Singer M. Shadows already gave hints as to the reasoning behind Avenged Sevenfold’s split with Mike Portnoy last week. But right before the weekend, the band released a statement giving further insight into the split and their future. Avenged Sevenfold had the following to say:
“For the past few months, we’ve been blessed with Mike Portnoy’s talent and humanity. When Mike agreed to tour with us, it was only through the end of 2010. We always knew we’d need to find another solution for 2011 and beyond. And it’s time for us to take that next step. We know we are not ready to add another permanent member of Avenged Sevenfold. We don’t know if we will ever be. But if we do, it will only be with someone who is not only a brilliant drummer, but also someone we’ve gotten to know well on the road and off, and who you the fans have had a chance to get to know, and hopefully accept. In other words, in this family, we take these steps together, band and our extended fan family.
We are lucky to be surrounded by so many friends, many of whom knew [late Avenged Sevenfold drummer] Jimmy [‘The Rev’ Sullivan] very well personally, as well as our band and Jimmy’s drumming talent and style. These friends have introduced us to several amazing drummers. We have decided to take one of them out starting in January. He will not be a member of Avenged Sevenfold. He will be someone you and we are getting to know. Perhaps this drummer will be a fit. Perhaps not. One thing is for sure. Over time we will find someone who helps us continue our quest to make the music we love for the fans we love.
Mike and the band agree that can’t be him. Why? Long before there was an Avenged Sevenfold, there were members of this band who looked up to Mike and, in Jimmy’s case, learned a lot from watching Mike play. He is a brilliant writer, producer and, of course, drummer. Because of that, the world and we would always see it as Avenged Sevenfold with Mike Portnoy.
We take a lot of pride in Avenged Sevenfold being about something greater than any individuals. It’s about the music, the fans and the friends and family we have as well as continuing our best friends legacy. Please give whoever we try your love and support….and the benefit of the doubt. They won’t be Jimmy. Who could be? But he will be himself, with his own special talents and creativity. And that’s all we could ever look for. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for everything you’ve done love and support us and help us get back on our feet.”
A7X manager Larry Jacobson also added the following in a statement published by LA Weekly’s West Coast Sound blog:
“The plan had always been for Mike Portnoy to play with the band through 2010. Nothing changed there but it was confusing [because] Mike gave interviews suggesting he may be touring with the band beyond 2010. There will be another drummer behind the kit for the band’s Nightmare After Christmas tour [in January/February] as well as for the many other dates around the world that are underway into 2011 and beyond. As for Australia, the timing is completely unrelated. If you’ve read any of the juvenile and public attacks by the [Soundwave] promoter, you can probably figure out why the band had legitimate doubts they could work with him to be able to put on the professional show their fans expect. They’re not in Australia every day so each tour needs to be the best the band has to offer.”
So there you have it. Their statements seem pretty straight forward. While some bands would love to have such a connection to someone as famous as Portnoy, it’s understandable why a band as popular as A7X wouldn’t want to be overshadowed by one member’s fame, and doesn’t necessarily need the extra attention. It’s a shame since such a collaboration showed promise, but good for A7X for sticking to their guns rather than cashing in on Portnoy’s association. In high insight, though, the statement also is gives fans hope that A7X will continue on even without The Rev (who passed away almost a year ago). We will keep you informed when more is revealed.