Drumming legend Mike Portnoy has taken on the challenge of learning to play a Tool song, which he has said makes “Dream Theater look like Weezer”.

Portnoy, who rejoined the Boston prog metal band in October last year after a 13-year absence, took up the challenge from the Drumeo YouTube channel to learn Tool’s 12-minute track ‘Pneuma’, from 2019’s ‘Fear Inoculum’.

The percussionist was given six hours to master the track, in what Drumeo described as “the most difficult challenge we’ve ever given anyone”.

Over the course of the video, which you can watch below, Portnoy studies footage of Tool drummer Danny Carey and scouring the sheet music to decipher the song’s complexity.


“This makes Dream Theater sound like fuckin’ Weezer,” Portnoy exclaims at one point. “With all due respect to Weezer, I love Weezer. But this is crazy!”

Last month, Portnoy shared an update on Dream Theater’s upcoming 16th studio album. He noted that while he had completed his contributions to the recording, the rest of the band were still hard at work, and likely would be for several months to come.

“I really can’t divulge anything more as we are (purposefully) keeping a very tight lid on any & all info at this early stage… but I will say we are all BLOWN AWAY and sooo extremely excited about what we’ve created!” he said. “We cannot wait for you all to hear this… but patience, all will be revealed in due time…”

The record will be their first with Portnoy since 2009’s ‘Black Clouds and Silver Linings’. Portnoy departed the band in 2010, and the band would go on to release five albums with replacement drummer Mike Mangini.

Portnoy’s return thus reverts Dream Theater to their classic 1999 and 2000 lineup, which consists of Portnoy, singer James LaBrie, guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung and keyboardist Jordan Rudess. As this lineup, the band recorded six studio albums, from 1999’s ‘Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory’ to 2009’s ‘Black Clouds & Silver Linings’.

In Portnoy’s time away from the band, he produced music with a variety of side projects, including The Winery Dogs, a power trio which also involved Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen of Mr. Big, Sons of Apollo, a heavy metal supergroup, and Adrenaline Mob, which he formed with Russell Allen and Mike Orlando.

Dream Theater go on their first tour with Portnoy back on board this autumn, kicking off a European tour with a show in London on October 20. Get your tickets here.

The post Mike Portnoy attempts to drum Tool song: “This makes Dream Theater look like Weezer” appeared first on NME.