While millions of people around the world watched the royal wedding today, countless music fans huddled around their computers to find out who the ascendant to another throne would be – Dream Theater’s new drummer. It’s been a week of speculation, led on by the band themselves, who have been teasing their fans since last Thursday (21) with The Spirit Carries On, a three-part series featuring seven would be successors to Mike Portnoy. Part three was posted today on Roadrunner Records’ YouTube page, and the new drummer is… Mike Mangini.
Mangini, who’s played with Annihilator, Extreme, James LaBrie and Steve Vai, was the first drummer auditioned, and as the band said in episode 1, “raised the bar” for the other six auditions. In our exclusive interview yesterday with The Spirit Carries On director Mike Leonard singled out Mangini among the seven as the one the stood out the most to him. “Mike is such an incredibly genuine and nice guy, just like all the members of Dream Theater.” he told us. “He’s also incredibly meticulous about making sure he does his part and gets all the details right. All of the drummers that we filmed with were incredibly nice and professional, but Mike really made a great impression on me. Then watching him play in real life blew me away – he’s a monster. He plays the most complicated things like they’re nothing, just incredible. I’ll never forget it.”
It was rumored earlier this week via That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk’s Twitter account that Mangini was the new drummer. Mangini currently holds the title for three records, including the Fastest Matched grip (at 1,247 strokes in 60 seconds), Fastest Hands (executing 1,203 single-stroke notes in 60 seconds without drumsticks mallets etc.), and Fastest Traditional Grip (executing 1,126 strokes in 60 seconds). Prior to his new gig, Mangini had been teaching at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston.