The Apocalypse Has Come – Dream Theater Drummer Mike Portnoy Is Leaving the Band

Last night, fans like myself were shocked to learn that Dream Theater‘s drummer and driving creative force, Mike Portnoy, will be leaving the band.  I’ve been a fan since I first heard “Pull Me Under” played on the radio.  Viola learned about the band when we began dating and has since become an ardent fan.  Like many, we aren’t quite sure what to think.

Here is a segment of MP’s statement:

After 25 years, I have decided to leave Dream Theater….the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century.

To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty decision…it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so….

After having had such amazing experiences playing with Hail, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater…

Please don’t misinterpret me, I love the DT guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with them…it’s just that I think we are in serious need of a little break…

Dream Theater was always my baby…and I nurtured that baby every single day and waking moment of my life since 1985…24/7, 365…never taking time off from DT’s never-ending responsibilites (even when the band was “off” between cycles)…working overtime and way beyond the call of duty that most sane people ever would do for a band…

But I’ve come to the conclusion that the DT machine was starting to burn me out…and I really needed a break from the band in order to save my relationship with the other members and keep my DT spirit hungry and inspired.

You can read the rest of MP’s statement at his forum.  With more than 1000 comments in about 24 hours, fans have mixed feelings.

Earlier today, the remaining members of Dream Theater released the following statement:

“To all of our loyal fans and friends: It is with profound sadness — regret — we announce that Mike Portnoy, our lifelong drummer and friend, has decided to leave Dream Theater. Mike’s stature in the band has meant the world to all of us professionally, musically, and personally over the years. There is no dispute: Mike has been a major force within this band.

While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that Dream Theater will continue to move forward with the same intensity — and in the same musical tradition — that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us. Fans and friends: File this episode under Black Clouds and Silver Linings. As planned, we begin recording our newest album in January 2011, and we’ll follow that with a full-on world tour. “The Spirit Carries On.”

All of us in Dream Theater wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed.” – Dream Theater

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