Mike Portnoy Basically Accuses Dream Theater Of Ripping Off Some Band Called Red

Mike Portnoy

Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy is catching more shit for besmirching the band he took it upon himself to leave.

In the forums of his own site, Portnoy has pointed out how similar a song on the new Dream Theater record is to a song that appears on a previously-released record by the band Red.

The Red song, called “Until We Have Faces,” sounds pretty much exactly like Dream Theater’s new track “Feed The Machine.” Coincidentally, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci named Red’s Until We Have Faces album his favorite of 2011 in a profile posted on Roadrunner’s site.

The musician, Dream Theater’s lead songwriter, said of the Red LP “I just love everything about the Red album. The songwriting, playing and production are all stellar!”

Someone posted a link to the two tracks in Portnoy’s site’s forums, and Mike commented, “Check out the first song on [John Petrucci’s] fave album of the year…. WOW, the arrangement and orchestration sounds awfully familiar!! Surely it must be an intentional ‘nugget’ for the fans… It couldn’t possibly be blatant formula plagiarism, now could it…?? I just have to laugh…”

Now, let’s all imagine Mike and his boisterous, Santa Clause-like laugh.

Some fans called the move “classless,” and Portnoy replied, “Hey…I’m not trying to start a war…. and I am indeed totally in a happy place in my life and career… I’m just merely making an observation and posting openly on my own forum like I always have and always will… If anybody ELSE wants to blow this up, it’s their choice and doing…not mine!”

He added that Dream Theater, in his opinion, was guilty of “blatantly re-writing an existing song or formula section by section…”

Later, he returned to say, “Hey, I’m not mad…just merely sharing an observation as a listener…sorry, when I heard that Red song, it immediately jumped out at me and was pretty obvious.”

I mean, Portnoy’s right. Listen to the two songs below and tell me he’s wrong.

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About Chris Harris

Chris Harris is an internationally-published music journalist and writer whose work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone, IFC, Revolver, Alternative Press, and Radar. The former news editor for Noisecreep, Harris also served as co-host for the site’s weekly podcast, “Creep Show." Before that, he spent four years writing for MTV News.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VAHY2HB6YHOI6VURBFGIMVUYLE MichealS

    You get the feeling he writes, “I’m happy, I’m in a good place in my career”, in every sentence he writes. 

    • Anonymous

      As if he’s trying to not only convince his fans that he’s happy and in a good place, but himself as well. Deep down inside when he’s left with nothing but his thoughts and silence, he’s miserable. I promise.

  • Glen McKee

    This is an example of being able to agree with the message even while disliking the messenger.  Portnoy is like a spurned lover who spends his time complaining about his ex even while wishing he was still with her, but there is no doubt the song was ripped off.

  • Alex

    Petrucci himself said that he had taken inspiration from Red for this song…the similarities are obvious but I dont think its enough to call it a rip off.

    • Itenorio

      I completly like and respect Portnoy as a drummer, I miss his sound on DT, Mangini is an amazing drummer, but I don’t like his style, I’d rather Thomas Lang or Marco Minneman instead of Mangini, but the point is that Portnoy has disapoint me as a person, he’s pouting like a girl. I’m really sad because he has distroy the band that he joint to form. DT won’t be the same without Portnoy, I´m completly FAN of DT, and I will follow them for eternity, but since now they aren’t the same band.

      • SJDT

        Appart from the intro, which does indeed sound similar, I don’t see the rip off in this. 

        What I see is a bitter Portnoy that keeps selling out the idea that he is happy with his life and career. If he was indeed happy with his place, he wouldn’t have asked the other members of Dream Theater to come back to the band AFTER they hired Mangini, which in my view was a very dick-like move from someone who says that respects Mangini and his work! 
        Sure Portnoy was a great asset to Dream Theater and his influence will be missed. As a musician he was incredible,original and had amazing concepts. 
        As a person, who always seemed to present himself as humble, he has proven that he’s everything BUT humble.
        His attitudes,words and actions are slowly but surely closing down every possibility of a DT Reunion. 
        Life goes on and time will tell if Dream Theater will make it or break it with their new add to the line-up
        In this new album they wrote with no drummer and it sounded amazing….let’s see what Mangini brings to the mix as a songwriter 

  • http://twitter.com/Millais Patrick Millais

    once again, lost any tiny respect I had for him as a person. (pretty much lost it all after the whole facebook JLB liking situation). As a musician it’s all still there.

