Author Topic: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?  (Read 100667 times)

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Offline Rodni Demental

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2015, 03:47:21 AM »
It would have been great and certainly interesting to see a Dream Theater that continued with Portnoy after a break but as it turned out, I believe it was still win - win for everyone involved after the dust settled.

Anyway, just wanted to drop this in here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLRo9RT539k
A lot of you might have watched it already but I think it actually contributes a fair perspective from the man himself regarding some of the speculation on this subject. (Might wanna skip half-way through when he's talking about more recent stuff if you're not interested in the earlier stuff, it's got some fairly interesting trivia in there though).
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 03:54:46 AM by Rodni Demental »

Offline Mladen

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2015, 04:16:20 AM »
As far as I'm concerned, it's a good thing the band didn't take a break. They released A Dramatic turn of events about a year later, which is my 4th favorite Dream Theater album and truly a tremendous piece of work. I also want to point out that I think their live shows have improved quite a bit - the Along for the ride tour featured the best looking stage set in my opinion, which made those concerts the best ones I've seen the band put on. Not to mention the BTFW performance of Illumination theory, which I'd put up there as essential Dream Theater live performance, along with The Spirit carries on from Live Scenes and Octavarium from Score.

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2015, 04:26:43 AM »
What was Mike's reaction when you told him that?

I forget his exact response/reaction... he kinda shrugged it off... neither really agreeing or disagreeing, but if anything, he more agreed than disagreed.  Ultimately (and remember, that was 18 months ago), he was happy with where he was at.  IIRC, he'd finally stopped making dumbass statements in the media/interwebz, and accepted - no, embraced - that this was the way things were, and the was they were going to be.
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Offline ErHaO

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2015, 05:27:42 AM »
I do miss Portnoy's touch sometimes, but that is not about the actual music. I just love the Ytsejam stuff, covers, jam sessions, medleys etc. And I thought the production took a turn for the worse. I know people also have problems with the late Portnoy albums in terms of sound, but to me ATOE and DT12's main problems are actually the production (especially ATOE sounds lifeless and distant to me).

However, from DT I got this:
-DT12
-ATOE
-BTFW and a generally fantastic DT12 tour (I attended Amsterdam)
-Happy Holidays
And I love Mike Mangini's work and live performances as well. Different and more technical, but a blast to hear/see as well.

MP was involved in these things I enjoyed very much:
-The Grand Experiment (NM band, combined writing effort) of which I attended a show, which was absolutely great
-Two Flying Colors albums and a nice live DVD
-Winery Dogs and a nice live DVD
-New Transatlantic and, again, a nice live DVD
-Good post-Rev drums on a Avenged Sevenfold album before them jumping the shark for whatever reason
There are few releases featuring MP that I do not enjoy a lot. Not saying the above albums are all his work or anything, but he does often does leave his touch and/or has a nose for quality.

While the latter we would probably still have gotten with DT's break, I am happy we got DT's material along with it. And I am sure MP will continue pushing neat projects and new albums of the bands he is in. Just hope Liquid Tension is one of them.  ;D

Offline cramx3

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2015, 06:01:45 AM »
Im happy with the way things turned out.  A hiatus would not have helped DT.  Maybe would have lead to some different music than what we got, but I don't think it would have helped their popularity to take a break.  Both albums with MM are great IMO so I have no complaints. 

Offline kaos2900

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2015, 06:43:11 AM »
I do miss Portnoy's touch sometimes, but that is not about the actual music. I just love the Ytsejam stuff, covers, jam sessions, medleys etc. And I thought the production took a turn for the worse. I know people also have problems with the late Portnoy albums in terms of sound, but to me ATOE and DT12's main problems are actually the production (especially ATOE sounds lifeless and distant to me).

However, from DT I got this:
-DT12
-ATOE
-BTFW and a generally fantastic DT12 tour (I attended Amsterdam)
-Happy Holidays
And I love Mike Mangini's work and live performances as well. Different and more technical, but a blast to hear/see as well.

