Dream Theater's James LaBrie talks Portnoy 'trying to grab the limelight'



We know there's been plenty of Dream Theater/Portnoy split stories over the last few months, but this one is a belter. Frontman James LaBrie has claimed that the band is more balanced without Portnoy and said that since the drummer left there has been nobody "…in the background trying to grab the limelight…"

When questioned about his role as a frontman since Portnoy's departure, LaBrie told Prog Sphere: "It's funny, you mentioning that, because we, the guys in the band, we were talking about that everything is much more balanced, everybody is in their role or in their position. So it's where things should be on stage, where it's not somebody in the background trying to grab the limelight when maybe they should just be grooving or whatever. But I mean, that's [Portnoy's] character, that's just his personality. He's big and he wants to be in the limelight.

"But, unfortunately, the problem with that is that it takes away from the bigger picture — and that is the band as a unit. And a lot of people have been commenting on that since we started out on this tour, saying, "It feels more like I'm watching a band, with somebody up front singing and interacting, everybody else just back there and (makes drumming and guitar playing gestures).

"Everyone kind of assumes what they're doing. And then there's always moments in the night when there is the spotlight on these other members and it should be. But it creates more a balance. And we were talking about this, we were saying, "You know, this is really cool." It feels like a unit. So it's a lot better."

We wait for Portnoy's response with baited breath.

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).