According to Courthouse News Service, ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates in April claiming that they “wrongfully excluded” him from the group and are “wrongfully using the name of the band in connection with [their] recording of an album without the participation or consent of [Portnoy].” In addition, the drummer’s complaint, which was filed on April 27, alleges that the defendants — John Petrucci (guitar), John Myung (bass), Jordan Rudess (keyboards), James LaBrie (vocals), along with associated companies Ytse Jam, Inc. and Infinity Tours, Inc. — “are wrongfully using the name of the band in connection with the promotion of live performances by the individual defendants, without the participation or consent of [Portnoy].”
In an August 2011 interview with the Greek edition of Rock Hard magazine, Portnoy stated about his departure from DREAM THEATER, “I didn’t make the decision to leave DREAM THEATER before [hooking up with] AVENGED SEVENFOLD [as their touring drummer], but I knew that something had to change in the DREAM THEATER camp. It’s unfortunate that it was me that had to change, because I never wanted to leave the band — it was never my intention; I never wanted the split. I just merely thought that the band really could use a break, because I think the romance was really dying — backstage and between [the members] personally. 25 years without a break is a very, very, very long time and sometimes these relationships need a break from each other to rekindle the flame. So that’s all I suggested. And even before I [went on the road] with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, I remember touring with [the progressive rock project] TRANSATLANTIC at the beginning of 2010 and already knowing that something was wrong in the DREAM THEATER world and that I really needed a break from the guys and the whole DREAM THEATER machine. I knew something was brewing and I knew that I was unhappy, and as has been well documented elsewhere, I merely just wanted a break. But unfortunately, those guys [the rest of DREAM THEATER] didn’t see it that way and didn’t respect my request for time off. It’s unfortunate [that it turned out that way].”
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, announced his departure from the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
Portnoy played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD‘s latest album, “Nightmare”, following the death of that band’s drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, and toured with them for the entire second half of 2010.
DREAM THEATER‘s new album, “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, was released on September 13 via Roadrunner Records.