MIKE PORTNOY Says He’s “Really Proud” About The Upcoming DREAM THEATER Album

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Some days ago the good folks of The Prog Report chatted with Dream Theater‘s drummer Mike Portnoy in a YouTube episode about albums turning 50 in 2024. Inevitably as part of their conversation, they asked about what Portnoy has been working on, and the drummer shared an exciting update on the progress of the band’s eagerly awaited 16th studio album, which marks a significant milestone as it is the first since Portnoy rejoined the band last October.

“It’s going great. The writing is done. My drum tracks are done. Guitars are done. So, this week we’re in bass land,” Portnoy stated. “I’m home at the moment. So I’m kind of jumping back and forth between the studio as needed. I’m not there 100 percent of the time. But I’m gonna go back for keyboards in a few weeks and then we’re gonna start the vocals, I think, next month.”

He went on to explain, “So, yeah, it’s a long process. I haven’t spent this much time making an album in a long time, because usually NMB [Neal Morse Band] or Flying Colors or whatever, you kind of get together, do the writing and the tracking, and everybody does it at home. But Dream Theater is still old school where the band is in the studio the whole time. And it’s not like anybody’s doing anything at home separately. We do it all together, coming in one at a time to work and record. So, yeah, it’s a longer process than I’ve had in quite some time. But it’s great… It’s the old way. It’s the way I always made records with Dream Theater. I just hadn’t done it that way in so long, but it is good. And the process is really detailed this way.”

“All these other bands and projects, everyone kind of just does their own thing on their own time at their own place. But this really gives a real unified kind of band vibe. Even a couple of weeks ago, James flew back out and came down from Japan and we spent time collaborating on vocal melodies, so lyrics can be written to those melodies, which is kind of the way the process is in Dream Theater. So, yeah, it’s nice to just be a part of each one of these steps, like the old days. It’s been a while since I made a record this way,” he added.

Portnoy hinted at the album’s details, saying, “I can’t give away much details about Dream Theater‘s next LP, but we are all just really, really excited about it, really proud of it. And just can’t wait to unleash some info, but I can’t do that just yet.”

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