Mike Portnoy, ex of Dream Theater and current drummer for Sons of Apollo, let it be known what he thinks of Rush. In an interview with Andy Burns of Biff Bam Pop!, Portnoy said that it would be “amazing” if he got an opportunity to collaborate with any member of the iconic Canadian band.
Asked by Burns of if he has had any contact with Rush band members about playing music together, Portnoy replied, “I don’t think the three of them will ever play together as Rush unless it’s all of them. I think it will only ever be the three of them. “I would work with any of them in any capacity should they ever want to,” he continued. “And yeah, it would be an amazing thing.”
Portnoy said that he and Rush drummer Neil Peart have known each other for a while “We have become very good friends through the years; that’s a relationship that I’m so grateful for,” he said. “I’ve collaborated with so many people, but I hadn’t with any of those guys, I wouldn’t hold my breath, but they know where to find me.”
Portnoy previously spoke with “The Chainsaw Symphony” radio show about his life-long admiration for Rush, and that he understood why Lifeson, Peart and Lee would want to call it quits while they were still at the peak of their playing ability: “I grew up with them and went through a huge Rush phase in the mid-’80s, early ’80s when I was a teenager,” he added, “Neil was always my hero back then, and since then I’m honored that we’ve become good friends and I cherish that relationship. And I’ve stayed a Rush fan through all these years.”
Portnoy’s most recent comments are framed in context with Neil Peart declaring himself “retired” due to suffering from chronic tendinitis. Portnoy said, “It’s sad to see it end, but you’ve gotta respect that, because if they can’t deliver, and if they are in physical pain and they can’t deliver what fans wanna see, I respect that they would go out on top.”
He concluded, ” I would rather see a band like Rush go out on top and have all the good memories of what they’re capable of, than a band that are just a memory of what they used to be.”
Rush frontman Geddy Lee said in a 2016 interview that he had “accepted” that the band’s last batch of live shows was “probably the last one as a tour.” Lifeson and Lee confirmed that Rush will never do a show unless all three musicians agree to take part.