Mike Portnoy interview

Legendary drummer and Dream Theater founder Mike Portnoy was the latest music industry icon to visit ICMP over the summer.

Progressive rock hero Mike was in London to kick off his Shattered Fortress tour and passed through ICMP to take advantage of our state of the art facilities for some last-minute practice ahead of the show.

It was his musical relationship with our guitar tutor Charlie Griffiths that led Mike to ICMP, just one of a multitude of partnerships he’s forged over a 30 plus year career. Charlie is guitarist in Mike's Shattered Fortress band and headed out on tour with the group on their recent live jaunt.  

Mike's musical CV is an impressive one. Alongside Dream Theater, he's performed and played with a huge array of outfits and bands including Avenge Sevenfold,  Neal Morse, Liquid Tension Experiment, and, as he reveals in our exclusive interview below, even Kiss.   

For those not in the know, it was Mike's studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a scholarship in 1985 that played a huge role in kicking off his musical career. 

In his interview with Charlie, Mike praised music schools and universities. He said:

You’re just constantly surrounded by amazing musicians at music schools. Not only the staff and faculty but all the students. They sit in the hall ways practicing, trading riffs, jamming together. I learned just as much from the environment and the students as the classes themselves."

His experiences led to the formation of the iconic band Dream Theater after he met John Petrucci and John Myung.

It all stemmed form meeting those guys at Berklee. The contacts that you make, that’s what this whole music business is about. Who you meet, making connections, they always snowball into new things that blossom and help you create a career."

Watch the full video interview here.

Mike kindly gave us a pair of tickets for the London show which were won by Mashum Quadry, a second year BMus student.

Mashum said:

The gig was EPIC! Charlie was one of my tutors during the Higher Diploma course, and seeing him perform on stage with Mike Portnoy was an amazing experience!"

Like Mike, as an ICMP student, you can take advantage of our music facilities for personal practice free of charge outside of time tabled hours.

Check out our industry standard facilities and equipment resources. 

If you want to take advantage of these opportunities,  then join us on a course here at ICMP.

Our Admissions Team are on hand to help you, call them on 020 7328 0222 or email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk.

If you fancy having a look around, and finding out more about ICMP, then join us on our next Backstage Pass Tour on Friday 18th August, book your place here.