Joe Bosso of MusicRadar.com spoke to former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy earlier today about ADRENALINE MOB, the new band featuring Portnoy, SYMPHONY X frontman Russell Allen, guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP), bassist Paul DiLeo and STUCK MOJO/FOZZY axeman Rich Ward. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On how he got involved with ADRENALINE MOB:
Portnoy: “I’ve known Russell Allen for over a decade now, and I’ve always thought he was a very underrated singer. He has one of the best voices in the business I’ve ever heard. I’d call him something of a modern-day [Ronnie James] Dio — he’s that phenomenal. As much as SYMPHONY X has a good following in the underground cult prog world, I always thought that Russell was more undiscovered than he should be.
“I took SYMPHONY X out on tour with DREAM THEATER in 2007 in Europe, and I remember watching them from the side of the stage every night. I was simply in awe of Russell. His voice and his stage presence totally floored me. And not to put words in his mouth, but he’s said that he would watch DREAM THEATER and study what I was doing. He always liked that I was a rock drummer in a prog band — not to dismiss my prog influences — and he always thought I was more of a harder-edged, metal kind of drummer.
“The two of us have always talked about doing something together, and as soon as I found myself an independent artist once again, it was obvious that the time was right. Quite coincidentally, Russell and Mike Orlando had been working on this material for the past year and were looking to put a band together. The minute Russell found out I might be available, he called me and asked if I’d consider the situation. I popped in the music they sent me, and that was it — I was in. The tunes were that strong.”
On the band’s plans for the immediate future:
Portnoy: “The plan is to get this album out [as soon as possible] and hit the road [as soon as possible]. Everybody in the group is energized by the music and the power of the album we’ve just completed. We’re amazed at the electricity we felt playing together yesterday, so we’re dying to take this on the road. We want to try to take a different approach from any of my other projects, whether it’s LIQUID TENSION or TRANSATLANTIC or my cover bands — those have been kind of one-off things. With ADRENALINE MOB, we really want to treat this as a real touring entity. A real band. It won’t be our only band, but it’ll be something we come back to.
“The album is strong; it’s one of those records where every song’s great. So I don’t think the appeal will rest solely on my following; I think we can really spread out and develop a new audience. We’re psyched about the New York unveiling this Friday, and we’re looking forward to getting out there before the album hits, which will probably be by the end of the summer or early this fall.”
Read more from MusicRadar.com.