Mike Mangini

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Mike Mangini
2004-11-25 Mike Mangini in Singapore (Clinic).JPG
Mike Mangini during a clinic at the Percussive Arts Centre, Singapore, November 2004
Background information
Birth name Michael Mangini
Born (1963-04-18) April 18, 1963 (age 52)
Origin Newton, Massachusetts, United States.
Genres Progressive metal, progressive rock, hard rock, instrumental rock, thrash metal, funk metal
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1987–present
Associated acts Dream Theater, John Petrucci, G3, Steve Vai, Extreme, Annihilator, James LaBrie, Tribe of Judah, Shredding the Envelope, Dave Reffett
Website www.mikemangini.com

Mike Mangini (born April 18, 1963 in Newton, Massachusetts) is an American drummer. Since 2010, he has been a member of progressive metal band Dream Theater, following the departure of founding drummer Mike Portnoy. He has also played for bands and artists such as Annihilator, Extreme, James LaBrie, and Steve Vai. Before joining Dream Theater, Mangini was a faculty member at Berklee College of Music.[1] Between 2002 and 2005, he set five World's Fastest Drummer records. Mangini appeared on the Discovery Channel show Time Warp, displaying his drum skills for high speed cameras.[2]

Early life[edit]

Mangini first started playing the drums when he was two and a half years old, being inspired by Ringo Starr of The Beatles.[3] He would practice two to four hours a day and by the time he was nine he was already mimicking Buddy Rich performances. Other influences include Bobby Colomby, Danny Seraphine, John Bonham, Neil Peart and Terry Bozzio.[4]

By high school, he was performing in bands and participating in the prestigious All-State, and All-Eastern United States ensembles.

After graduating from Waltham Senior High School in 1981, Mangini put aside his music studies to pursue a computer science major at Bentley University. After graduating Mike started programming software for the Patriot Missile program.[5] At the same time, he was working on a program that studied the links between the human brain and body.

In 1987, Mangini scored one of his first high-profile gigs, playing drums for Boston's Rick Berlin Band. This would be his first collaboration with bassist Philip Bynoe. He also taught drums privately in Boston during this time.

Recording career[edit]

In 1991, Mangini began joined the thrash metal band Annihilator, playing drums on several tracks for the band's album Set the World on Fire. He went on to tour with the band in support of this album until 1994. That year, he joined Boston hard rock band Extreme, replacing original drummer Paul Geary. Mangini played on several songs on Extreme's 1995 album Waiting For The Punchline, and appeared with the band on the Late Show with David Letterman.

After Extreme disbanded in 1996, Mike was informed through drummer Jonathan Mover that guitarist Steve Vai was auditioning drummers for his live band. Mike successfully auditioned for Vai's band and relocated to Los Angeles. From late 1996 to early 2000, Mangini was the highly regarded drummer of Vai's live ensemble, which also included bassist Philip Bynoe, guitarist Mike Keneally and beginning in 2000, guitarist Dave Weiner. Mangini appeared on Vai's studio albums Fire Garden and The Ultra Zone, and the live album Alive in an Ultra World.

During a hiatus on Vai's Ultra Zone tour in 2000, Mangini returned to Boston, where he served as an associate professor at Berklee College of Music. He also formed the short-lived band Tribe of Judah with former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone and bassist Pat Badger. Mangini appeared on other albums during this time, including a Rush tribute record entitled Subdivisions and a second Annihilator album titled All for You. He also recorded tracks for artists Sal DiFusco, Bill Lonero and Chris Emerson.

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

Mangini appeared on a third Annihilator album in 2007, titled Metal.

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.[6] 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.[7] He has since recorded two studio albums (A Dramatic Turn of Events and Dream Theater) and two live albums (Live at Luna Park and Breaking the Fourth Wall) with Dream Theater.

In 2012, he toured with John Petrucci and Dave LaRue for the G3 tour in South America.

World's Fastest Drummer Records[edit]

  • Bare hands (no sticks) in 60 seconds, which he earned by executing 1,138 single strokes in April 2002. Glen Caruba tallied 1,140 single strokes using the palm finger technique in March 2006.
  • Mangini was the first person in history to break 1,200 notes when he played 1,203 single notes in January 2005, until Jotan Afanador passed him in April 2005 with 1,219 in Puerto Rico. Mangini reclaimed this record with 1,247 in July 2005. As of June 2015, Michael Duenser holds the record with 1,419 single strokes using the push pull technique.
  • Traditional Grip which he earned by executing 1,126 single strokes in 60 seconds in July 2003, stood for five years before falling to Matt Smith (1,132) in July 2008. In October 2010, Zac Sullivan executed 1,329 single strokes using push pull.
  • Single Stroke Foot records in July 2005 playing 13,222 hits in 15 minutes and 4,555 hits in five minutes, before falling to Mike "Machine" Mallais (13,309/4,595) in January 2007.


Selected album appearances[edit]

With Annihilator
With Extreme
With Steve Vai
With MullMuzzler/James LaBrie
With Tribe of Judah
With Dream Theater


  1. ^ Dixon, Guy (5 November 2010). "A Drummer’s Dream: Playing to the beat of the heart". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mike Mangini on Discovery's Time Warp". Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Baird, Dave. "Interviews: Mike Mangini (Dream Theater)". dprp.net. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Haid, Mike. "The Amazing Mechanics of Mike Mangini". mikemangini.com. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Omar, Aref (8 November 2008). "Man-genie drummer". New Sunday Times. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "The spirit Carries On". Roadrunner Records. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "AND THE NEW DRUMMER IS..... MIKE MANGINI". Retrieved 30 June 2011. 

External links[edit]