John Petrucci will release his second solo album, "Terminal Velocity", on August 28 via Sound Mind Music/The Orchard which marks the first time Petrucci and Portnoy recorded together in over a decade, as well as their first time playing together since Portnoy departed DREAM THEATER.
In a new interview with Spain's Metal Hammer, Petrucci said that he is fully aware that his renewed working relationship with Portnoy will lead to speculation among DREAM THEATER fans that it's only a matter of time before Portnoy returns to the band.
"I understand where people are coming from with that," John said (see video below). "One of the concerns I had, a little bit, not musically at all, but about Mike [playing on my solo record] is I didn't want people to get the wrong idea.
"Mike Mangini has been in DREAM THEATER for 10 years now. How many albums did we do together already? Three? [And] two live albums. A lot of music and touring, and he's the drummer in DREAM THEATER, so I didn't want there to be any weirdness or misconception that, 'Oh, this means that Mike's [Portnoy] gonna come back.' It's just not the case.
"I think that, for me, in a selfish way, I get the best of both worlds, 'cause I get to play with two of the greatest drummers in the world, in DREAM THEATER and with my solo stuff," he explained. "And it's great for me as a guitar player — it's wonderful.
"I think it's really important for everybody's sake — for fans to understand this. I think it's important, out of respect for both drummers — for Mike Mangini and Mike Portnoy — that there's no misconstrued thing: 'Oh, this means something else.' This is [Portnoy] playing on my solo album, which is a really happy moment for me.
"For me, I knew that that would kind of be part of the story — I accept that — so the best I can do is try to be as clear as I can," Petrucci added. "I don't want people to get the wrong idea. I don't wanna create any drama or weirdness, because it's all positive. I made a solo album — finally, after 15 years — and I got my friend to play drums on it, who I haven't played with in 10 years. So that's the vibe."