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Mike Mangini (April 18, 1963, Newton, United States) is an American drummer, often a session musician. He has played for Annihilator, Extreme and Steve Vai. He was a professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has won the prize 5 times as the fastest drummer in the world. He is considered the best drummer of metal and rock thanks to his studies of rhythm. Since 2011 he is the drummer of the progressive metal band Dream Theater, replacing Mike Portnoy, who left the band in September 2010.
Mangini at a battery clinic in Singapore, 2004.
He started playing drums when he was five years old. At that time he practiced about ten hours a day and by the time he was nine years old he could already play songs by Buddy Rich. In high school he played in different bands in his school and participated in important festivals in his country.
After graduating from Waltham High School in 1981, Mangini stopped studying for a master’s degree in computer science at Bentley University in Massachusetts. After graduating, Mike began programming softwares for the Patriot Missile System while studying the relationship between the brain and the human body, which would help him develop his “rhythmic learning system.”
In 1987 Mangini had one of his first major concerts, playing drums for the band Rick Berlin Band in Boston, where he worked with bassist Philip Bynoe, with whom he would play later on Journey and with Steve Vai. In addition, he also worked as a drummer in Boston.
In 1991, Mangini began working in a thrash metal band called Annihilator. Mangini would play several tracks for the band’s studio album Set the World on Fire. Then he would go on tour with the band until 1994, at which time they proposed to work for Extreme to replace the original drummer Paul Geary.
Mike was a friend of Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt since the 1980s. His work for Extreme included several tracks for the 1995 album Waiting for the Punchline. In its passage by Extreme also it would appear for the Late Show of David Letterman. He would also record songs for Nuno Schizophonic’s first solo work, after he left Extreme.
After Extreme disbanded in 1996, drummer Jonathan Mover informed him that guitarist Steve Vai was auditioning for his band’s drummer live. Mike took the job and moved to Los Angeles.
From late 1996 to early 2000 Mangini was the drummer for the Vai band, where bassist Philip Bynoe and guitarists Mike Keneally and Dave Weiner were also. Mike recorded different songs for Fire Garden and Vai’s The Ultra Zone.
After the suspension of the Ultrazone tour in South America in 2000, Mangini returned to Boston and began teaching at Berklee College as an associate professor. He began working with former Extreme leader Gary Cherone and bassist Pat Badger in the band Tribe of Judah and continued his work with Dale Bozzio of the new wave band Missing Persons. In 2005 he accepted a full-time job as a professor at Berklee being recognized in the percussion department.
On April 29, 2011, the members of Dream Theater officially announced that Mangini would replace Mike Portnoy at the drum station.
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