Rick Triana of MikePortnoyWarriors.com conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy during this year’s ShipRocked cruise. They talked about playing with Metal Allegiance, the recording process of the second The Winery Dogs album, and the new Neal Morse Band album “The Grand Experiment” Some of excerpts follow below, also you can watch entire interview via YouTube.
Speaking about his recently announced metal project in which he is collaborating with a couple of other well-known musicians — rumored to be Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT) and David Ellefson (MEGADETH) — Portnoy said: “There’s another album I just finished the drums and the writing on, and it’s my full-blown first full-on metal album. We wrote it in December and January, and I tracked my drums in January, and we’re about to do the guitar and bass tracks next week.”
He continued: “I can’t really give much away yet, but for those of you on Twitter, if you’re a good detective, you’ve kind of put one and one and one together to see what at least the core is, and the three of us wrote and recorded this album together, and then from there, the project and the band and the album will continue to evolve. So, more information to come, but I will say if you’ve done your homework, you know who I’m working with, and it’s an amazing, amazing album.”
Portnoy added: “It’s pretty obvious that it’s stemming from my ‘Metal Allegiance’ experience, and it’s all original music. For me, I’m getting to do the full-blown, double-bass shredding drumming that I’ve only been able to hint at with DREAM THEATER or with AVENGED or with ADRENALINE MOB. So now it’s a full-blown album. And the whole album is not thrash. I mean, this album is really kind of the history of metal; there’s moments that are early metal, like very [BLACK] SABBATH-esque, and then there’s moments that are full-on mid-’80s thrash — EXODUS, SLAYER, early METALLICA, ‘Kill ‘Em All’ METALLICA — so there’s a good chunk that’s very, very much like that. And then there’s moments that get more into ’90s type of ALICE IN CHAINS sort of stuff. So it’s almost a good history-of-metal sort of album. But I definitely have gotten my metal chops in. It’s been fun. It’s been really, really cool. I can’t wait for people to hear this album.”