DRUMMER MIKE PORTNOY: “[THE WINERY DOGS] HOPE TO HAVE A NEW ALBUM OUT BY SPRING OF 2015
Ruben Mosqueda of Metal Titans spoke with drummer Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs, Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob) about the release of the expanded edition of the self-titled album and their new boxset titled Dog Treats. Portions of the interview appear below.
MetalTitans: You’ve just issued an expanded edition of The Winery Dogs and a box set called Dog Treats. Were these idea conceived by the band or was it Loud & Proud?
Mike Portnoy: I worked very close with the label on this. I overlooked the content but of course I needed the label’s approval to get the product released. I’ve alway been very fan oriented; in Dream Theater I oversaw all the fan club CDs, the official bootlegs, the special editions , the box sets and thing like that. I’ve done that with all the bands that I’ve been in .
When The Winery Dogs debut album was released last year we simply couldn’t release a deluxe edition of the album–it was our debut album. No one knew the band at the time and no one really knew who we’d be received. Once the album was released and the positive reviews started rolling in we knew there was an audience for the band.
So I started using my fan catering skills and put this deluxe edition together and the box set.
MetalTitans: The deluxe edition of the album features a live CD that captures The Winery Dogs’ second ever live show, correct?
Mike Portnoy: That’s right that’s the second show that we ever did as a band. We filmed it for a DVD in Japan and it might have been the craziest thing ever done in rock ‘n’ roll history. Usually bands will document the end of the tour after they’ve played 100 shows. Our label in Japan was interested in capturing the very beginning of the band. We were very reluctant at first but I think it was great to have a snapshot of the beginning of the band. You get a little taste of that on the bonus disc that features 10 tracks from that show.
MetalTitans: One really cool thing about the box set Dog Treats is the demos disc. It’s like being a fly on the wall during the writing sessions for the record.
Mike Portnoy: What you’re hearing on ‘The Winery Pups’ disc of demos the result of us literally playing together for the second time ever. We got together at Richie’s house and started banging out these demos. It’s a snapshot of the band at the very beginning that’s why I called that “The Winery Pups’ because we were still puppies at that point and we hadn’t fully developed yet! (laughs) You can hear some really interesting things in those demos you know a lot of sections that were changed from lyrics, to riffs and things that were changed entirely. It’s a look behind the scenes of what the songs were like prior to what eventually made it onto the album.
MetalTitans: You’re out on tour again in North America at the moment. How long will you remain on the road and when will you be working on new music?
Mike Portnoy: Well right now we’ll be touring through the summer, this leg that we’re currently on began at the end of April. We’re booked through Mid-August; we’ll wind down and regroup and begin to write at the first of the year. We hope to have the new album out by spring of 2015 so we can be back out on the road as soon as possible. We’re playing one new track on this tour which will give the fans a taste of what’s to come.
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