Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy has released the following statement:
"Yes, the rumors are true... Sadly my time with AVENGED SEVENFOLD has come to an end... The band has decided to carry on into 2011 without me...
"I had a great time with them throughout 2010, but it was their choice to end the relationship at the end of 2010 as was always the initial plan....
"I had an awesome time on stage with the guys every night and have so many cool memories from the experience with them... I am proud to always be part of the AVENGED SEVENFOLD family and history. I also adore the AVENGED SEVENFOLD fans and totally appreciate the way they welcomed me aboard and were so loving and supportive during my time with the band...thank you!
"As far as my future, I am excited by the endless musical possibilities that lie ahead of me...my love for music runs very deep and my taste is very broad and ecclectic which will give me the chance to explore many different things and collaborate with many great friends and artists I admire and respect...
"Happy holidaze to you all and c-ya in the New Year."
Drum-cam footage of Mike Portnoy performing the songs "Almost Easy" and "Welcome To The Family" with AVENGED SEVENFOLD on November 20, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden and November 14, 2010 in Paris, France, respectively, can be viewed below.
AVENGED recruited Portnoy to play on its new album, "Nightmare", following the death last December of the band's drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan. Portnoy was Sullivan's favorite drummer.
Portnoy recently stated about his involvement with AVENGED SEVENFOLD (see video below), "The relationship started as a tribute for Jimmy, and as a result of the musical and personal chemistry making the record, it's blossomed into being on the road with them. Originally that was only going to be for a couple of months until I went back to DREAM THEATER. Now because of the way the DREAM THEATER story unfolded, I will remain out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD into 2011, and stay on the road with them through the whole album cycle."
He added, "Although I'm not a band member [of AVENGED SEVENFOLD], I'm definitely part of the onstage presentation and chemistry. During the first couple of shows I played I was trying to lean back and be respectful. I was thinking, 'This is Jimmy's drum throne, this is his space.' But they were like, 'No! Be yourself, do your thing.' I came out of my shell and now I'm totally at home with these guys. We have a great chemistry, musically and personally."
Portnoy added one of Sullivan's cymbals to his touring kit: a Sabian ride The Rev had owned for years which the company had refurbished, but hadn't been able to return before his death.
Portnoy made his concert debut with AVENGED SEVENFOLD on July 25 as they played live for the first time since Sullivan's death at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.