Drummer Mike Portnoy says that his current involvement with AVENGED SEVENFOLD had nothing to do with his decision to quit DREAM THEATER, the band he formed and led for 25 years. "I BEG of the fans to please NOT hold [AVENGED SEVENFOLD] responsible for MY decision... They are just as shocked as you guys," Mike writes on his Facebook page. He adds, "I had been contemplating this and desiring a 'break' (not split) [from DREAM THEATER] as long ago as last year. Everything else is fully explained in the press release" that Mike issued yesterday announcing his split from DREAM THEATER. Portnoy continues, "Thank you all for your support and understanding... This is the hardest thing I've ever done."
Portnoy made his live debut as AVENGED SEVENFOLD's current touring drummer on July 25 when the band played at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Portnoy also recorded the drum parts on the group's newly released album, "Nightmare".
"Nightmare" was completed after the death of drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, who passed away last December following an overdose of prescription drugs and alcohol.
When asked in a recent interview with Goldmine about his involvement with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, Portnoy said, "It's an honor for me to have been kind of hand-picked and asked to do this, because of the situation. You know, when I went in and did the album, it was something I was honored to do. I wanted to be really careful to bring The Rev's drum parts to life for this album. They lost their brother at an unbelievably early age. You know, he was only 28, so it was a tragedy that they had to endure. I wanted to go in there and carry on his legacy with the drum parts he was supposed to be playing. So, I did my job, and we had such a good time with each other on a personal level … The guys are really cool guys, and I really enjoyed making the record with them. And I told them, if I was able to tour with them, I would love to do it."