After Mike Portnoy’s announcement on September 8th ’10 to leave DT, there has been lots of discussions on who’s replacing the giant! There are many good candidates for that position and it has been stated on Pettruci’s twitter that auditions will start in October. After browsing the web for good candidates, you will notice many forums talking about talented drummers and arguing about each drummer’ skills and style.

There are five good candidates: John Macaluso, Bobby Jarzombek, Mark Zonder, Mike Terrana and Brann Dailor. I will briefly mention the background of each but my personal choice would be Jhon Macaluso hence his story will be highlighted.

Bobby Jarzombeck


Bobby started learning drums when his mother bought him a cheap drum kit at the age of 10. He played drums on albums, live performances and as sessionist with Riot, Sebastian Bach, Halford, Spastic Ink, Fates Warning, PainMuseum, Demons&Wizards, Iced Earth and Juggernaut. His most impressive works can be considered the album “Ink Complete” with Spactic Ink and all Halford albums recorded.

In 2003 Bobby had an instructional DVD called “Performance & Techniques” released and he was voted the number one drummer of 2000 by readers of Japanese metal magazine Burrn! for his work on “Resurrection” with Halford.

That’s not all! Bobby is although endorsed by by Drum Workshop, Pacific Drums and Percussion, Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, and Evans Drumheads.

Having a long record with major bands, an instructional DVD and being endorsed by several companies makes Bobby a great candidate. Another good condition for Bobby joining DT is living in the US and currently not being member of any band.

Mark Zonder


Mark is currently busy working with the band Ten on their new album “Stormwarning” but that cannot stand in his way. If he was given a chance to join one of the major metal bands in this era and lavish in its aura, I am sure he wouldn’t refuse. Mark has also lately reunited with former Fates Warning (same members in 1991) for a 2010 reissue and several live dates.

Mark also has an instructional DVD “Mark Zonder – 2 cameras , 5 drums and 13 tracks”. He is endorsed by Zidjian, Remo, DW, Toca Percussion, Metrophones, Vater Percussion, SKB, Spectraflex and Steinberg.

He currently offers drum recording for “affordable prices” thus we can assume that Mark has spare time to record and maybe later tour.

Mike Terrana


Mike is today (2010) a fifty year old man with a huge musical history. A lot of people suggested that Mike is suitable to join DT but after researching Mike’s current activity and lifestyle, it was clear that that would hardly be possible. Mike is an American native but currently lives in Germany and works with Masterplan as recording member, as well as Axel Rudy Pell and Tarja Turunen. He has a very broad drumming style but his progressive drumming can be heard on Masterplan’s latest works as well as on Artension’s albums.

P.S: Mike owns a cattery in Germany and I doubt that he is able to leave that to be DT’s drummer.

So although Mike is technically a very good candidate, his other engagements can be a big reason for a NO.

Brann Dailor


Brann is mostly known for being Mastodon’s drummer. Mastodon achieved big success in the U.S and their material can be considered progressive. He is relatively young (born 1975) but age should not be related to music. Although Dream Theater vocalist James Labrie stated that in the search of a new drummer, one of the major points to look for is chemistry with the band (I am not sure if age would be a problem).

Bran is currently still active with Mastodon (with long touring dates) therefore I doubt he would leave Mastodon which has still bigger success potentially. Having his extreme and hardcore drumming style might also make him a least favorable candidate unless DT decide to go into ProgHardcore. Let’s ask Labrie about that!

John Macaluso


As I have noticed in the websites and forums discussing DT’s new drummer, John Macaluso is not much mentioned but when mentioned it’s done with total confidence.

John was born in 1968 so he is close to the age of DT’s members at 42 years old.

To simulate how would John would sound on drums with DT, you can check this track below “Heal the Waters” by Ark, the band with which John showed amazing talent as well as receiving endless good reviews.

He has released a drum method book named “Repercussions”. John’s book is endorsed by Joe Franco (Twisted Sister), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) and Bobby Jarzombeck.

He is endorsed by Vic Firth, GMS, Paiste, Factory Metal and Evans.

John also released his first solo album entitled “The Radio Waves Goodbye” with James Labrie performing on the track “Soul in Your Mind”, another track that can give you an idea on how John would sound like with DT.

He is regarded as one of the best drummers today because he has created his own drumming style and has clearly stated it and recommended it for every drummer in his book “Drum Playing is a lifestyle” (I don’t know if Portnoy had such a philosophy).

Who do you think is the most probable candidate? Is there another good candidate not mentioned here?