Haken guitarist Richard Henshall has been very busy. Haken is preparing to tour in celebration of their 10 year anniversary, his side project Nova Collective just released their debut album to critical acclaim, and he is also a part of Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress touring group. In a recent interview with The Prog Report, Rich talked a little about getting to play with Portnoy on the Cruise to the Edge as part of The Shattered Fortress.

“It was crazy, like first to be asked by a legend as Portnoy is such an honor for us and yet a crazy, crazy ride. He told us about a year ago now, so on and off we’ve been kind of going over the songs and the hardest part was just the initial learning process. We learned the songs and then it was just a question of going over and over the songs until they become second nature. We’ve got a few more shows booked up for later this year with The Shattered Fortress stuff, so can’t wait to get out there and do that again.”

The lineup on the cruise was made of Portnoy, Eric Gillette, members of Haken – Henshall, Ross Jennings, Charlie Griffiths, Connor Green and Diego Tejeida, and guests vocalists Daniel Gildenlow and Ted Leonard.

“So Ted And Dan you see did the cruise but I’m not entirely sure if it’s a set up for the other shows. I know that Ross learned all of the songs say he’s got it in his arsenal to put them off but it would be awesome if Daniel and Ted could come along wince they’re such great singers.”

As for getting up to as many side projects as Portnoy, Henshall says doubtful. “I mean I’m totally open to just trying new things and playing with many people as I can really just enjoy playing music. So it’s great fun but I can never never get to his level.”