I’ve seen Dream Theater play on 3 separate occasions. Once, when I saw them play in Boston, then-drummer Mike Portnoy brought out a friend of his for his drum solo spotlight. The two of them dueled on the Siamese Monster’s two-throne monstrosity, and when it was over, Portnoy introduced him as Mike Mangini. It was a name I’d heard before, and I knew that I’d be hearing it again after seeing what a monster he was.
Of course, we all know how this story goes – Portnoy leaves the band, and after a grueling audition process, Mangini becomes his replacement (I totally called it, by the way). Now 6 years and 4 albums later, he’s very at home in his job. In this interview with Drumtalk TV, he discusses his musical journey from a very young age feeling called to play the drums, his decision to focus on drums over his other passion, hockey, and most importantly – the musical prejudice he sees holding back musicians of all genres.