Mike Portnoy's greatest rhythm section partners
24th Jun 2013 | 14:53
Mike and Dream Theater were voted pretty high in our Greatest Ever Rhythm Section poll (see July’s Rhythm for more!), but here Mike reveals to Rhythm his favourite bass players that he’s worked with.
“I've been blessed to work with so many amazing bass players through the years… and have learned so much from each and every one of them!
“A great rhythm section is usually two players that feed off of each other –listening and responding to what each other are playing. In all of these cases, I have been honored to trade musical moments with some of my favorite players in the business and they all inspired me to rise to new levels of playing and musicality.
“Here's a few of my favorites that I've worked with through the years…”
“Billy is probably my favorite bass player of all time… I used to sneak into clubs when I was a teenager in the early ’80s to see him play with Talas. He pioneered the bass in the same way that Hendrix and Van Halen pioneered the guitar.
“He and I first played together on the Rush tribute album Working Man in 1995 and then again in my Who tribute band Amazing Journey in 2006.
I am honored to currently play with Billy in two (very different) bands: The Winery Dogs which is very song and vocal-oriented and taps into our classic rock influences, and PSMS (Portnoy, Sheehan, MacAlpine, Sherinian) which is all instrumental and more prog/fusion and shred-oriented.”
“I've been working with Pete now since the late ’90s in Transatlantic and I consider him one of the most underrated bass players in the world. His ability to tackle to most bombastic prog moments (a la Squire or Rutherford) as well as being an unbelievably melodic player (a la McCartney) makes him the PERFECT bass player for Transatlantic!”
“Dave is possibly the most consistent and reliable bass player I've ever worked with. I don't think I've ever heard him hit a wrong note! In addition to currently playing with Dave in Flying Colors (which showcases his diversity to play everything from funk to prog to pop to alternative), I also did many G3 tours with him (playing with John Petrucci) and he also played in my Led Zeppelin tribute band, Hammer Of The Gods.”
“Tony is another pioneer of the instrument and a bass legend. Who else can claim to have played with King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, Pink Floyd and Yes (amongst hundreds of others)? It's an honor to be part of that list…”
“Tony and I did two LTE albums and (mini) tours together, and he is the ultimate professional. Walking the incredible balance between being a tight, pocket player and being a cutting-edge, experimental improvisational player – he can do it all! (and does it with a smile!)”
“Here's a few other great bass players I have been honored to play with through the years as well:
Randy George (Neal Morse), David Ellefson (Hail, Metal Masters),Frank Bello (Metal Masters), Joey Vera (Fates Warning, OSI, John Arch),Sean Malone (OSI, Cygnus & The Sea Monsters), John Moyer (Adrenaline Mob),Matt Bissonette & Kasim Sulton (Yellow Matter Custard),James Lomenzo (Hail).”