Guitarist/vocalist John Sykes (WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, THIN LIZZY) has commented on the dissolution of his much-hyped collaborative project with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB).
Portnoy and Sykes announced they were working together during a July 2011 taping of season eight of VH1 Classic‘s “That Metal Show”. The program’s co-host Eddie Trunk tweeted about the project at the time, “I heard demos. Sounds like killer BLUE MURDER meets ‘1987’ WHITESNAKE. Amazing!” He also said that the new group would perform some BLUE MURDER material when it hits the road.
The project last year demoed more than a dozen songs at a Los Angeles studio, with Portnoy describing one track as “copping the [LED] ZEPPELIN/[BLACK] SABBATH vibe” and another as “[PINK] FLOYD meets [DEEP] PURPLE!!! Some serious old-school classic rock.”
In a new posting on his official web site, Sykes writes, “The project I was putting together with Mike Portnoy didn’t work out, and I wish him all the best for the future. I’m continuing to work on my new album, and I look forward to putting out some great new music in 2012.”
Commented Portnoy on Twitter, “Sad but true… I tried my best to make it work… Me and the bass player [Billy Sheehan] couldn’t wait around any longer… [Billy] and I are moving on and have already begun work with another guitarist/vocalist [rumored to be Richie Kotzen, formerly of POISON and MR. BIG. — Ed.], keeping the original ‘power trio’ concept.”
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
Portnoy played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD‘s latest album, “Nightmare”, following the death of that band’s drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, and toured with them for the entire second half of 2010.
Sykes announced his departure from THIN LIZZY in July 2009, explaining that “I feel it’s time to get back to playing my own music.”