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[INTERVIEW and AUS NEWS] MIKE PORTNOY Interview and Tour Dates

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Mike Portnoy

We’ve just had an emotional phone conversation with Mike Portnoy and he’s revealed that he will be bringing his very special “12 Step Suite” to Australia with his band, Shattered Fortress, in November 2017.

Drum Wizard MIKE PORTNOY (ex-Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs, Flying Colors) brings the SHATTERED FORTRESS to Australia and New Zealand this November! The SHATTERED FORTRESS is MIKE PORTNOY and an all-star Prog lineup (Eric Gillette, Richard Henshall & Charlie Griffiths on Guitar, Connor Green on Bass & Diego Tejeida on Keyboards) performing Mike Portnoy’s “12 Step Suite” live in its entirety!

This exclusive once in a lifetime event will only happen in a select few countries in the world!


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Thursday 16th November – Auckland – The Studio

Saturday 18th November – Brisbane – The Tivoli

Monday 20th November – Perth – Astor Theatre

Wednesday 22nd November – Adelaide – The Gov

Friday 24th November – Sydney – Metro Theatre

Saturday 25th November – Melbourne – The Croxton

Pre-Sale Tuesday 9th May 9 am (local)
On-Sale Thursday 11th May 9 am (local)



“They were written one at a time,” clarified Mike Portnoy on the songs that make up the “12 Step Suite” which is the cornerstone of the upcoming Shattered Fortress shows in November. “Basically I had this idea in 2001 when Dream Theatre was making the “Six Degrees” album of writing about the Twelve Steps [The Twelve Steps of AA] because I had just gotten sober and it was something that was a very big part of my life at that time. I figured the twelve steps was such a massive concept I didn’t want to delegate it all to one song so I had this idea of splitting it up into chapters and putting a few on each album. So I wrote about steps one, two and three with “The Glass Prison” from the “Six Degrees” album and a couple of years later I wrote about steps four and five and then a few years later six and seven and so forth and basically the whole process took about ten years over the course of five different albums. The sad thing was once I had finally completed this massive concept I left Dream Theatre shortly afterwards so I never had the chance to perform it in its entirety which was always my intention.”

The five songs, “The Glass Prison”, “The Dying Soul”, “The Root of All Evil”, “Repentance” and “The Shattered Fortress” were written as a means of helping Portnoy through the difficult period of giving up an addiction, but while they ultimately helped many of his fans deal with their own demons, the songs were always meant to be more personal.

“They were definitely more for myself,” he confirmed. “To me, it was very therapeutic and that was my way of going through those steps, which of course everyone in the program has to do. So, to me, that was a very therapeutic way of dealing with it in my own life. But, as a result, it has ended up helping a lot of people. Through the years I’ve met literally hundreds of people that have come to me and said that those songs connected with them and as a result they were able to improve their life or deal with struggles they were going through, so, of course, that was never my intention, but it is a very, very nice bonus when it does happen.”

Shattered Fortress made their debut aboard the “Cruise to the Edge” ship in February this year, with Portnoy reflecting fondly on the occasion.

“That was part of my fiftieth birthday bash and that performance was also celebrating my own career,” he said happily. “I had music from so many different bands from throughout my career from Trans Atlantic to Flying Colours to Liquid Tension Experiment but the Dream Theatre portion of that celebration was finally performing the “12 Step Suite” for the very first time and it was… [pauses] it was very emotional. There were a lot of things going on at once. I was celebrating my fiftieth and I was surrounded by family and friends and band members so that was very emotional but finally playing this piece of music was very emotional and also the fact that I was revisiting Dream Theatre music at all. That in itself was also pretty emotional. Yeah, it was pretty heavy.”

After waiting almost ten years to perform the songs as a collection, Portnoy says after finally getting to achieve his dream he had mixed feelings of emotion.

We go much further in depth into Mike’s feelings about the “12 Step Suite” and discover more about the tour, but you’ll get have to get yourself a HEAVY Digi-Magazine subscription, to read all about it.

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The full interview with Mike Portnoy will be in Issue #24, which is out at
8 pm tonight, Thursday 4th May.

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Pre-order Issue #24 and get instant access to all previous issues.

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