Ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy has recently stated in an interview with Stage Shottz that he has no interest in “playing perfect”; which has left many fans surprised as he is known as a very technically skilled drummer from his 25 years with Dream Theater.

Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, THE WINERY DOGS, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) was asked why it’s so important for him to be more than just “the guy behind the drums.” He responded: “It’s just my personality. I’m very outgoing, an extrovert, a control freak. I’m OCD, so it’s just my personality. I can’t sit quietly in the back.”

“The first time I saw Keith Moon [THE WHO] play, I pointed at the screen and said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ I had been a WHO fan my whole life but I had not seen him on screen until ‘The Kids Are Alright’ in movie theaters in 1979. There was this drummer who you couldn’t take your eyes off of. He was captivating. I wanted to be that type of drummer.”

Portnoy added: “I don’t care about technique. I have kind of been pigeonholed as a technical drummer since I was in DREAM THEATER for all those years, but it’s actually very far from the truth. I am not a technical drummer at all. I’m more from the Keith Moon/Lars Ulrich school of ‘hey, look at me!’ I just get up there and bash. I have no interest in playing ‘perfect.’ To me, it’s more about being an entertainer. Having a connection with the audience.”

When asked what his favorite musical experience is, he responded:

“I have been blessed with so many, but 4 come to mind. One was being invited to Frank Zappa’s house by Joe Travers who runs the vault, and Gail Zappa, God rest her soul, to spend the afternoon going through the vault. Joe let me listen to anything I wanted. He let me go into Frank’s office. That was like being invited to go to The Dakota by Yoko Ono! Another was back in ’95 drinking a bottle of Jagermeister with Jimmy Page in Germany. Just me and him, in my dressing room drinking a bottle of Jager. It was amazing. Next is any of my experiences with Neil Peart. We have become friends over the years and he has always been my hero. It even says in my high school year book “will become the next Neil Peart!” The fact that he sends me gifts, pictures of he and his daughter, anytime he’s in town he invites me out. One of the most gracious hosts ever, and I have so much respect for that man. I cherish, honor and value that friendship with him. Finally I got a chance to interview Nick Mason in 2006 and he invited me to Madison Square Garden where he was playing with Roger Waters. They were playing “Dark Side Of The Moon.” I was literally sitting there at sound check while they went through “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” It was pretty intense.”

Good luck Mike and congratulations on the two records you released this year!

– Antoine Kanaan.

Read more by:  Antoine Kanaan.
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Portnoy: No Interest in Playing “Perfect”