FATHER AND SON DRUMMERS MIKE AND MAX PORTNOY EACH RELEASE NEW ALBUMS WITH THEIR BANDS
There’s a lot of family pride in the Portnoy household these days. Last Friday, acclaimed drummer Mike Portnoy’s band, the Winery Dogs, released their second album, Hot Streak. Meanwhile, Next to None, featuring Mike’s 16-year-old son, Max Portnoy, rolled out their debut disc, A Light in the Dark, this past summer.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Max and everyone in Next to None,” said Mike, who produced A Light in the Dark. “They are absolutely incredible and so far beyond their years.”
Next to None performs on Tuesday in Asbury Park. The Winery Dogs follow with a show on Friday in Sayreville. The Portnoy family resides in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania.
“We’re extremely happy with how our album came out,” Max said in a separate interview. “We’ve been working on it for three years and had a lot of time to go over each and every note.”
A Light in the Dark is a stunning display of prog-rock and metal dexterity from a band of musical wunderkinds. In addition to Max’s complex, hard-hitting beats and rhythms, Next to None features mesmerizing performances from guitarist Ryland Holland (17), singer-keyboardist Thomas Cuce (17) and bassist Kris Rank (16).
…The elder Portnoy stressed that he did not help Next to None musically. “Everything you hear is their doing,” Mike said. “My involvement as a producer was just to guide them through the studio process.”
Max, who has been playing drums since he was 5, said that he understands that some music fans will think Next to None’s opportunities are a result of his famous father’s industry connections. But he said he hopes those opinions will change once people hear the band’s music and see them play live.
“We want people looking at us as Next to None and not Mike Portnoy’s son’s band,” Max said. “This is all we’ve ever wanted to do.”
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