Mike Portnoy: ‘I’m the Dave Grohl of Prog’
Known as one of the busiest guys in music, Mike Portnoy recently compared himself to Dave Grohl in terms of being a workaholic and constantly keeping up with a hectic schedule.
Jokingly asked by Examiner on whether he’s “slacking off” during April, a seemingly obligation-free month for Mike, the drummer replied, “I am the living definition of it. I am the Dave Grohl of Prog.”
“I need to be busy and I need to have my hand in a million things,” Portnoy explained. “It’s just my nature. It’s not something you can become. I was just born that way. I was always obsessive-compulsive, and even all those years in Dream Theater, I just had to do everything and have my hands in every single aspect of being in a band.
“I’m a workaholic and I need to play with as many different people, doing as many different things as I can, and taking advantage of life while I have it,” Mike concluded.
At the moment, Portnoy’s main focus is on Winery Dogs, a supergroup project featuring bass virtuoso Billy Sheehan and guitarist/singer Richie Kotzen. “As soon as the three of us got together, we immediately established that we didn’t want this to be some instrumental wankfest,” he stressed.
“This was something that was going to be song-oriented and vocal-oriented, and something that moved us that way,” the drummer further explained. “I think that’s where we’re all at and we’re all on the same page. Richie’s been doing that for so long now, but Billy and I have always been associated with a million notes and technique and stuff like that. Yet the two of us are such fans of a good song and three-part vocal harmonies, so we were really looking to do something in that vein, and that was always the calling card for this band.”
The band’s self-titled debut saw its release in July 2013 via Loud and Proud Records, debuting at No. 27 on the Billboard 200 chart.