In a new interview with 22 Now, former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy has opened up about on idea of joining the rock band Rush as a successor of the late drummer Neil Peart and said it would be great.

Mike Portnoy is known for his tenure with the progressive metal band Dream Theater that he formed in 1985. After 25-year career with his own band, Portnoy had departed in 2010. Throughout his career with them, Portnoy had released 10 studio albums and one EP, titled A Change of Seasons.

On the other hand, Neil Peart was a Canadian drummer who reached international success as a member of the rock band Rush. He performed in the band from 1974 to his retirement due to health issues in 2015. Inspiring numerous drummers and being one of the best drummers in the rock and roll community, Peart appeared in the entire Rush albums except for the self-titled debut.

However, during his recent interview on the internet, Mike Portnoy, who previously shared an emotional tribute photo for Neil Peart, once again paid his tribute to the late drummer and was discussed the idea of joining Rush. Saying that it would be a dream come true moment, Portnoy once again admitted that Neil Peart was his hero.

“Hypothetically, of course, it would be a dream come true,” Portnoy says. “Neil was my hero, and always will be, and Geddy and Alex are as well. I don’t think in a million years they’ll play without him, I really don’t.

“In a hypothetical dream scenario, I mean, come on, of course. I don’t think in a zillion years it will happen, but it’s a nice dream to hypothetically wonder about.

“I honestly don’t think it would ever happen, but who knows, you never know. As much as hypothetically it would be fun, it would be amazing, it would also be an impossible role to fill.

“It’s a no-win situation, really, it would be impossible because his fans are as obsessive as they get – and count me amongst them – so yeah, that would be a tough one.”

Portnoy Says Rush Was Great On Their Farewell Tour

In the continuation of his words, Portnoy has shared his honest opinion on Rush‘s farewell tour. Saying that Rush executed the tour incredibly, Portnoy added that they were top of their playings.

“They went out on such a high,” Portnoy continues. “Their last tour was a farewell tour. I don’t think anybody expected Neil to pass, but they wanted to stop touring, so they really went out with such an amazing tour.

“That tour was just so well done, so perfectly executed, and they went out with all three of them still at the top of their game, so I give them all the credit in the world for that.”

Elsewhere, Mike mentioned the tragic passing of his hero Neil Peart. According to him, it’s sad that he didn’t live his retirement perfectly.

“And it’s just sad that Neil didn’t get many years to enjoy the retirement before he got sick, that saddens me,” he adds.

“I have the kit, here’s my Neil Peart kit waiting to be played. I do have a Neil Peart replica in there…

“And I have a John Bonham kit in there as well, so yeah, I have spent a lot of years playing those Rush songs inside and out. I know them all, that’s how I learned to do what I do.”

19 COMMENTS

  1. 🥁 If anyone could do it, Mike Portnoy’s the guy! Stunningly talented & incredibly adept at lengthy, labyrinthine epics, at the very least Alex & Geddy should consider a one-off tribute to The Professor & donate the proceeds to charity. It would be LEGENDARY!! 😲

  2. I have been listening to Mike Portnoy sinister debut album images and words and Portnoy is incredible in his own sense and I think he is just as good If not the best on cover tunes he deserves a chance more than anybody

  3. Mike Portnoy is 2nd only to the Master NEIL PEART !! I have listened to both all my life . Anyone who doesn’t think Mike is a RUSH fanatic or have the chops – really needs to check out his solo work with Cygnus and the Sea Monsters !! TOTAL RUSH GEEKS !!!

  4. Former roadie for Prisim. When one of three largest a band it’s major, but, even Nei wouldn’t have an issue with Portnoy. Not wanting to detract from Alex or Dirk, who is going to write. God knows I love the Rush Thing, I sent them roses at Wings stadium in K: zoo in the early80’s but, new music or not if the band can go on, it should. They’re to good to deny the rest of the world. BUT!!! It’s their music and it should be their decision. Love em always in more than 4 syllables.

  5. Even though Peart may be his idle, Portnoy does not fit the part. If anyone, Gavin Harrison would be the best fit in terms of style and level of sophistication. IMHO!

  6. None of that is anything more than gibberish. Alex and Geddy both have said they will never perform as Rush again because that band does not exist with Pratt. Nothing again Portnoy, because he’s a super talented drummer and believe he’d do a decent job. Although, I’m not sure that there are any drummers, conditioned to play three hours eirh Geddy and Alex. Plus, as a fan, I wouldn’t go see. It would be too difficult and no matter how we’ll he played, as a fan, I’d feel like Neil was a little disrespected even though that isnt the intent.

  7. Nah, no way!! I bet the professor himself would’ve been the first to admit that Michael Portnoy can execute certain ideas on the drum kit that he could not. But it’s not about that.. Neil wrote those drum parts and although there are individuals on this planet that can certainly cover Neil Peart’s playing, it would never even come close!! His feel and approach for those Rush masterpieces will never be duplicated!! You have to pay close attention to the nuances of his playing. Agreed… there is and always will be – only one professor….

  8. Nah, no way!! I bet the professor himself would’ve been the first to admit that Michael Portnoy can execute certain ideas on the drum kit that he could not. But it’s not about that.. Neil wrote those drum parts and although there are individuals on this planet that can certainly cover Neil Peart’s playing, it would never even come close!! His feel and approach for those Rush masterpieces will never be duplicated!! You have to pay close attention to the nuances of his playing. Agreed… there is and always will be – only one professor….

  9. One for the Love of music, Neil and rock n roll.

    “Living in the limelight, the universal dream
    For those who wish to see
    Those who wish to be
    Must put aside the alienation
    Get on with the fascination
    The real relation, the underlying theme
    The real relation, the underlying theme”
    – RUSH

  10. If they want to play together, then fine/just don’t call it Rush-and don’t play rush songs. Alex, Geddy, and Neil are the only ones I want to hear play their music. I certainly don’t want to hear someone show off by mimicking someone who can not ever be replaced

  11. I’m a drummer myself, sadly I never got to see rush play. I would have loved to watch Neil play live, I admired him greatly, such a talent. Mike portnoy Is also a great player and I think it would be great for both Alex and geddy to do a tribute to Neil like queen did for Freddie. And yeah, donate the money to a charity. Why not?
    Mike, is one of a few drummers that could do justice to rush’s material.

  12. I was fortunate enough to see Rush 26 times in my life. Even though I miss them, I’d rather not see lineup with no Neil. However a couple of shows to honor him, give charity. Etc etc with Mike would be a nice gesture. He was the very best.

  13. You only live once of course I’d love to see it happen Mike is awesome. Rush was one of the all time greatest concert band’s ever to play. Keep it going.

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