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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rock News for Thursday 9th September, 2010


Yes, seems it's true that Dream Theater's drummer of 25 years, Mike Portnoy has decided to call it quits on the band!
He had this posted at his website and his Twitter page:
This is a sad, sad day....I'm afraid I have some bad news.... MP/DT Sept 1985 - Sept 2010

Then on his Facebook page, he spilled the beans completely!

Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater!

"I am about to write something I never imagined I'd ever write:
After 25 years, I have decided to leave Dream Theater....the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century.

To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty is something I have struggled with for the last year or so....

After having had such amazing experiences playing with Hail, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater...
Please don't misinterpret me, I love the DT guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with's just that I think we are in serious need of a little break...

Dream Theater was always my baby...and I nurtured that baby every single day and waking moment of my life since 1985...24/7, 365...never taking time off from DT's never-ending responsibilites (even when the band was "off" between cycles)...working overtime and way beyond the call of duty that most sane people ever would do for a band...
But I've come to the conclusion that the DT machine was starting to burn me out...and I really needed a break from the band in order to save my relationship with the other members and keep my DT spirit hungry and inspired.

We have been on an endless write/record/tour cycle for almost 20 years now (of which I have overseen EVERY aspect without a break) and while a few months apart from each other here & there over the years has been much needed and helpful, I honestly hoped the band could simply agree with me to taking a bit of a "hiatus" to recharge our batteries and "save me from ourselves"...
Sadly, in discussing this with the guys, they determined they do not share my feelings and have decided to continue without me rather than take a breather...I even offered to do some occasional work throughout 2011 against my initial wishes, but it was not to be...

While it truly hurts for me to even think of a Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy (hell, my father named the band!!), I do not want to stand in their I have decided to sacrifice myself and simply leave the band so as to not hold them back against their wishes....

Strangely enough, I just read an interview that I recently did that asked me about the future of DT and I talked about "always following your heart and being true to yourself"...sadly I must say that at this particular moment, my heart is not with Dream Theater...and I would simply be "going through the motions", and would honestly NOT be true to myself if I stayed for the sake of obligation without taking the break I felt I needed.

I wish the guys the best and hope the music and legacy we created together is enjoyed by fans for decades to come...I am proud of every album we made, every song we wrote and every show we played....I'm sorry to all the disappointed DT fans around the world...I really tried to salvage the situation and make it work...I honestly just wanted a break (not a split)...but happiness cannot be forced, it needs to come from within....
You DT fans are the greatest fans in the world and as you all know, I have always busted my ass for you guys and I hope that you will stay with me on my future musical journey, wherever it may lead me....(and as you all know my work ethic, there will surely be no shortage of future MP projects!)

Your fearless ex-leader and drummer,

The Dream Theater response and Press release

September 8th - 2010


To all of our loyal fans and friends: It is with profound sadness -- regret -- we announce that Mike Portnoy, our lifelong drummer and friend, has decided to leave Dream Theater.
Mike's stature in the band has meant the world to all of us professionally, musically, and personally over the years. There is no dispute: Mike has been a major force within this band. While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that Dream Theater will continue to move forward with the same intensity -- and in the same musical tradition -- that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us.
Fans and friends: File this episode under "Black Clouds and Silver Linings." - The title of the last Dream Theater album!
As planned, we begin recording our newest album in January 2011, and we'll follow that with a full-on world tour. "The Spirit Carries On."
All of us in Dream Theater wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves.
He will be missed.


Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the signing of VEGA, a very exciting new Melodic Rock band from the UK, featuring former KICK vocalist Nick Workman and the successful and respected songwriting partnership of Tom and James Martin (House of Lords, Ted Poley of Danger Danger, Khymera, Sunstorm to name but a few), together with drummer Dan Chantrey.

VEGA are set to bring back the reputation of British Melodic Rock music with a strongly original sound approach that while obviously influenced by the genre’s greatest names (from Bon Jovi, to Def Leppard and Journey) adds a strong personal element that will definitely bring the band to the attention of a very wide audience.

The band’s debut album “Kiss Of Life” has been recorded under the direction of producer John Greatwood (engineer for Tom Lord-Alge of QUEEN fame), with the band selecting a total of 12 songs out of a total of 25 written for the purpose. Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) stepped up to the plate to put the final touches to the album, mastering it in his studio in Germany. The band has also recently finished the shooting of the first video for the album title track, which will be launched as first single in the fall.

Singer Nick Workman commented: “We are pleased and excited to be signed to Frontiers Records. We are very proud of this album and believe that it brings new vibe to the rock scene whilst maintaining the roots of all of the bands that have inspired us over the years!”

Frontiers plans to release the debut album “Kiss of Life” later this year with more details to follow later. VEGA will be out on the road in the new year taking their music to the Rock fans live on stage!

Brief update - Steve Newman working with Mark Thompson-Smith

This posted over at the Newman website ...


Steve Newman has re-commenced mixing on the project he has been working on with Mark Thompson-Smith. The project, entitled "Big Life" should be nearing completion towards the end of next month and we'll have more details (and the first soundbytes) on this in the coming weeks. Release date TBC.

Mark's last solo release from a few years back was 'A Far Cry From New Jersey' and for those that didn't know it, the man has also had stints fronting Praying Mantis and The Sweet.
Watch this space!!

(Sorry, they are only in Germany!)

Underdawg Promotion has arranged the following Club Parties in Germany to celebrate the release of the highly anticipated KISKE – SOMERVILLE album.
September 2010
23.9.10 - Ochsenfurt @ Postkeller
23.9.10 - Ludenscheid @ Alte Druckerei
24.9.10 - Uster (CH) @ Rock City
24.9.10 - Ludwigsburg @ Rock Fabirk (Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville will make a special personal appearance in this party!)
25.9.10 Darmstadt @ Steinbruch Theater

During the parties the album and videoclips will be played in full and some free copies of the album will be raffled.
For more updates, go to:

Catch Night Ranger on TV this weekend!

Saw this posted over at the Night Ranger site, check it out!
Hey folks, Tune in this Saturday!

Night Ranger will be performing "God Bless America" on ABC this Saturday, September 11th at 7:30 pm for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Air Guard 400. This 26th race of the 36 race season marks NASCAR drivers' final opportunity to "lock-in" as the top 12 drivers that will participate in the 10-race playoffs.

Also be sure to head over to Night Ranger's upcoming show at the Verizon Ampitheater in Irvine, CA on 9/18 via the Tour page to check out the packed line-up of rock prowess!
The bands website is:

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