Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy recently gave an interview to Twisted Sister bassist Mark Mendoza’s talk show, 22 Now. In the interview, he revealed that joining the band Rush wouldn’t benefit him.
Formed in 1968, Rush continued to make music and perform until 1997, when they entered a four-year hiatus due to their drummer Neil Peart’s personal problems. Reuniting in 2001, they created several albums and toured for the last time at the end of 2015.
In January 2018, Alex Lifeson announced that Rush is over and won’t continue making music. On January 7, 2020, Neil Peart died of brain cancer at the age of 67, and this also affected Lifeson’s decision not to continue.
In his conversation with Mark Mendoza, Mike Portnoy revealed whether he would perform with Rush as Neil Peart’s replacement. He said that although he doesn’t think that would ever happen, it would be a dream come true to play with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.
Following that, Portnoy noted that although it would be fun to play with Rush, it would also be impossible to fill Peart’s place. He then claimed it would be a no-win situation and a tough challenge because Peart’s fans are obsessed with him.
Asked whether he would be interested in playing with Rush, Mike Portnoy told Mark Mendoza that:
“Of course. That would be a dream to play with those guys. But I don’t wanna see the Blabbermouth headline right now, me thinking that I deserve the gig. I’m not saying that. You’re asking me a question. Hypothetically, of course, it would be a dream come true. Neil was my hero, and always will be, and Geddy and Alex are as well.
I don’t think in a million years they’ll play without him; I really don’t. But in a hypothetical dream scenario, I mean, come on, of course. But I don’t think in a zillion years it will happen. It’s a nice dream to hypothetically wonder about, but I honestly don’t think it would ever happen. But who knows? You never know.
As much as hypothetically it would be fun, it would be amazing, it would also be an impossible role to fill. It’s a no-win situation. Really, it would be impossible, ’cause his fans are as obsessive as they get, and count me amongst them. So, yeah, that would be a tough one.”
Although Alex Lifeson clearly closed the doors for a possible Rush reunion, it seems that Mike Portnoy is still eager to play drums for the band. However, it is likely impossible for Rush to continue without Neil Peart.