Honestly, on all three, it was a lot of going with my gut because I hadn’t quite gained the understanding of writing percussion that I now have. Though, having a good instinct for interesting rhythms definitely is why I seem to be so notorious for percussion/drum beats.
That said, Portrait is a funny case in particular, and its weirdness is quite a bit more deliberate than the other two, simply because I was more experienced by the time of its release.
The song is in mixed meter. Now, you certainly can hash it out to 14/4 and be happy with it, because it works out that way, but the song is actually written in alternating measures of 15/8 and 13/8. Or was it 13/8 and 15/8? It’s been awhile. Either way, the song itself never sits still and shifts its pulse back and forth the entire way, and ends up making the later breakbeat/drum and bass part all the more crazy.
And yet it still seemed to work!
As for everything since Portrait, any weird percussion I do has been completely deliberate and thought out, because, as I said before, I understand my instincts on it. More importantly, I understand why those instincts work.
TL;DR; In a past life, I was probably a drummer.