In a recent interview with with GigsAndFestivals.com, former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy was asked if the recent passing of British art-rock icon David Bowie has perhaps made him think to play with DREAM THEATER again at some point.
“Look, I’m a very sentimental guy, I’m a very nostalgic guy,” he responded. “I was the guy in DREAM THEATER that opened up the door to [former keyboard player] Derek Sherinian and [original vocalist] Charlie Dominici to come back and join us on stage [at a concert in Los Angeles in 2004]. I also extended that invite to [keyboardist] Kevin Moore, so I’ve always been that type of person. I look at my past with a fond memory, and I probably shouldn’t even say this — I’m not trying to publicly state this — but around Christmas time I sent all the guys in DREAM THEATER a nice e-mail, just reaching out to say how much I love and miss them, because that’s just the way I am.”
He continued: “Jordan [Rudess, keyboards] and John Petrucci [guitar], we’ve stayed in touch, so in answer to your question, I’ve never closed the door on doing something with them. It’s not like I’m waiting for it; it’s not like I’m planning it, it’s not like it’s in my career plan, but certainly if the invitation, or if the opportunity arose, I would surely welcome it. It’s just because, you know, I don’t hold grudges, and I like to have an open heart and always cherish the people in my life and in my past. That was twenty-five years of my life.”
On Wednesday, September 8, 2010, Mike Portnoy announced he would be leaving DREAM THEATER. In his official statement, he said he had “come to the conclusion that the [DREAM THEATER] machine was starting to burn me out”, and that he had urged the band to take a break from its relentless recording, publishing and touring cycle. When the band decided it would rather continue without him, however, he departed, and DREAM THEATER later chose Mike Mangini to take his place after auditioning seven “world-class” drummers. When AVENGED SEVENFOLD later decided to also sever ties with Portnoy, he announced that he had asked to return to DREAM THEATER, but had been turned down by their lawyer since the band (as later revealed) had already brought Mangini on board.