"It's important to us to be able to write from the heart and let emotion dictate where the song is going to go. So we try and balance the two. We don't want to be robots - we want to have a lot of heart. We want a balance of music from the heart and music from the mind."
Mike Portnoy - Drums & Percussion
Birthday: April 20, 1967
Height: 5' 10"
Hair Color: Black
Eye color: Green
Equipment: Tama Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Remo heads, DW Pedals, Hot Sticks drumsticks, Latin Percussion
Mike Portnoy was born on April 20, 1967 and raised in Long Beach, New York, where his interest in music started at an early age. "My father was a rock n' roll disc jockey, so I was always surrounded by music constantly. I had this huge record collection when I was real young and loved the Beatles and then later on Kiss. It was inevitable that I'd become a musician."
Although Mike taught himself how to play the drums, he did take music theory classes in high school. During that time he began playing in local bands Intruder, Rising Power and Inner Sanctum, the latter of which released their own album. Mike left the band after being awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee Music College in Boston.
An avid collector of many things, Mike has a vast array of Dream Theater memorabilia including bootlegs, posters, clippings and everything else under the sun with the band's name on it. He is also responsible for capturing everything the band does on video tape and DAT. His huge video collection includes favorite films as 2001, A Clockwork Orange, Jacob's Ladder and The Wall along with episodes of The Simpsons and memorable boxing matches.
Mike says his biggest influences are Rush drummer Neil Peart and the late Frank Zappa. Other favorites include drummers Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Simon Philips, John Bonham and Keith Moon and bands such as The Beatles, Queen, Yes, Metallica, Jellyfish, Iron Maidon, U2 and Jane's Addiction. He is also a fan of rap music.
Mike, his wife Marlene and their daughter Melody, live in New Jersey with their cats E.T. and Cypress.
* Taken from the Official Dream Theater home page.
Headline quote from Jam Entertainment News, November 11, 1994.