MP was involved in these things I enjoyed very much:
-The Grand Experiment (NM band, combined writing effort) of which I attended a show, which was absolutely great
-Two Flying Colors albums and a nice live DVD
-Winery Dogs and a nice live DVD
-New Transatlantic and, again, a nice live DVD
-Good post-Rev drums on a Avenged Sevenfold album before them jumping the shark for whatever reason
There are few releases featuring MP that I do not enjoy a lot. Not saying the above albums are all his work or anything, but he does often does leave his touch and/or has a nose for quality.

While the latter we would probably still have gotten with DT's break, I am happy we got DT's material along with it. And I am sure MP will continue pushing neat projects and new albums of the bands he is in. Just hope Liquid Tension is one of them.  ;D

100% this. We've gotten some incredible music from both sides since the split. I still feel it was the best decision for both parties.

Offline emtee

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2015, 07:23:56 AM »
No way of really knowing.

My belief is that the strained relationship between MP and JLB had reached a point of no return. I don't think an extended break from
each other would have fixed it. They may have taken a long break only to find the dynamics of the relationships were still the same.



Offline mikeyd23

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2015, 07:51:28 AM »
I'll concur completely with TAC - the last two are considerably better than SC and BCSL.  CONSIDERABLY.

Ditto. That kinda sums it up for me. IMO, taking a break would have been a mistake simply because I prefer ADTOE and DT12 over SC and BC&SL. Some people might feel the opposite and thats cool, just not me!

Offline Mindflux

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #43 on: August 13, 2015, 07:53:44 AM »
If they took a break, they would be forgotten and trying to gain lost ground.

If they took a break, there would be no Breaking All Illusions, which placed second in the DTF tournament this year.

Did Mike Portnoy sound more refreshed creatively nowadays?  I don't hear it.

Nobody is going to forget DT if they had taken a 6 month or year break. Cmon now.

Offline SuperTaco

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2015, 07:58:20 AM »
If they took a break, they would be forgotten and trying to gain lost ground.

If they took a break, there would be no Breaking All Illusions, which placed second in the DTF tournament this year.

Did Mike Portnoy sound more refreshed creatively nowadays?  I don't hear it.

Nobody is going to forget DT if they had taken a 6 month or year break. Cmon now.

One year would have been fine, but four or five years would have just been heartbreaking. I can't go that long without new DT music.
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Offline Mindflux

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #45 on: August 13, 2015, 08:03:22 AM »
If they took a break, they would be forgotten and trying to gain lost ground.

If they took a break, there would be no Breaking All Illusions, which placed second in the DTF tournament this year.

Did Mike Portnoy sound more refreshed creatively nowadays?  I don't hear it.

Nobody is going to forget DT if they had taken a 6 month or year break. Cmon now.

One year would have been fine, but four or five years would have just been heartbreaking. I can't go that long without new DT music.

Agreed, but MP claims he never asked for 5 years.  I think even MP might have thought 5 years was suicide. I don't know.

Plenty of other bands have gone that long between albums and made out ok, though.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #46 on: August 13, 2015, 08:04:20 AM »
I'll concur completely with TAC - the last two are considerably better than SC and BCSL.  CONSIDERABLY.

Ditto. That kinda sums it up for me. IMO, taking a break would have been a mistake simply because I prefer ADTOE and DT12 over SC and BC&SL. Some people might feel the opposite and thats cool, just not me!

It's neat how people have opposing views on music like this. I think ADTOE and DT12 are WAY more fresh and creative than SC and BC&SL......and there are plenty of people here who believe the opposite.


For me I have a hard time looking past how ignorant MP was in the wake of him deserting DT. That's what he did. He deserted them in the hopes that Avenged would ask him to stay on as a regular. His tweets/comments at the time when he was not asked by them to stay on were lamenting the fact that he'd felt betrayed and that he knew who his true friends were. I've always loved and still loved the mans drumming but I think he was entirely in the wrong in that situation....it was an ego trip IMO and I'll never be convinced otherwise. I'm glad they've all gotten past it and both sides have been making a living but I think if you had MP alone....and there was no way anyone but you and he would know what he said.....he'd admit he was wrong in leaving DT and putting those guys in that position in the first place. He knows it....we know it....they know it.
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Offline Mindflux

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #47 on: August 13, 2015, 08:11:25 AM »
but I think if you had MP alone....and there was no way anyone but you and he would know what he said.....he'd admit he was wrong in leaving DT and putting those guys in that position in the first place. He knows it....we know it....they know it.

