Sunday, August 7, 2011
MIKE PORTNOY Says He Is 'Not The De Facto Frontman' In ADRENALINE MOB
Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy spoke to AOL's Noisecreep earlier this week about his new band ADRENALINE MOB's upcoming first U.S. headlining tour, which kicks off on August 14 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
When asked if he expected ADRENALINE MOB to be doing a headlining tour this soon in the game, Portnoy said, "Actually, after the one New York City 'unveiling' we did at the
end of June, we weren't planning on doing any more shows until the album came out — and then the offer came in to do these GODSMACK dates, which of course we couldn't pass up! However, the GODSMACK shows are all in the secondary markets that they didn't hit on the [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem Festival, so we figured being we were already going to be up and running, we'd
fill in the 'off' dates with some shows of our own in some of the major
markets we could get to while out touring with the GODSMACK shows. But honestly, this all came about sooner than we had planned! The original plan was to wait until the album came out (which at this rate
wasn't going to be until the beginning of 2012). This all also played
into us moving things forward quicker than expected and getting the EP
out NOW, so we could do this tour and have a product out that was
available to the public and for people to get to know some of the music
immediately rather than waiting for the traditional three-to-four-month
'set-up period' record companies usually need to get a release out."
Regarding how he sees his role onstage with ADRENALINE MOB as compared to other bands he's been in and whether he is the de facto
frontman (that is to say, actual, though not official, frontman) given
his history, Portnoy said, "Well, with DREAM THEATER live, I may have been a bit of a focal point because I absolutely live for
the energy on stage and having interaction with the audience is
absolutely crucial to me — regardless of how some others have described
it! [laughs] So my character and stage presence may have stuck out a bit with those guys who are maybe slightly more reserved than I. However,
in ADRENALINE MOB, there are five guys that are ALL absolutely
insanely energetic performers each of their own right. It's like a
five-ring circus on stage! I absolutely am NOT the 'de facto frontman'
in the MOB — that title surely goes to Russell Allen, who is one of the best frontmen in the business. I am just happy to be part of the band, and not necessarily leading it."
In a recent interview, DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie said that everything "is much more balanced" in the band following Portnoy's departure" and things are "where [they] should be on stage, [without
anybody] in the background trying to grab the limelight when maybe they
should just be grooving or whatever." He added, "But I mean, that's [Portnoy's] character, that's just his personality. He's big and he wants to be in
the limelight. But, unfortunately, the problem with that is that it
takes away from the bigger picture — and that is the band as a unit."
In addition to Mike Portnoy, ADRENALINE MOB features SYMPHONY X frontman Russell Allen, guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP), bassist Paul DiLeo and STUCK MOJO/FOZZY axeman Rich Ward.
The band will release its debut EP on August 9. The self-titled effort will available via iTunes as well as sold in physical form at the group's upcoming shows and online store. Self-produced by the band, "Adrenaline Mob" features four original tracks as well as a blistering cover of the Ronnie James Dio-era BLACK SABBATH classic "The Mob Rules". From the opening riff of "Psychosane" through the over-six-minute epic-sounding "Hit The Wall", it is clear that ADRENALINE MOB are in class all their own as musicians.
"Adrenaline Mob" track listing:
02. Believe Me
03. Hit The Wall
04. Down To The Floor
05. The Mob Rules
ADRENALINE MOB formed in early 2011 when Orlando approached Allen with some material the guitarist had written. Allen and Orlando refined those ideas, at which time Allen reached out to longtime friend Portnoy to see if he had any interest in playing with them. Portnoy jumped on board and soon thereafter DiLeo and Ward were recruited to join the family. From the very first note, the chemistry was apparent and the beast that is known as ADRENALINE MOB was born.
Professionally filmed video footage of ADRENALINE MOB performing a cover version of the BLACK SABBATH classic "The Mob Rules" on June 24 at the Hiro Ballroom in New York City can be seen below.
A review of ADRENALINE MOB's concert at the Hiro Ballroom — which marked the group's first-ever live performance — can be found at NY Hard Rock Music Examiner.