© David Atlas/Retna Ltd./Corbis
Mike Portnoy's exile from Dream Theater may not be a permanent fixture, according to one of his former bandmates.
Derek Sherinian, former keyboard tinkler with the proggers, told our sister title Classic Rock: "I was more a little surprised, rather than shocked, at his departure. He's been doing it for 25 years, and I know he wanted to take a break from the constant album-tour-album-tour cycle. He told the other guys that he wanted to take a break, but they told him, 'We're going into the studio, so s**t or get off the pot'. So he left.
"However, this is Mike's band. Knowing all the personalities involved, I'd expect them to do one album without him, using an interim drummer, and then he'll be back. I wish all of them the best. I loved being in Dream Theater [1994-98], and we were such a powerful band. But clearly Mike wants the time to explore other musical avenues."
Portnoy left the band earlier this month after spending much of the year working with Avenged Sevenfold. Sherinian has also had a busy 2010 after joining up with Jason Bonham, Glen Hughes and Joe Bonamassa to form Black Country Communion.