MIKE PORTNOY Tells What It Was Like To Reunite With DREAM THEATHER Bandmates A Decade Later

Liquid Tension Experiment
Photo credit: Tony Levin

In a recent video shared on Patreon, Jordan Rudess and Mike Portnoy talked about the LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT reunion for LTE3, the band’s first album in 22 years.

Apart from Mike and Jordan, the Liquid Tension Experiment features DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci and KING CRIMSON‘s Tony Levin on bass.

“Coming back together to do the LTE sessions last summer hit on two levels,” Mike said. “The first level was the four of us – the four of us hadn’t been in a studio together in 22 years. The last time we made that second LTE album, our kids were just getting born, and now they’re all adults.

“But then there was the other elephant in the room that me, you [Jordan] and John hadn’t been together in 10 or 11 years [since Mike quit DREAM THEATER in 2010]. And that was pretty surreal.

“But the minute we started playing, it was like not a day had passed,” Mike continued. “It just felt so natural, so comfortable… Even all those years we were together in DREAM THEATER, I found the chemistry for LTE and the chemistry for DREAM THEATER between all of us.

“It’s a little bit of different chemistry too — because it’s a different way of writing and working,” he added. “With DREAM THEATER, there are vocals, you have to write with vocals in mind, whereas LTE, it’s instrumental, so it’s a whole different way of writing. It’s also very, very improvisationally based, so there’s that element.

“There’s also the keyboards — I think, with LTE, when we did those first two albums, you were free to do whatever, and that was our chance to work with you. And it was, like, ‘Man, whatever you want, Jordan. Go for it.’ But then once you came into DREAM THEATER, it’s kind of a different formula. You’ve kind of gotta find your place; the dynamic is a little different. But the LTE dynamic is so free and open — there are no rules with LTE.”