Dream Theater Wiki

Michael Mangini (born April 18, 1963 in Newton, Massachusetts) is the former drummer for Dream Theater, following the departure of Mike Portnoy in 2010 until 2023. Before Dream Theater, he played with Annihilator, Extreme, James LaBrie, and Steve Vai. Mangini was famous for setting five World's Fastest Drummer (WFD) records. He also has written two books titled Rhythm Knowledge about his drumming techniques.

Life and career[]

Mike Mangini started playing the drums when he was two and a half years old. He would practice two to four hours a day and by the time he was nine he was already mimicking Buddy Rich performances. By high school, he was performing in school bands and participating in the prestigious All-County, All-State, and all Eastern United States ensembles.

In 1987, Mangini scored one of his first 'high-profile' gigs - playing drums for the Rick Berlin Band in Boston, where he worked with bassist Philip Bynoe (who would later go on to work with Mike in sessions for Journey's Steve Perry and more notably during Mike's time in the Steve Vai band). He also taught drums privately in Boston during this time.

In 2005, Mangini accepted a full-time teaching position at the Berklee College of Music in the Percussion Department. He resigned in 2010 after joining Dream Theater.

In late 2010, Mangini, along with Marco Minnemann, Peter Wildoer, Virgil Donati, Aquiles Priester, Derek Roddy and Thomas Lang, auditioned to succeed Mike Portnoy as the drummer for Dream Theater. He had previously appeared on three solo albums by Dream Theater's lead singer, James LaBrie. Mangini was announced as Dream Theater's new drummer on April 29, 2011, several months after he actually joined. He has appeared on every Dream Theater release since.

On October 25, 2023, Dream Theater announced that they had parted ways with Mangini with original drummer Mike Portnoy had rejoining the band in his place.

May 3rd, 2024 renowned musician Mike Mangini was involved in a serious car accident on a deserted street. Witnesses described his vehicle losing control before colliding with an obstacle. Emergency responders found Mangini trapped in the wreckage but by the time they had gotten him out, he had sadly passed away.

World's Fastest Drummer Records[]

  • Bare hands (no sticks) in 60 seconds, which he earned by executing 1,138 single strokes in April 2002. Glen Caruba passed him in 2006 with 1,140 strokes using the palm finger technique.
  • Mike was the 1st person in history to break 1,200 notes when he played 1,203 single notes at the 2005 Winter NAMM Session, until Jotan Afanador passed him in 2005 with 1,219 in Puerto Rico. Mike got it back with 1,247 at 2005 Summer NAMM. In July of 2013, Mike asked for his 1,203 record to be re-instated due to its evenness throughout the attempt from which that record was made. Tom Grosset then beat Mike's official 1,203 record with 1,208 strokes in July of that same year.
  • Traditional Grip which he earned by executing 1,126 single strokes in 60 seconds in 2003, stood for five years before falling to Matt Smith (1,132) in 2008. Zac Sullivan has since passed Smith for the all time hands single stroke record with 1,329 in 2010 using the push pull technique.
  • Single Stroke Foot record playing 13,222 hits in 15 minutes and 4,555 hits in five minutes, records that stood for two years before falling to Mike "Machine" Mallais (13,309/4,595) in 2007. Steve Hill passed Mallais' 5 minute record in 2009 with 5,415 using the pump technique and Daniel Montgomery broke Mallais' 15 minute record in 2009 with 14,034 using the heel toe technique.

Written Lyrics[]

Mangini only became active in the writing process when the band was writing and recording Distance Over Time, only contributing to one track before his departure in 2023.

Distance Over Time[]

  1. Room 137


With Dream Theater[]

With Annihilator[]

With Extreme[]

With Steve Vai[]

With MullMuzzler / James LaBrie[]

With Tribe of Judah[]