By Alfredo Iraheta
On January 26, 2020 we had the chance to spend some time with musician Mike Portnoy before the Sons of Apollo show at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco. Mike was very kind to talk to us. During our conversation he shared his insights in a variety of topics including:
- How the Sons of Apollo was going so far.
- The band’s new album MMXX. Mike shared his thoughts on the album’s creative process, how the band dynamics differed from the first album, and told us how to correctly pronounce the album’s name!
- His thoughts on Jeff Scott Soto.
- Whether he has songs from MMXX that he favors playing live.
- How he manages to remain honest, open and accessible in social media in the face of the medium’s shortcomings.
- His love of the arts, music, musical instruments, and how he decided to become a drummer.
- How studying music has helped him as a musician.
- Are there different musical genres he would like to cover to express his tastes and influences?
- His advice to young musicians on how to become better players.
- His thoughts on Rush, Neil Peart and what he means to Mike.
- His musical collection, his plans for it and his favorite collectible.
- Melody Portnoy, his daughter, beating him on The Beatles‘ Name-That-Tune contest!
- His thoughts on World Prog-Nation!
Special thanks to Mike for taking the time to talk to us, and his road crew for being so friendly and accommodating. Also, very special thanks to George Wilhite for his invaluable assistance on the day of the show.
Interview by Alfredo Iraheta
Video editing by Yarin Cohen
2020 – World Prog-Nation