VIDEO: Dream Theater new drummer auditions

During the Dream Theater drummer auditions, Mike Mangini unleashes behind the kit while guitarist John Petrucci shreds on A Nightmare To Remember.

UPDATE: See The Spirit Carries On Episode Two here now

Last week, Dream Theater posted a teaser video on their Facebook page, indicating that the announcement of the group's new drummer - the man to replace founding member Mike Portnoy, who split the progressive rock titans last September - was drawing near.

And now, there's an expanded clip. Tired as we are of reality TV, which this most certainly is, we have to say that the just-released 20-minute video episode (which you can view below) - the first of several, detailing the audition process - is positively gripping.

In it, you see most of the contestants: Aguiles Priester, Peter Wildoer, Marco Minnemann, Virgil Donati, Derek Roddy and Mike Mangini. (The seventh drummer sticksman, Thomas Lang, is not featured in this webisode.) The focus here is on Mangini, a Boston-based drummer who has played with Extreme, Steve Vai, Annilhilator and, quite coincidentally, Dream Theater singer James LaBrie.

Taped in Boston, just days before traveling to New York City to take the hot seat at S.I.R. Studios, Mangini makes his case clear: "I want to be in this band," he says sincerely. "It's not a gig to me. I don't know if I like that word. Your heart and soul has to be in there."

So how does Mangini fare when doing his darndest on Dream Theater epics A Nightmare To Remember and The Dance Of Eternity? Check it out and see...

By the way, you can catch the next Dream Theater drummer documentary episode on Wednesday 27 April at 11am EST (4pm GMT) at Roadrunner Records' YouTube Channel.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.