Mike Portnoy: 'Zappa tribute would make my head explode'

Portnoy to pay homage to Zappa, Queen, Van Halen and Elton John?


© David Atlas/Retna Ltd./Corbis

What springs to mind when you think of a tribute band? Chances are you're thinking more Saturday nights in the back room of your local rather than the kind of all-star shows that Mike Portnoy has put together.

Over the years Portnoy has doffed his cap to Messers Moon, Starr, Peart and Bonham, and it seems there could be one or two more tributes up his sleeve.

Portnoy told us: "There's a few other tributes I'd like to do and now I have some time, who knows. One of my biggest heroes is Frank Zappa and I'd love to do something, but I think the problem is it would be so unbelievably musically intense, I don't know how much fun it would be!

"The Zeppelin, Who and Beatles tributes were light and fun. A Zappa tribute would make my head explode. I don't know if it would be as fun as it would be a serious challenge.

"There's others that could be done. A Queen tribute could be fun, a Van Halen tribute could be fun. One of my favourite albums of all-time is Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John, I've always wanted to cover that album in its entirety. There's no shortage of ideas and inspiration in my library."

"When you're sitting behind the kit with three identical rack toms and only three crashes, you have no choice but to become Keith Moon."

And of course, more tributes would mean more replica kits for Portnoy. Some guys have all the luck, don't they?

"One of the most fun about the tributes were that Tama made me the replica kits. It helped me to get into the headspace of the drummers. When you're sitting behind the kit with three identical rack toms and only three crashes, you have no choice but to become Keith Moon. The same with the Ringo, Peart and Bonham kits. You're immediately put into that environment where you become that drummer. That was a huge fun part of each of the projects."


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