We’ve heard from singer M. Shadows already about Avenged Sevenfold parting ways with drummer Mike Portnoy back in December. Now we’re given even more insight from guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates. In a recent interview with Guitar World magazine, the two revealed that not only did they try to convince the drummer not to leave Dream Theater, but also that Portnoy seemed intent on joining A7X full time.
When asked whether they thought Portnoy intended on playing with them full time, Gates said the following:
“ I think he definitely wanted to. And it would have been really nice. He’s a great guy and a great drummer, and we consider him family. But it’s just… He’s ‘Mike Portnoy.’ He’s established. He makes a lot of money. More than we can really dish out, especially at this point. And my whole thing after Jimmy [“The Rev” Sullivan] died was if we were ever going to do this, I wanted to give a young kid a chance. That would have been a dream come true, to breathe some new life from a death. And so this feels right. And unfortunately, Mike made some decisions that I don’t know if he’s super happy with at this point, and that weren’t very conducive to his well being.”
Vengeance added the following:
“When Mike first came on for Nightmare, he was sincerely genuine in the fact that he was there to help us fulfill Jimmy’s legacy, and for that we’ll always be so thankful and appreciative. And, truthfully, he was really the only man for the job. But I think he was also searching for new things to do, music-wise. I know for a fact he was starting to lose the romance of Dream Theater a little bit. That had been going on from before he knew us. And then Nightmare came out and it was a Number One album, and the tours were huge, and I think it was exciting for him. I think his intentions were pretty clear that he wanted to be a member of Avenged Sevenfold. But we weren’t ready to have a new member. And truthfully, he’s not the right fit anyway. When he went and quit Dream Theater, that was something we had no say in, because he’s a grown man and he makes his own decisions. But we had urged against it, fully knowing we weren’t ready to commit to him. But it’s his life.”
We’ve said it before, but you can’t blame A7X for not keeping Portnoy on board. Sure, it would’ve been easy for them to continue cashing in on Portnoy’s fame, but they don’t need to. After losing not only a band member but a close friend, it’s understandable that they’d want to start fresh with an up and comer. What Gates and Vengeance’s recent statements do show is that while Portnoy may not have been happy in DT for a while, his time with A7X may very well have convinced him to finally leave the group he helped form. Don’t feel too bad for Portnoy, though. We’re sure Adrenaline Mob and/or his new project with John Skyes will do just fine.
Gates and Vengeance’s interview with Guitar World will be featured in the magazine’s September issue.