Mike Portnoy is the acclaimed drummer of Dream Theater as well as various side-projects such as Liquid Tension Experiment, TransAtlantic and O.S.I. and his tribute bands such as Yellow Matter Custard, Hammer Of the Gods, Amazing Journey and Cygnus & The Sea Monsters.

Mike was born on April 20th 1967 in Long Beach, Long Island, New York.

He grew up learning to play the drums primarily self-taught by listening to his early biggest influences: Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and John Bonham.

As he developed a taste for more challenging progressive music, his biggest influences were Neil Peart and Frank Zappa.

He attended the Berklee College Of Music on a scholarship in 1985 which is where he formed the band Dream Theater who have now sustained a successful career for almost 25 years with a tremendously devoted fanbase and record sales of almost 10 million copies worldwide.

Mike's long list of Awards include 25 Modern Drummer Magazine Reader's Poll Awards including Best Progressive Rock Drummer (for a magazine record of 12 years in a row), Best Clinician (twice), Best Educational Video/DVD for Liquid Drum Theater, and Best Recorded Performance of the Year (6 times) for Dream Theater's Awake, A Change of Seasons, Falling Into Infinity, Scenes From A Memory, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and Score. He also holds the distinction being the 2nd youngest drummer ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame (at age 37) and is currently the youngest in the Hall of Fame.




Full Name: Michael Stephan Portnoy

Birthday: 4/20/67

Height: 5'8"

Equiptment: A lot

Favorite record of all time: Movies: Sports: Drumming

Food: Italian, Mexican, My mother-in-law's home cooking

Drink: Fiji Water, Starbucks Coffee, Dr. Pepper & Mountain Dew

Q+A with Mike Portnoy

Q: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
MP: Not arriving to the stage in time after intro tape finished

Q: When did you know you were destined to be a drummer?
MP: When I saw Keith Moon in "The Kids Are Alright" in 1979... I knew I wanted to be like him

Q: What is your proudest achievement?
MP: My Children, Melody & Max (and the Induction into Modern Drummer's Hall Of Fame wasn't too bad either!) : )

Q: Tell us about your best show ever and your worst.
MP: Best Show - Radio City Music Hall April 1st 2006. Worst Show - hmmmm....

Q: Tell us about your set-up.
MP: How much time do you have?

Q: What inspires you?
MP: Musicians like Frank Zappa, Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney & John Lennon, Jimmy Page, and Roger Waters. Drummers like Keith Moon, John Bonham, Neil Peart, Ringo Starr, and Terry Bozzio. Filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, PT Anderson, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, and Quentin Tarantino.

Q: What do you look for in a drum sound?
MP: Projection, tone, feel…

Q: How did you learn to play the drums?
MP: Listening to and learning to play along with the drummers listed above

Q: What record are you most proud of and why?
MP: I'm proud of pretty much everything in my discography... I've poured my heart and soul, blood, sweat & tears into most everything I do...

Q: What's your favorite place to play?
MP: Some of the best DT audiences in the world are: Brazil, Italy, Holland, France, and of course New York, LA and London...

Q: What's the best and worst part of being a drummer?
MP: Best part is I get to sit for most of the time... Worst part is being at the back of the stage...

Q: You can play any kit you want, why do you choose Tama?
MP: I initially wanted to play Tama because when I was a teenager and really getting into drumming, so many of my favorites during that period were Tama drummers: Neil Peart, Simon Phillips, Stewart Copeland, Bill Bruford, etc. And then from there I fell in love with the drums and hardware and was never comfortable playing anything else!