Mike Portnoy was born on April 20, 1967 and was raised in Long Beach, New York. Mike's father as a Rock N' Roll DJ on a radio station, so naturally, Rock N' Roll was a huge influence on Mike. Mike is a self taught drummer, but he did take music theory in high school. Meanwhile he played in many local bands. He was then awarded a music scholarship to Berklee Music College in Boston.
Mike says his biggest influences are Rush drummer Neil Peart and the late Frank Zappa. Other favorites include drummers Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Simon Philips, John Bonham and Keith Moon and bands such as The Beatles, Queen, Yes, Metallica, Jellyfish, Iron Maiden, U2 and Jane's Addiction. He is also a fan of rap