Deathbat News

Metal Insider & Mike Portnoy Talk Avenged Sevenfold And Communication With Fans.
March 28, 2012, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Avenged Sevenfold, Interviews, Mike Portnoy, News

Metal Insider recently spoke with Mike Portnoy and the two touched upon his experience with Avenged Sevenfold bring “refreshing,” his experience playing with the band, being with them temporarily and how he didn’t want to cut off his fan base while playing with them.

Did you want to do something that, for lack of a better term, was simpler in terms of drumming?
– Yeah, after my experience with Avenged Sevenfold, I think I was really looking for something in that vein. I did the Uproar Tour with them and we were out with Disturbed, Stone Sour and Hellyeah. And I really enjoyed that environment and that type of music that was rooted in riffs and big bouncy grooves and song oriented writing. It was a good time and fun, and I didn’t have to think so much. Not that there is anything wrong with thinking, I made a great career out of that, and I still enjoy complex music. But every once in a while you need a break and you need something new and refreshing. That experience with Avenged Sevenfold was refreshing for me, and after that experience I really wanted something in that vein. So when I heard the Adrenaline Mob songs, it was exactly the right music at the right time for what I was looking for.

Is there anything else you got out of playing with Avenged Sevenfold?
– I just enjoyed the experience. Like I just said, it was fun. I didn’t have to make any decision to control anything creatively. I was basically there just to play drums and help those guys get back on their feet. But the experience was a good time and I think we served as bridges for each other. I think I served as a bridge to help them get back on their feet, to get them where they needed to go with a new, younger unknown drummer and they served as a bridge for me to get to where I needed to go to get to this next chapter in my career. So I think we helped each other to get to where we needed to go and grew from the experience.

So you always had it viewed it as a temporary thing?
– Yeah, I think all along my purpose was to help them get back on the road and pay tribute to The Rev, and that’s all it was ever going to be. I think once I left Dream Theater, the whole thing became very side tracked. I think the press and the media blew everything up and made the whole thing about me. It was never supposed to be about me and I never intended for it to be about me. I was always there to help them and pay tribute to Jimmy and then move on. I was never joining the band, that was never the intention. Once all the controversy and drama surrounding Dream Theater came up, it was obvious that we all just needed to move on and get back on focus to what the original intention was all along.


And you’ve always been very hand-on with communicating with fans, even in the pre-Facebook and Twitter days. Has that been important to you from the beginning?
– Yeah, it’s been crucial to me, even in the very, very early days in the mid-eighties when Dream Theater was still Majesty. [….] I’ve always been very hands on with that. And now in the age of social media with Facebook and Twitter, I think it’s an incredibly valuable tool keeping in touch with the fans, hearing what they have to say and keeping them informed. I’ve always been about that and that’s not going to change now even though I’m not in Dream Theater. I will still apply that mentality and that personality to everything I do.

But it’s not like it hasn’t hurt me. It’s been a great thing because I’m very in touch with the fans and I can keep them involved day to day. But it has hurt me in a way because I am so open with the fans a lot of times, things I say get blown up and taken to other places, other websites, that try and sensationalize everything and blow things up and try and make mountains out of mole hills. And all I’m doing is just trying to stay in touch with the fans. I know with Avenged Sevenfold, they didn’t like the social media. Once I was touring with them I wasn’t going to just cut off my fan base because I was playing in a band that wasn’t very open. I needed to still have that open relationship with the fans. So even when I was with Avenged, I needed to have that outlet and that relationship with the fans, I wasn’t going to just cut them off. I know once everything went down with DT and I was still trying to be open with the fans and still trying to explain things, the media just took it and blew it up to such ridiculous proportions. It went places where it really didn’t need to go, but all I was doing was what I’ve always done. Trying to be very open and straight forward and no bullshit, no strings attached with the fans. I’ve always valued that relationship and that’s something that’s never going to change.

Thanks Jonathan for sending this in.

19 Comments so far
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“I know with Avenged Sevenfold, they didn’t like the social media. Once I was touring with them I wasn’t going to just cut off my fan base because I was playing in a band that wasn’t very open”

The shade. I see you, Mike.

Comment by Loghen

lol seriously. as much as i appreciate what mike did for the guys he needs to just stop. he knew what he was getting himself into with joining them, he was aware they were a private band and he should have respected that. one example would be when he posted about the USO tour before the band ever got to announce it for themselves and you know that tour was a big deal to them.

Comment by lauren

Like he said he wasn’t going to change the way he tells his fans everything because he was helping a7x. A7X fans make a big deal out of stuff that is actually non of their concern. Sure he blew it by announcing the USO tour before the band did it. But hey it happened and obviously they got passed that. Maybe Mike is just like that or he’s used to things his own way without asking for permission. Dream Theater anyone co-founder a.k.a ”leader”.

He wasn’t really in the band he was just with them for a short time. You don’t know if he respected them being private. He couldn’t just turn into a private person even if the band is like that. He is not. A7X is ‘private’ band. Mike Portnoy likes to (over)communicate with his fans. Those two things just clashed. Simple as that.

