Mike Portnoy snaps over PSMS tour stress
Mike Portnoy has admitted the stress of touring in difficult circumstances caused his onstage meltdown in Manila on Tuesday.
After encountering a problem with his drumkit, he stopped playing and began throwing cymbals and mic stands around. As local crew struggled to understand what was upsetting him, he rapped to the audience about how upset he was.
Portnoy is on the road with supergroup PSMS, also featuring Billy Sheehan, Tony MacAlpine and Derek Sherinian – and he says the experience hasn’t been all they hoped it would be.
Video, available below, shows him throwing equipment round then coming close to walking off stage. He appears to regain control of himself and encourages his bandmates to keep playing while he explains himself to the crowd in rhyme.
He says: “Oh Manila, how I love you – but I hate these motherfuckers who keep fucking with my drums! When will they get it right? We made you wait all night. We want to play for you, but they make it so hard to do!”
Writing on his official forum Portnoy explains the band were forced into massive compromises in order to be able to afford touring in China, the Philippines, Russia, Israel and Indonesia.
He says: “On at least half a dozen occasions we’ve been frustrated to arrive at the venue only to find our requirements were blatantly ignored – wrong keyboards, wrong amps, Zildjian cymbals – and gear wasn’t set up as had been promised.
“We’ve been as patient and understanding as we can possibly be. But when you get four guys who haven’t slept more than a couple of hours every night in order to fly to these shows, sometimes our patience can wear thin.
“In the case of the Manila show, we arrived to find the drums weren’t setup, cymbals were missing, Billy’s amp was wrong – again – and Tony had a buzz on his gear that would not go away. But we forged ahead because we were very excited to play for the fans.”
He says he lost control after his snare mic collapsed – and instead of fixing it, a roadie removed it, leaving his leading drum without amplification. “You’ll hear I begin playing the high tom instead of the snare. Realising the roadie had no idea what was going on, I stopped playing and did my little ‘rap’ while they fixed the situation and we wouldn’t have to play the whole song with no snare in the mix.”
Portnoy continues: “In the video you can see I was at least making a joke out of it. Moral of the story: we are human! And sometimes frustrating circumstances create frustrated behaviour. I’ve been waiting my whole career to play in Manila and I wasn’t going to let anything ruin my night or their show!
“We carried on and everybody had a great night. I look forward to returning – although this may be the last time I tour without my own kit and my own drum tech!”
Tags: Mike Portnoy