    You can’t post this on your own forum without expecting to provoke something bigger. Sure, the songs have similar intros. So what? No need for him to sarcastically write about it. Sure there’s influences there but it’s not plagiarism in the slightest and it just goes to show how cool JP is about it when he posts it as his fav. album of the year.

    Also pretty hypocritical considering what MP has said in the past about how they used to have an “inspiration corner” when composing music.

    Just my perspective of it.

  • mark

    Obviously petrucci would not “plagiarize” a song off an album which he publicly endorsed as his favorite of the year. He’s a brilliant songwriter, and everyone uses influences from their favorite bands/albums/songs in their own songwriting. I think the only one angry about this is portnoy. I’m sure red are honored. 

  • Pizza The Hut

    Portnoy is a Jealous Jackass.. Mangini tears him a new ass and he doesn’t like it..

  • Albert

    Mike Portnoy is just BITTER!!!! Let him stay with his CHEEZY band Adrenaline Mob, and keep telling himself his happy. He’s not fooling anyone. I lost a whole lot of respect for Mike. Very unprofessional.

  • Asassin

    hey thanks for putting my vid !!

  • Anonymous625

     And as someone noted before, the Red album was released February 1st 2011. DT entered the studio on January 3rd and started writing the new album. As far as I know, the writing was done by March 2nd. I’m having a hard time believing that they just “waited” for some new album to come out, went and bought it and then ripped one song off of it, to fill up their own. Geez…I guess all rock songs in 4/4 that go like C, F, G7 and back to C must all be ripped off from the very first artist that had this idea.. From a musical standpoint, the intro of the Red song is tuned lower, and to that it has much more chromatic notes in it. The intros of both songs do sound a bit similar, but there is definitely a DT vibe to Petrucci’s guitar.. Its more melodic and has that uneven, beautiful tempo that only DT can create. The Red song, however, is just chromatic and sort of “Korn – like”

  • Jake

    Well, I believe MIke Portnoy is jealous of such a successful album and I think DT has handled all this BS accusations with class.  So what if 2 of the current members didn’t email you back-no of them had to repsond at all.  I have lost all repsect I had for Portnoy.  He dug is own grave and is found out his pitty party’s not working anymore.  You shouldn’t acuse anyone of something you do yourself.  Like in his new album one of the riffs sounds an alwful lot like one of DTs.

  • Dan

    Portnoy is whining like a toddler. This is SUCH a pathetic low blow by him. Not only is it absolutely FALSE if you look at the writing timeline like people mentioned, but its also a cheap shot which exposes his obvious jealousy for their recent well deserved Grammy nod. He is only digging his grave deeper, and completely destroying any chance of being civil with the band that made him who he is today. When he was with DT he was well respected. Now that he’s on his own, he is not respected. That speaks volumes about his true character. Im a lifelong DT fan, but I am SO glad he is gone. Good riddance!

  • Anon

    I disagree with MP, but the song you named in the article by DT isn’t right. The DT song in question is Build me up, Break me down. The two songs are similar in the start, but quite different after the first few seconds. I respect MP’s opinions and especially his work, likewise with JP.  I think this kind of article is to stir up shit. 

  • http://twitter.com/openupandsay Wes ProgFrog Royer

    I don’t think the songs or guitar lines are the same or plagiarized. I think the songs have similar song structures with their intros and build-ups/climaxes, but Red’s song is much “noisier” and emotional like most of their songs, and DT’s song is more polished and produced with cleaner guitars and lots of extra virtuoso going on like most of their songs. I’m a big fan of both fans. Red’s “Innocence & Instinct” is one of my all-time favorite bands, and DT has some top albums on my desert island list.

  • Dunk77

    I agree with what you said except if memory serves me right, Portnoy didn’t ask to come back after Mangina was hired.  He tried to come back shortly after he quit.  What’s even more bush league by Mr. Portnoy is that he is suing Dream Theater for wrongful dismissal and for using the Dream Theater name.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PUGHWX3M4FIDCYJFYWBLV545VI bobby

    yeah, but it’s influenced by the song…. who cares. Dream theater has been doing this since the beginning. Portnoy himself said in multiple interviews they take ideas and make them their own. In his liquid drum theater he holds up the board of form and it says meshuggah, zappa section, rush theme a, metallica riff, so this is nothing new.
    Like many composers before them, they borrow ideas and make them their own. 

  • Quinton

    Ummmmm Never Enough anyone? Prophets of War?? They were both inspirations from Muse which is one of Portnoy’s influences. Sooo…. It’s like really? Yes make music that you’re inspired by and influenced. It’s going to happen.