Comment by Steph

…youre missing the point completely. let me explain what i meant. mike portnoy should have kept the stuff he was sharing with his fans strictly about mike portnoy and left avenged sevenfold and news about the band out of it. i don’t care if he’s talking to his fans about stuff HE had going on and things that have to do with HIM but he it wasnt his place to talk about stuff avenged sevenfold had going on. it clearly shows he didn’t respect them being private and its obvious that it did become a conflict.

also, it becomes an avenged sevenfold fans concern when this dude starts throwing shade at them for being private. that’s how avenged sevenfold are and that’s how they’ve always been.

Comment by lauren

the stuff with avenged sevenfold was the things HE had going on :D <– that is my point.
Obviously he was helping a7x at the time…. so maybe he didn't see it as something wrong.
A7X fans are way too sensitive. Not every fan throws a fit when someone else 'throws shade' at them. They are grown men. See how they don't say anything back or react in a negative way? :D

Comment by Steph

again you miss my point :D he had every right to keep his fans in the loop regarding signings he was doing, appearances he was doing but as far as what AVENGED SEVENFOLD was doing it was not his place to announce. the USO tour is a perfect example of that and even him telling fans he was no longer playing them. not only did he tell fans at a signing but he posted a message here about how there had been “ups and downs” and how a “valuable lesson” for him was that “the only people you can TRULY count on is FAMILY’ and while im sure DT was included in that people are naive if they don’t think he was ‘throwing shade’ at A7X too. he acted like a man scorned and as if he had gotten kicked out. he was never IN the band and it was always the PLAN for him to leave at the end of the year. IMO, in both of those instances, AVENGED SEVENFOLD should have released something first and officially not MIKE PORTNOY. as far as them not opening their mouths its because they’re better than that. no ones being sensitive, we are being real.

sorry ms dbn for going off but some people are being delusional.

Comment by lauren

I don’t see how Portnoy is “throwing shade” at A7X by saying they don’t like social media, or they aren’t very open. Its a fact; Mike Portnoy uses social media more than A7X. It doesn’t change the fact that A7X loves their fans.

Comment by Anonymous

I respect Mike Portnoy’s talent, but I find these comments somewhat offensive. I realize he is “moving on”, but damn…It’s like he contradicts his so-called feelings about A7X and what he actually says in almost every interview I’ve read so far. To say that his job was to “pay tribute to the Rev”, and yet, in my opinion, dismiss Jimmy’s drumming by saying, “…I didn’t have to think so much” is a farce. But do you want to know what I personally take comfort in? I guarantee you, even though I’m sure they’re all thinking, “What the hell?” when they read this stuff, not one member of A7X will stoop so low as to respond to this type of rhetoric…and that’s all it is, as far as I’m concerned. I will say this: I was going to buy the new Adrenaline Mob album. Not anymore. That said, this may not get published on DBN, but I feel better after saying it. Oh yeah, I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT AVENGED ALBUM! : – ) \m/

Comment by Johnnie

I think Mike handled himself really well in this interview. Most of Portnoy’s drumming is more technical than the Rev’s, so I don’t see any problem with him saying “…I didn’t have to think so much”. Dream Theatre’s music frequently uses really strange time signatures while A7X usually sticks to 4/4 or 3/4 or something similar. Don’t get me wrong, A7X is my favorite band, but Portnoy is a better drummer (technically) than the Rev. Also, just because something is harder to play doesn’t mean its better. I prefer the Rev’s style over Portnoy’s.

Comment by Anonymous

He still doesn’t get it.

Comment by JUICE

Portnoy’s arrogance is overwhelming at times. Thought getting the boot from DT would have been an ego check, and then Avenged not wanting him there any more… apparently not.

Comment by Anonymous

i meant ignorance, but arrogance can be associated with him.

Comment by Anonymous

I always respected Mike for helping out and being a friend to A7X in their time of need, but the fact that he thinks so little of them and is so arrogant just shatters the image I had of him. He’s talented, but what an asshole.

Comment by Sara

Disrespect , arrogance , offensive comments to Avenged Sevenfold. WTF ?? when I read this kind of interview, it puts me in a rage .. They are a “private” band and then ? …”because I was playing in a band that wasn’t very open.” uh.. Zacky has a twitter account.. In conclusion, personally and professionally, I can’t stand this kind of behavior. Bad luck for you Mike Portnoy, I am a hardcore fan of Avenged Sevenfold but also a media.

Comment by sylvie lesas (evigshed)

uh zacky has a twitter account yes. That’s more for promotion of his clothing line dude. He is not on it tweeting most of the day like other rockstars…. so yes they are private ;D

Comment by Steph

Shall we place bets on him addressing all these comments in whatever new interview he does? LOL

Comment by Cal

Its still all about him.

More technical drumming isn’t always better, ( less is more?).
The Revs drumming was awesome and his voice still sends shivers, critical acclaim will always be my fave song with Jimmy, technical or not.

Comment by juice

Boy, oh boy. The only one who seems to think that Portnoy is ‘God’ is Portnoy himself. I am so sick of this reverence that people have for this guy. He’s good, but not nearly as good as he’s happy to tell you he is. This guy is so arrogant that he was going to put DT on hold for 5 years so he can do his thing and expect them to wait for him because HE says so? And I don’t even like Dream Theater. There’s a reason that he hasn’t found a home in a band since DT. Sevenfold found out quickly, apparently and DT is a much better, tighter band without him.

Comment by stevedrums

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