left DREAM THEATER — I changed. I mean thls totally diplomatically, but when I heard the new material, it simply wasn’t my cup of tea. It’s great, but I couldn’t relate to it anymore. Like you said, people change, whether it be as a listener or as an artist.”

portnoymoderndrummeroct2013

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Voice Of America recently conducted an interview with Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) about THE WINERY DOGS, the power trio featuring Portnoy, legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON). You can now listen to the report using the audio player below.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER.

“Bands like [LED] ZEPPELIN and THE WHO, THE [ROLLING] STONES, and THE BEATLES, CREAM, and [Jimi] Hendrix. I mean, I grew up with that stuff,” Portnoy said. “And, although I’ve been able to pay tribute to it throughout my career with tribute bands and things like that, I’ve never been in an all-original band that was kind of playing classic rock power trio stuff. That’s how I describe this band: just a straight-up rock band.”

Regarding the songwriting process for THE WINERY DOGS‘ album, Portnoy said: “In all cases, the music was the very first element and from there, Richie would start melodies on top of it. Sometimes the final lyrics were there, coming up on the spot, and other times he would take the melodies and write lyrics later. There were a couple of examples of Richie having something and bringing it in. In those cases, like ‘Damaged’ and ‘Regret’, we just left them. Because in those two particular cases, the songs were great as they were.”

Portnoy was full of praise for his THE WINERY DOGS bandmates, telling Voice Of America: “Billy Sheehan is my favorite bass player on earth and he has been for almost 30 years now. So to work with him and make music with him for me is an honor. And Richie is someone I have the utmost respect for as an artist. I mean, he is just so underappreciated, not only as a guitarist, but as a singer and a writer as well. I think for me, the most exciting aspect of this band is for people to discover Richie that aren’t aware of what a musical genius he is.”

Interview (audio):

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