I’ve been a Mike Portnoy fan for so long that I legitimately think most of my understanding of rhythm and time can be traced directly to different things he’s done in different bands. I might not be a drummer, but listening to his playing in Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment made me suddenly care very deeply about the drums. So when I had the chance to talk to him, I of course jumped on it.
He’s a man of many bands (all of them pretty spectacular), and right now he’s on tour with his main squeeze, The Winery Dogs – an insane trifecta of a supergroup, featuring Billy Sheehan – the greatest bass player in rock, and Richie Kotzen, the man who shreds like Paul Gilbert and sings like Chris Cornell.
I talked to Mike about his new but old-school style kit, his Winery Dogs-branded everything, the Hello Kitty drum set, and what’s in the cooler he keeps next to him every show.
Be sure to go see their incendiary live show when the tour comes near you – dates here.