I don't think he'd feel that way TODAY. He might have felt that way a year after his decision.  In fact when the stuff with A7X unfolded and they didn't want to keep him on he tried to go back but they had already chosen Mangini (though not publicized yet) and spent who knows what talking through lawyers. By then the damage was done.


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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #48 on: August 13, 2015, 09:18:51 AM »
I think ADTOE was regarded generally as a big step up from their last Portnoy albums (SC and BC&SL), so what the OP is saying is not entirely true.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 09:24:39 AM by DarkLord_Lalinc »
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Offline Mindflux

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #49 on: August 13, 2015, 09:20:15 AM »
I think ADTOE was regarded generally as a big step up from their last Portnoy albums (SC and BC&SL), so what the OP is saying is not entirely true.

I agree it's a step up from BC&SL, I rank BC&SL near the bottom but I love SC. I saw them 3 times for that tour.

I'm with OP. I think MP was right. I think some time off would have worked miracles.  We'll never know now.

Offline rumborak

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #50 on: August 13, 2015, 09:20:32 AM »
I have to disagree with people here on the idea that a hiatus would have changed anything in their output. DT has a very established (entrenched?) dynamic now, and that wouldn't change just because they're sitting on their hands for a year.

The only upside of a hiatus would have been that JP likely would have released his solo album.

Actually, I changed my mind. A hiatus, just for that reason, would have been good.
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Offline Mindflux

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #51 on: August 13, 2015, 09:24:40 AM »
I have to disagree with people here on the idea that a hiatus would have changed anything in their output. DT has a very established (entrenched?) dynamic now, and that wouldn't change just because they're sitting on their hands for a year.

The only upside of a hiatus would have been that JP likely would have released his solo album.

Actually, I changed my mind. A hiatus, just for that reason, would have been good.

I think it would have given everyone a chance to do something else and get out those less-than-stellar ideas out of their heads and reconvene with fresh ideas for what would have been the ADTOE album.


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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #52 on: August 13, 2015, 09:41:07 AM »
but I think if you had MP alone....and there was no way anyone but you and he would know what he said.....he'd admit he was wrong in leaving DT and putting those guys in that position in the first place. He knows it....we know it....they know it.

I don't think he'd feel that way TODAY. He might have felt that way a year after his decision.  In fact when the stuff with A7X unfolded and they didn't want to keep him on he tried to go back but they had already chosen Mangini (though not publicized yet) and spent who knows what talking through lawyers. By then the damage was done.

I agree completely with this.
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2015, 09:48:40 AM »
I think ADTOE was regarded generally as a big step up from their last Portnoy albums (SC and BC&SL), so what the OP is saying is not entirely true.

After checking any site I could find with user ratings, on average ADTOE is regarded on par with BCASL, and DT12 lower than both of those, but above SC. Obviously it will vary across different sites, but I couldn't think of a more impartial way than averaging out every site I found with user ratings without introducing bias into the equation.
But the point is on the general internet I believe you'll find the difference in opinion between the RR albums is a lot closer than the impression you'd get from DTF.
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Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2015, 09:57:39 AM »
I think ADTOE was regarded generally as a big step up from their last Portnoy albums (SC and BC&SL), so what the OP is saying is not entirely true.

After checking any site I could find with user ratings, on average ADTOE is regarded on par with BCASL, and DT12 lower than both of those, but above SC. Obviously it will vary across different sites, but I couldn't think of a more impartial way than averaging out every site I found with user ratings without introducing bias into the equation.
But the point is on the general internet I believe you'll find the difference in opinion between the RR albums is a lot closer than the impression you'd get from DTF.

Wouldn't be the first time the internet was wrong.   :biggrin:
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Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2015, 09:59:34 AM »
I think ADTOE was regarded generally as a big step up from their last Portnoy albums (SC and BC&SL), so what the OP is saying is not entirely true.

