In a heartfelt homage to the legendary Alex Van Halen, renowned drummer Mike Portnoy of DREAM THEATER recently took center stage in a captivating video series by Modern Drummer. The series, a celebration of Alex Van Halen’s illustrious career and his 2023 induction into the Modern Drummer Hall Of Fame, features prominent drummers playing on Alex’s actual 2012 custom touring drum set, meticulously crafted by the esteemed John Douglas.
Captured at IronShore Studios in Grand Cayman, the third episode of the series spotlights Mike Portnoy as he shares his profound admiration for VAN HALEN’s music and delves into the influence that Alex Van Halen has had on shaping his own drumming style. Following a compelling interview segment, Portnoy takes command of Alex’s iconic 2012 drum kit, treating viewers to a dynamic performance of several classic VAN HALEN tracks. Additionally, he skillfully deconstructs some of his favorite drum grooves from Alex Van Halen’s repertoire.
Mike Portnoy, a vocal advocate of Alex Van Halen’s impact on the rock drumming landscape, named the VAN HALEN drummer as one of the most influential figures in the genre. In a video for Revolver last year, Portnoy emphasized Van Halen’s prowess, stating, “The drumming on the first four or five, even six VAN HALEN albums — all the early David Lee Roth albums — the drumming on every one of those albums is incredible and had a huge influence on me.”
Modern Drummer, recognized as the world’s premier publication on drums and drumming since its inception in 1977, takes pride in presenting this exclusive series that pays tribute to Alex Van Halen’s enduring legacy. The collaboration with leading drummers not only showcases their skillful performances but also offers a unique insight into the profound influence of Alex Van Halen’s drumming on the broader musical landscape.