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Portnoy aims to leave lyrics to bandmates

Drummer Mike felt he had to write words in Dream Theater - and he's happy to let others pick up the pen instead

Mike Portnoy won't mind if You Saved Me, a song he created for the Winery Dogs' debut album, is the last set of lyrics he ever writes.

The drummer says he felt it was part of his job while he was a member of Dream Theater – but four years after leaving, he's happy to put down the pen and focus purely on the music.

Portnoy tells the Dallas Observer: "In the case of You Saved Me, I felt I really owed my wife and my family a sincere thank-you for standing by me for the last few years.

"I wasn't even planning on writing lyrics any more. That subject matter sprung me back into action.

"With Dream Theater I wrote a lot of lyrics because I felt that was one of the hats I wore – it was kind of my responsibility. But now, I don't ever want to have to write."

He'll be happy to do it again in the future providing he's been inspired by a subject matter or a melody. In the meantime, he's more than happy for Winery Dogs bandmate Richie Kotzen to take on the role.

"Richie is more than capable of writing all the lyrics in the band; there's no need for me to do it," he says. "If it doesn't happen in the future I won't mind not doing it."

Portnoy reveals he might be ready to write in a different way, revealing he was asked to write his autobiography soon after his dramatic split with Dream Theater in 2010 – but he thought it was too soon.

He explains: "I was approached by several different people. I passed on the idea because everything was so sensitive still. Those first months, whatever I'd say would turn into a headline – so I was really gun-shy.

"But now the smoke has cleared, maybe the time is right."

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