The new supergroup featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD), bassist Billy Sheehan (STEVE VAI, DAVID LEE ROTH), guitarist Tony MacAlpine (STEVE VAI) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) is in the middle of a world tour during which it is playing an all-instrumental set consisting of material from each of the members’ solo records and their previous collaborations as well as classic instrumental covers and extended solo spots.
While performing with the band in Manila, Philippines this past Tuesday evening (November 6), Portnoy suddenly stopped playing and “trashed” his drum kit, apparently because he was unhappy with how it was set up. He also launched into an impromptu “rap” song containing lyrics that expressed his frustration at the situation.
Fan-filmed video footage of the incident can be seen below.
In a statement posted on his official forum, Portnoy shed some light on his behavior, writing, “Not to excuse my actions, but at least to explain the situation:
“This PSMS tour has been VERY difficult on all of us in terms of gear and production. The only way we have been able to make it to such far-away places such as Manila, Russia, Israel, Indonesia, etc (where it is normally VERY expensive to tour unless you are a ‘name’ band that has been around for many years) is we’ve have had to make concessions by using supplied gear and local techs at each show.
“Granted, WE agreed to these terms and are willing to make it work — however, on at least a half dozen occasions on this tour, we have been incredibly frustrated to arrive at the venue only to find the band’s gear requirements were simply blatantly ignored (wrong keyboards, wrong amps, Zildjian cymbals, etc.) AND were not setup and ready for us as was supposed to be the case and what the promoters had promised.
“We have been as patient and understanding as we possibly can be… but when you get four guys who haven’t slept more than a couple of hours every night in order to fly to these shows without sleep… sometimes our patience can wear thin.
“In the case of the Manila show, we arrived hours before the show to find out the drums weren’t setup, cymbals were missing, Billy‘s amp was wrong (again) and Tony had a buzz on his gear that would not go away… but we forged ahead because we were VERY excited to play for the fans!
“At the start of ‘Stratus’ (where the video on YouTube is from) — my snare drum mic fell off and I motioned for the tech to come put it back on the stand/drum… and instead, he comes up to the drum kit and takes the mic away… leaving me playing with NO snare mic!!! (you’ll hear I begin playing the high tom instead of the snare)… Realizing he had no idea what was going on or how to fix the situation, I stopped playing and did my little ‘rap’ while they fixed the situation and we wouldn’t have to play the whole song with no snare in the mix.
“In the video, you can see I was at least making a joke out of it and wasn’t maliciously trying to hurt anybody or storming off in anger.
“Moral of the story: WE ARE HUMAN! And sometimes frustrating circumstances create frustrated behavior. I’m not saying I was right in stopping the song…but if you see a video from later in the show, you’ll see I explain to the audience that I’ve been waiting my whole career to play in Manila and I wasn’t going to let ANYTHING ruin my night or their show!!
And we carried on and everybody had a great night… And I look forward to returning… (although this may be the last time I tour without my own kit and my own drum tech…hahahaha!!!)”