Drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, THE WINERY DOGS, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) was interviewed on a recent edition of “The Shoe With Miles Schuman”, the Internet radio show hosted by 15-year-old Miles “The Shoe” Schuman. You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below.
Speaking about his current relationship with former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate after the engaged in a minor public feud in 2006 over Tate’s alleged “bashing” of DREAM THEATER following the two bands’ co-headlining tour, Portnoy said: “I’d like to think I’m on good terms with everybody. I’m not the sort of person that holds a grudge. I don’t fester up resentments. You know, if I have an issue with somebody, I’ll be open and honest and outgoing about it and I’ll try to resolve it. But if it doesn’t get resolved, for whatever reason, just because of conflicting personalities, I’m all about ‘live and let live.’
“I’m at that stage in my life where I don’t like holding on to resentments or anger or negativity, so anybody I’ve had an issue with, I’m more than willing to give a hug to and get on stage and jam with.”
He continued: “As far as Geoff goes, I’ve always been cordial with him. I was actually there the night that Geoff and QUEENSRŸCHE had their massive blowout in Brazil. I was actually playing with FATES WARNING on the bill, so I was there when all that shit went down and I had to bite my tongue for many, many months before it went public.
“Look, it’s no secret that I’m good friends with [current QUEENSRŸCHE members] Todd [La Torre] and Michael [Wilton] and Scott [Rockenfield] and Eddie [Jackson] and Parker [Lundgren], so I fully support those guys and they’re my buddies. I don’t wanna pick sides, but those guys are my close friends, and I love what they’re doing; I think they sound better than ever.”
Portnoy added: “As far as Geoff goes, I’ve always been cordial with him and I’m always there for him as a friend from the past. Not to mention the fact that he works with a lot of my good friends. John Moyer [DISTURBED] plays bass with him. John’s one of my great friends. David Ellefson [MEGADETH] worked with him on the latest album. Brian Tichy [WHITESNAKE] worked with him on his latest album. So we have so many mutual friends that…
“Look, I don’t hold a grudge towards anybody.”
Back in May 2014, Portnoy stated about the legal agreement between Tate and the other original members of QUEENSRŸCHE: “I think it’s smart [that Geoff retained the rights to ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ and ‘Operation: Mindcrime II’]. If it was indeed his baby and his concept, then it makes sense. But, to be honest, who the hell cares about ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ at this point? It’s been so done to death over the last 20 years, who the hell cares?”
Portnoy added: “The reality is, I think it’s right that Michael and Scott and Eddie got the name [QUEENSRYCHE], because it’s those three guys and they are in the band. I shouldn’t have gotten the name DREAM THEATER; it makes sense [and] I get it. [Michael, Scott and Eddie are] sticking together, they’re gonna see it out. But the fact of the matter is they’re playing the stuff that people wanna hear; they’re solely doing the stuff from their first five [QUEENSRYCHE] albums. And what is Geoff gonna do now? I guess he’s gonna have to start working on a solo career and start to build up his own name…. I think he can play whatever he wants, but they can’t do ‘Mindcrime’ [parts] I or II without him. But, like I said, it’s been done so many times, who the hell cares at this point?”
A few weeks after QUEENSRYCHE fired Geoff Tate in June 2012 and replaced him with Todd La Torre, Portnoy publicly commented on the split, telling Eddie Trunk on the “Friday Night Rocks” radio show on New York’s Q104.3 FM: “I really like [Scott, Michael and Eddie] and I’ve always gotten along with those three guys; I think they’re awesome dudes. I think, to a certain extent, they haven’t been able to be themselves and have the creative outlet that, I think, all three have wanted to have for all these years.”
He added, “I’ve seen the writing on the all for years, since [QUEENSRŸCHE and DREAM THEATER] toured together, and some of the war of words that went down, it’s no surprise to me. I know for a lot of people it’s all shocking, but for [me], I’ve kind of seen some of the behind-the-scenes stuff through the years, so it’s not so shocking to me.”
DREAM THEATER and QUEENSRŸCHE had originally intended to join forces for a package tour in 2000 — a plan that failed to materialize after QUEENSRŸCHE decided to take the middle slot on IRON MAIDEN’s “Brave New World” tour instead. This move infuriated Portnoy, who told Metal Sludge several months later, “I have a bone to pick with [QUEENSRŸCHE]… We had a summer tour in the works being booked with them which I think would have been cool for the fans and they backed out in the 11th hour which fucked us over….I think maybe they realized that having to play after us would make their fans realize how much they suck now!”