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Michael "Mike" Mangini


1993 Annihilator - drums  
1994-1996 Extreme - drums, percussion  
1996-2000 Steve Vai - drums  
1998-2005 Mullmuzzler - drums (as Mike Mangini)  
2004-2005 Annihilator - drums  
2005-2008 James LaBrie - drums  
2007 Annihilator - drums  
2010-2023 Dream Theater - drums (as Mike Mangini)  
2023- Mangini - drums  

Studio musician

1996 Steve Vai - drums  
1999 Steve Vai - drums  
2009 Ethan Brosh - drums  

Live musician

2012 John Petrucci - drums  

Guest musician

2009 Shredding The Envelope - drums  
2023 Cross Country Driver - drums  

Personal information

Born on: 18.04.1963

Official Website

Mike Mangini (born April 18, 1963 in Newton, Massachusetts) is an American drummer. Mangini joined the progressive metal band Dream Theater in 2011, replacing the longtime drummer Mike Portnoy. He has played for Annihilator, Extreme, James LaBrie, and Steve Vai. He was a professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and held five World's Fastest Drummer world records. He is also known for his work as a session musician.


Mike Mangini started playing the drums when he was five years old. He would practice six to ten 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.

After graduating from Waltham Senior High School in 1981, Mangini put aside his music studies to pursue a Computer Science major at Bentley College. After graduating Mike started programming software for the Patriot Missile program. At the same time, he was working on a program that studied the links between the human brain and body. These two experiences have helped Mike in the development of his Rhythm Knowledge learning systems.

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 Phillip 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 1991, Mangini began working for a thrash metal band named Annihilator. Mike performed on the drums on several tracks for the studio album, Set the World on Fire. He went on to tour with the band in support of this album up until 1994. In 1994 he was asked to play with the band Extreme, replacing original drummer Paul Geary. Mike Mangini had been friends with noted Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt since the 1980s. His time in Extreme included recording several tracks for their 1995 album, Waiting For The Punchline. During this time, he also made an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. While on tour with Extreme in 1995, Mike recorded songs for Nuno on his 4-track tape machine. Those songs ended up on "Schizophonic" after Nuno left Extreme to pursue a solo career.

After Extreme dissolved in 1996, Mike was informed through drummer Jonathan Mover that guitarist Steve Vai was auditioning drummers for his live band. Mike successfully auditioned for Steve 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 Phillip Bynoe, guitar wizard Mike Keneally and (in 2000) guitarist Dave Weiner. Mike also recorded several drum tracks for Steve's Fire Garden and Ultrazone albums.

Following the initial suspension of the South American leg of the Ultrazone Tour in 2000, Mangini moved back home to Boston and began teaching at Berklee College as an associate professor. He began working with former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone and bassist Pat Badger in the short-lived band, Tribe of Judah. He also continued to work with Dale Bozzio (formerly of the new wave band, Missing Persons), and recorded several more records. Among these records was a Rush tribute record (entitled "Subdivisions") and a second full-length album with Annihilator titled "All for You." He also recorded tracks for artists Sal DiFusco, Bill Lonero and Chris Emerson.

In 2005, he accepted a full-time teaching position at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and today he is a prominent faculty member in the school's percussion department.

In 2007 Mike did the album Metal by Annihilator.

One of Mike's current projects is Chix n' Stix.

At the end of 2010, Mike, along with Marco Minnemann, Peter Wildoer, Virgil Donati, Aquiles Priester, Derek Roddy and Thomas Lang , auditioned to replace Mike Portnoy as the drummer for Dream Theater. On Friday April 29th, 2011, Dream Theater officially announced that Mike Mangini was to be their new drummer.


Mangini currently endorses Pearl Drums and Zildjian Cymbals. In 2008, Pearl Drums released the Mike Mangini Signature Popcorn Snare. It is 10x6.2" made from 6ply Birch. He also uses his own Zildjian Mike Mangini Signature Sticks, which are laminated Birch with an acorn style tip, 16 1/5" long and .585" in diameter.

Mangini also uses Pearl Eliminator Pedals, and Pearl Hardware, Roland Electronics, Shure Microphones, and Remo Drumheads.
Current Setup (2008)

* Pearl Masters Premium 6ply Maple Drums & Zildjian Cymbals:
* Drums - Red Pearl, Red Onyx or Shimmer of Oz Finishes
o 10x8" Tom
o 12x9" Tom
o 14x14" Floor Tom
o 18x16" Floor Tom
o 22x18" Bass Drum
o 10x6.2" Mike Mangini Signature Popcorn Snare
o 14x5.5" Snare

* Cymbals - Zildjian
o 14" A Custom Hi-Hats
o 13" A Custom Hi-Hats
o 14" ZHT Hi-Hats
o 13" Mastersound Hi-Hats
o 21" Rock Ride
o 20" Oriental Crash of Doom
o 18" A Custom Crash
o 17" A Custom Crash
o 22" Oriental China Trash
o 18" Oriental China Trash
o 14" Oriental China Trash
o 14 ZXT Trashformer (x3)
o 6" A Custom Splash
o 6" A Zilbel

* Drum Heads - Remo
o Toms: (10", 12", 14", 18") Clear Emperors (top), Clear Ambassadors (bottom)
o Bass Drum: (24") Clear Powerstroke 3 with Falam Slam Patch (back), Standard Pearl Ebony (front)
o Snares: (14", 10") Coated CS Controlled Sound or Coated Ambassadors (top), Clear Ambassadors(bottom)

* Percussion - Pearl
o Primero 6" Cowbell
o Mide-Pitched Clave Block

* Hardware - Pearl
o DR503C Curved Icon Rack
o PCX100 Clamp (x3)
o PCX200 Clamp (x4)
o TH-2000S Tom Arms (x3)
o TH2000I Tom Arms (x2)
o CH70 Cymbal Holders (x2)
o CH-2000 Cymbal Holders (x2)
o CH-2000S Cymbal Holders (x4)
o CLH1000 X-Hat Attachment (x2)
o AX25 Adapter (x2)
o AX25L Adapter (x2)
o P120 Bass Drum Pedal (x2)
o P2002B Elimanator Double Pedal (Belt Drive w/Red Cams)
o S2000 Snare Stand
o RH-2000 Remote Hi-Hat (w/red cams) (x2)
o DC-L300P Drop Clutch
o D1000 Roadster Throne
o PPS20 Cowbell Footpedal Bracket (x2)
o PS85 Pedal Stabilizer


* At his height from 2002-2005, Mangini was notorious for setting five World's Fastest Drummer records. These include the Fastest Matched Grip at 1,247 single strokes in 60 seconds in 2005, Fastest Barehands, which he earned by executing 1,138 single stroke notes in 60 seconds in 2002, until Glen Caruba broke it with 1,140 notes in 2006. Fastest Traditional Grip which he earned by executing 1,126 single strokes in 60 seconds in 2003, a record that stood for five years before falling to Matt Smith (1,132) in 2008, and Fastest 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 Mallais (13,309/4,595) in 2007.

* Mangini has written two books about his drumming techniques. These books, titled Rhythm Knowledge, are a practice method for deconstructing and simplifying complex polyrhythms and time signatures.

* Mangini recently appeared on the Discovery Channel show 'Time Warp', displaying his drum skills for high speed cameras.