After checking any site I could find with user ratings, on average ADTOE is regarded on par with BCASL, and DT12 lower than both of those, but above SC. Obviously it will vary across different sites, but I couldn't think of a more impartial way than averaging out every site I found with user ratings without introducing bias into the equation.
But the point is on the general internet I believe you'll find the difference in opinion between the RR albums is a lot closer than the impression you'd get from DTF.

Wouldn't be the first time the internet was wrong.   :biggrin:

It also wouldn't be the first time DTF was wrong. :biggrin:
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Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2015, 10:00:04 AM »
I think ADTOE was regarded generally as a big step up from their last Portnoy albums (SC and BC&SL), so what the OP is saying is not entirely true.

After checking any site I could find with user ratings, on average ADTOE is regarded on par with BCASL, and DT12 lower than both of those, but above SC. Obviously it will vary across different sites, but I couldn't think of a more impartial way than averaging out every site I found with user ratings without introducing bias into the equation.
But the point is on the general internet I believe you'll find the difference in opinion between the RR albums is a lot closer than the impression you'd get from DTF.

Wouldn't be the first time the internet was wrong.   :biggrin:

It also wouldn't be the first time DTF was wrong. :biggrin:

Well played sir.
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Offline JediKnight1969

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #57 on: August 13, 2015, 10:19:18 AM »
Portnoy was wrong.

I don't like DT12, but I love ADTOE.

And DT13's gonna be a blast. Mark my words.
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Offline Mindflux

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #58 on: August 13, 2015, 10:22:03 AM »
And DT13's gonna be a blast. Mark my words.

Marking them so I can come back and let you know how wrong you are.

 :corn

Offline mikeyd23

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #59 on: August 13, 2015, 10:27:08 AM »
And DT13's gonna be a blast. Mark my words.

Marking them so I can come back and let you know how wrong you are.

 :corn

Gheez, don't be so optimistic  :lol

Offline Mindflux

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2015, 10:30:56 AM »
Gheez, don't be so optimistic  :lol

The last 3 especially have been a real low point in their career for me.  Easily the least listened to albums in their catalog.

Offline mikeyd23

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #61 on: August 13, 2015, 10:35:34 AM »
I hear ya, I personally disagree, but its all good. Regardless, approaching the new record with no expectation rather than the expectation that you won't enjoy it might actually help you to enjoy it more.

Offline Mindflux

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #62 on: August 13, 2015, 10:47:28 AM »
I hear ya, I personally disagree, but its all good. Regardless, approaching the new record with no expectation rather than the expectation that you won't enjoy it might actually help you to enjoy it more.

Nah. The preconceived notion it's gonna stink helps them out  (for me) in reality. If they put out a good album I'll be extra pumped for it after a few listens. If it's a stinker I'll just have been right ;)

Offline mikeyd23

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #63 on: August 13, 2015, 10:53:01 AM »
Haha understood :lol

Offline JiM-Xtreme

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #64 on: August 13, 2015, 11:22:08 AM »
Yes and no.

For starters, I think it's worth pointing out that MP has recently stated that he did not specifically ask for a five year hiatus. As has previously stated by others in this thread it just as easily could have been six months to a year if he'd been able to convince the other guys.

When I say yes and no, I mean yes it's a good thing because MP has had the freedom to do lots of different projects he would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise and because he got the break he desired and managed to avoid becoming completely burnt out as he was apparently in danger of becoming, and also because the others have pretty much risen to the challenge and managed to carry on the momentum with two successful albums and two world tours, as well as a festival headlining tour this summer.

However. I cannot deny that some of the old magic has simply been lost. It may be stating the obvious but this latest incarnation of the band is not the same as it once was. They're aren't the same band I fell in love with over 10 years ago now. They're still my favourite of all time by some margin but I just don't feel the same excitement about their new music or going to their shows as I did a few years ago - and that's definitely not just a case of myself growing older and tastes changing, because I still love the SFAM-8V era albums just as much as I always did. The last two albums, whilst I really enjoy certain songs and passages, as whole albums they just don't do it for me personally. So there is quite a big part of me that will always wonder what might have been if the guys had agreed on a six months to one year. Would they have then reconvened fresh, energised and inspired and write an album that is truly worthy to be mentioned alongside their very greatest efforts?

