PORTNOY: It Has Been A Tough Year For Me Watching DREAM THEATER Fans Turning Their Backs On Me

Metal Kaoz recently conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Kaoz: Do you have in mind a release date for the [debut ADRENALINE MOB] album or even a record deal?

Portnoy: We are actually in the process of find a record label to release it. We are in the talks with some labels in order to find what is best for this band because it is a very different one and not something like DREAM THEATER or SYMPHONY X [which features ADRENALINE MOB singer Russell Allen]. At this point, we have in mind that the album is going to be out in January 2012. Having the tour slot with GODSMACK we thought it would be a nice introduction to the band to self-release an EP for now.

Metal Kaoz: Everyone in this band has a rich musical background; do you believe that this adds pressure to ADRENALINE MOB as a band?

Portnoy: It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the band. First of all, there is a lot of pressure coming from my side, since this is the first band after DREAM THEATER and AVENGED SEVENFOLD, so there is a lot of focus on what I will do next. Also, this is the first “real” band that Russell has done outside of SYMPHONY X. And the biggest pressure comes from the fact that people coming to the show are expecting to watch a progressive metal band, and ADRENALINE MOB is NOT. We realize that this is not DREAM THEATER or SYMPHONY X, and, in fact, this is the fuckin’ point of that. If we wanted to play progressive, we could do it in DREAM THEATER or SYMPHONY X. This is a totally new “beast.” There is a side of me that always loved aggressive, riff-oriented music like PANTERA, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY or SLIPKNOT and things like that. Of course, I still love progressive music and million-time-signature and 20-minute epic songs, but I have been doing this for 25 years. So, it was time to do something different and this goes also for Russ.

Metal Kaoz: Do you feel that you have to apologize or explain yourself for this move?

Portnoy: I don’t think I have to apologize for this, and I am excited and proud of this band. But I feel that I have to explain and help people to understand that by this EP is not going to sound like a progressive metal band. As long as they leave that expectations aside and take it for what it is, then there is no apologies necessary.

Metal Kaoz: Before getting to write the music for this band, did you have in mind of its musical direction?

Portnoy: Mike [Orlando, guitar] and Russ had that in their minds and as I said the minute I listened to the track “Undaunted”, I texted Russ and told him that I wanted to join them. I always wanted to do something aggressive, heavy but at the same time melodic with grooves, riffs and high energy music. You will see at the show tonight that there will be really performers on stage. And with no disrespect to SYMPHONY X or DREAM THEATER, I will say this is a very different stage presentation. I mean, with DREAM THEATER I was the most animated performer, like Russ is for SYMPHONY X, but in this band I should say I am the most “mellow”… everybody is running circles around me all the time. It is a nice, different and refreshing environment.

Metal Kaoz: Have you been facing “haters” along this process?

Portnoy: Absolutely, I have. It has been a tough year for me watching DREAM THEATER fans turning their backs on me, which is unfortunate, because I have been the most fan-oriented artist you’ll ever meet. And during my time with DREAM THEATER, everything I did was for the fans. So it is sad when I see someone turning his back on me. But, again, there is a big number of fans who have been very supportive and for those people I am so eternally grateful and I will continue trying to make them proud fans.

Read the entire interview from Metal Kaoz.


Photo credit: Joe LaRusso