Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band founded by John Petrucci, John Myung and Mike Portnoy in 1985. However, after some line-up changes, the current band members are John Myung, John Petrucci, James LaBrie, Jordan Rudess and Mike Mangini.

At first the band was called Majesty, and they formed it while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. The guys eventually dropped out of school and focused on the band, now called Dream Theater.

The team was stable until 2010, when drummer Mike Portnoy left the group, and Mike Mangini became the drummer for Dream Theater. There have been several changes in the composition of the group. Nonetheless, they have retained their uniqueness and have built an important legacy of its progressive metal.

The biggest change in the band’s history came when drummer and one of the founders, Mike Portnoy, left. We’ve wrapped a brief history of the Dream Theater drummers in the following lines, which any fan of the band will find interesting.

Let’s get started.

What happened to the drummer at Dream Theater?

Photo from loudwire.com

Mike Portnoy was one of the founding members of Dream Theater. He is a 54-year-old musician and songwriter from Boston, United States. Portnoy has performed with Dream Theater since the group’s founding in 1985.

He appeared on ten studio albums from 1989 to 2009, after which he left the group. Portnoy is a self-taught drummer and he took an early interest in music. In high school, he performed with local bands including Rising Power and Inner Sanctum, with whom he released two albums.

After high school he rolled to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he met Petrucci and Myung. Portnoy is a drummer with excellent technical skills and has won 30 Modern Drummer magazine awards.

He had a few side projects that he even ran when he was playing with Dream Theater. Portnoy was part of a few other groups such as Liquid Tension Experiment, Transatlantic, Neal Morse and others.

It was clear from the start that Portnoy is a multi-talented musician, interested in broadening his experience as much as possible, which ultimately led him to leave Dream Theater.

Why did Portnoy leave Dream Theater?

Mike Portnoy left Dream Theater in September 2010. He says the main reason was that he didn’t want to end his career as a drummer in one band. Portnoy wanted to spread his wings and show the world that he had so much more to offer.

He’s a great music lover, who likes to experiment with genres, and he couldn’t settle down with just one band. Portnoy left Dream Theater after 25 years and Mike Mangini took his place as the band’s drummer.

Who is Mike Portnoy playing with now?

After leaving Dream Theater, Portnoy was very busy. He first joined avenged sevenfold for a short time, after the death of their original drummer Rev while recording the album “Nightmare”.

However, after the recording of the album, he did not remain as a member of the group. He even wanted to return to the Dream Theater, but was turned down because the group had already replaced him with new drummer Mangini.

Since then, Portnoy has pursued his personal career. He is currently the drummer for several groups including Sons of Apollo, The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic, Flying Colors, The Neal Morse Band, Metal Allegiance and Liquid Tension Experiment.

Who is the Dream Theater drummer now?

Photo from bostonglobe.com

Since Portnoy left the band in 2010, Mike Mangini has taken his place on drums. Mangini was a faculty member at Berklee College of Music before joining Dream Theater.

Additionally, he was an outstanding drummer who set five records for the world’s fastest drummer between 2002 and 2005. Mike Mangini has been a part of every Dream Theater release since 2010.

How old is Mangini?

Mike Mangini is a 58 year old drummer, born April 18, 1963. He was raised in Waltham, Massachusetts. Mangini has been playing the drums ever since he learned to walk.

He started at the age of two and a half and was practicing a few hours a day by the age of nine. He was inspired by famous musicians Ringo Starr, Buddy Rich, Bobby Colomby, Danny Seraphine, John Bonham, Neil Peart and Terry Bozzio as a child.

Mangini was already in a few bands before high school, and has performed across the country. However, after high school, he chose a computer science major at Bentley University, putting music aside.

His first serious step in music came later when he played drums for the Rick Berlin Band in Boston in 1987. After that he was part of the famous thrash metal band Annihilator, performing with the band. from 1991 to 1994.

Mangini had an interesting and busy career before joining Dream Theater. He was part of many bands such as Extreme, Steve Vai’s live band and the short-lived Tribe of Judah.

Besides music, he also continued his academic career, becoming a professor in the Percussion Department at Berklee College of Music in 2005. He left his teaching position when he joined Dream Theater in 2010.

Is Dream Theater working on a new album?

Photo from chaoszine.net

Dream Theater is still active, and with Mangini on drums, they vibrate louder than ever. The group released the fifteenth studio album “A View from the Top of the World” on October 22, 2021.

It was the first album they recorded in their own studio, “Dream Theater Headquarters” in New York. Dream Theater is one of the most successful progressive metal groups with fifteen studio albums behind them, multiple awards and over 12 million records and DVDs sold worldwide.

Although the group has gone through a few changes over the years, especially in terms of drummers, they haven’t broken the continuity of the idea behind Dream Theater. Their sound is instantly recognizable, because they brought something exceptional to the scene.

The two drummers will be remembered as an important part of the life and soul of Dream Theater, as their music will live on through their legacy.