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #65 on: August 13, 2015, 11:27:47 AM »
Portnoy was right about needing a break, and right that the band needed a change.

Unfortunately, the change they needed was him leaving.
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Offline mikeyd23

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #66 on: August 13, 2015, 11:30:21 AM »
For the record, do we actually know how long a break MP wanted to take when he originally brought it up to the guys? I thought I remembered (from back when it happened) that he initially asked for a 5 year break. The guys thought that was too long and said no, so MP quit. DT then moved on and hired MM and after that, MP came back to them and said it didn't have to be 5 years, it could be less. But at that point, the band had already committed to MM.

Am I remembering this totally wrong? It seems like people in this thread are saying because MP said after the fact he didn't ask for 5 years, he clearly would have been cool with a 1 year break or less... First of all, of course MP would say that, it is the victim role and it passes blame to the other guys, which MP kinda has a history of doing. Second, I thought when he said that he was referencing his willingness after the band hired MM to take less of a break.

Like I said, I might be remembering this stuff all wrong...?

Offline bosk1

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #67 on: August 13, 2015, 11:35:31 AM »
I think I should be clear: at no point in my original post did I say whether or not I think Dream Theater would be better or worse off if they had taken the break. I'm really just interested in discussing the idea. But it seems like just about everyone here is more interested in mocking the very idea that Dream Theater could possibly be better off if they had taken time off, rather than having a reasoned discussion on the topic.

Sorry I brought it up.

You might have gotten a better response if your initial post was not filled with incorrect assumptions about the fan consensus.  But even so, nobody is attacking you, so there's no point in being bent out of shape simply because people disagree with you. 

As for me, I strongly disagree with your proposition.  Many of the reasons why have already been stated by others, but I think Chad's post best summed up how I feel on the subject.  But another aspect that needs to be pointed out is that DT were losing a bit of momentum already during the BCSL album and tour cycle.  Part of it was an industry and economy thing.  People were just spending less on albums and concert tickets during that time period.  As a result, DT toured less during that time.  Remember--they did not even do a proper U.S. headlining tour for BCSL.  They only did Prog Nation.  Now factor in the fact that DT is not a huge household name.  They are a relatively obscure band with a loyal following.  They were already losing momentum.  Taking a hiatus for a few years would have really hindered their ability to get back up and running again at a decent level of popularity.  They make a good living now playing medium-sized theaters.  As an older band, if they had to scale down and play small theaters and clubs, I think it would be tough for them to get by.  So factor all of that into the equation as well.
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Offline Train of Naught

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #68 on: August 13, 2015, 11:36:46 AM »
It's not weird that you remember it that way because that's kinda the rumour that has been spread about the topic, but I don't think they ever shared this information to the public.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #69 on: August 13, 2015, 11:39:22 AM »
For the record, do we actually know how long a break MP wanted to take when he originally brought it up to the guys? I thought I remembered (from back when it happened) that he initially asked for a 5 year break. The guys thought that was too long and said no, so MP quit. DT then moved on and hired MM and after that, MP came back to them and said it didn't have to be 5 years, it could be less. But at that point, the band had already committed to MM.

Am I remembering this totally wrong? It seems like people in this thread are saying because MP said after the fact he didn't ask for 5 years, he clearly would have been cool with a 1 year break or less... First of all, of course MP would say that, it is the victim role and it passes blame to the other guys, which MP kinda has a history of doing. Second, I thought when he said that he was referencing his willingness after the band hired MM to take less of a break.

Like I said, I might be remembering this stuff all wrong...?

No, you are remembering it exactly right.  But I am not sure Mike was "locked" into 5 years.  It has sounded to me like he threw a number out there initially that made sense to him, but that he was willing to be flexible and do something a bit shorter if that was the consensus, but that the band did not want to take ANY extended break at all (which I agree with), which was not acceptable to Mike. 
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