MIKE MANGINI Reveals He Never Got Advance Notice About His Departure From DREAM THEATER: “It Was Immediate”

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In a recent interview with Chris Akin Presents…, former Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini opened up about his abrupt departure from the band following the return of founding drummer Mike Portnoy. Mangini, known for his contributions to the band and instrumental role in their Grammy Award win, expressed his understanding of the band’s decision but admitted that he had no prior warning about Portnoy‘s return.

“It was immediate. But it’s like… So the fish comes up out of the water, it’s immediate, but the fish was swimming for a while. Where was the fish? Whatever.” Mangini said.

“The reason it was easy for me to deal with — very easy, actually — I was, like, ‘Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. Original guy back in the band.’ I got I got it. And I didn’t have to go through a drop-down menu; I didn’t have to do it. It was just I looked at it and went, ‘Okay.’ And I don’t know whether it was intuitive, instinctual [or]intellectual… but I have left so many things on the table for so many years — the publishing of more books, the classes that I wanna teach, the interaction that my own self-development comes largely from me having to teach and talk about it to people. At some point, I mean, I see the whole picture, the grid, and I know what I can’t do, and that inspires me.” he added.

“But anyway, the answer to your question is, I got a call and understood the call, and said, ‘Okay, let’s do a joint statement,'” he explained. “And then the next day, I’m, like, ‘Okay.’ I’m having coffee and quite literally, at my think tank, looking at my list and going, ‘How am I gonna complete this job now? I’ve gotta fix this or do that. I’ve got a lot to do.’ My studio facility had construction, there was stuff that had to be fixed. I was, like, ‘Let me just let all of this stuff happen and breathe and just finish these things.’ So that’s what my mindset was. I can’t tell you anything different because that’s what it was.” Mangini concluded.

Addressing the question of potential resentment over being replaced, Mangini remained philosophical and emphasized that he doesn’t dwell on assumptions about the full picture, choosing instead to respect the decisions made: “Well, because I don’t know that that’s what is the full picture. I don’t know that that is what happened indeed. And I don’t let myself even think about it. People decide things and I respect that. It’s just it is what it is.”


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