Mike is the founding member of Dream Theater and is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world. During his 25 years with Dream Theater, he has sold over ten million CDs/DVDs and has sold out venues all over the world. He was responsible for co-writing almost all of the music in the band’s catalogue as well as a large portion of the lyrics. Prior to his departure, Mike had co-produced 6 of the band’s studio albums and 4 live albums, and directed all of their live DVDs. He also maintained the band’s archives, putting together every one of the band’s 22 “Official Bootleg” releases and 12 “Fan Club” releases.
In 2010, Mike teamed up with Avenged Sevenfold after their drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan passed away. The Rev had often cited Portnoy as his biggest influence and Mike thought it would be a fitting tribute to help the band out in their time of need. He recorded with Avenged Sevenfold on their massively successful album, Nightmare (which won the “Album of the Year” at the Golden God Awards), and remained on the road with them throughout 2010.
Mike’s long list of Awards include 26 Modern Drummer Magazine Reader’s Poll Awards including Hall of Fame Inductee in 2004, MVP of the Year in 2010, Best Progressive Rock Drummer (for the magazine’s record of 12 years in a row), Best Clinician (twice), Best Educational Video/DVD for Liquid Drum Theater, and Best Recorded Performance of the Year (7 times) for Dream Theater’s Awake, A Change of Seasons, Falling Into Infinity, Scenes From A Memory, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Score and Avenged Sevenfold’s Nightmare. He also holds the distinction being the 2nd youngest drummer ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame. In 2011, he also won Drum! Magazine’s Drummer of the Year Award as well as Revolver’s Golden God Drummer of the Year Award.
Russell is the lead singer for Prog-Metal band Symphony X. Founded in 1994, Symphony X received considerable attention within the progressive metal community. They’ve released many albums and toured all over the world. They also achieved more commercial success with the 2007 album Paradise Lost.
Their latest release, Iconoclast debuted at number 76 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the United States, selling more than 7,300 copies in its first week. The record also debuted at number 7 on the Top Hard Rock Chart, number 19 on the Top Rock Chart and number 13 on the Top Independent Chart. The album showcases the highest chart position and the most first-week sales in the band’s history.
Mike is a highly respected guitarist best known for his amazing technical style and awe-inspiring speed. His approach to the instrument embodies sheer passion, grace & fire all in one explosive element. He has released two successful instrumental guitar albums, Sonic Stomp and Sonic Stomp II and has enjoyed multiple tours & sold-out shows all over the world. Tracks from Sonic Stomp II are featured on the popular Rock Band video game.
A master of his instrument, the gear he plays on is hugely important to him. Mike has been honored by some of his favorite equipment companies with several signature models including the Mike Orlando signature Shredneck and the Rocktron Mike Orlando signature wah pedal.
He also owns & runs his own recording studio titled Sonic Stomp Studio where he has tracked, mixed & mastered all his Sonic Stomp releases along w/tracking Adrenaline Mob’s debut album Omerta. Mike as also just finished tracking, mixing & mastering the new Adrenaline Mob Special Edition Cd due out early 2013!