Portnoy’s Adrenaline Mob risk
Mike Portnoy has credited Avenged Sevenfold with pushing him out of his prog rock comfort zone and forming metal outfit Adrenaline Mob.
The drummer was concerned about breaking new ground because he hadn’t had to start a project from scratch since he’d co-founded Dream Theater – the band he sensationally quit in 2010.
And he admits the experience hadn’t been plain sailing, certainly for himself and bassist John Moyer.
Portnoy, who stood in for A7X followed the death of their sticksman Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, tells Rolling Stone India: “It was my experience with them that made me realise how much fun I was having, and that I needed an outlet in this genre to continue after my time with Avenged came to an end.
“It was so much fun with them. We were touring with Stone Sour, Disturbed and Hellyeah, surrounded by this music that was riff-oriented, song-oriented, and I knew I wanted to explore it further.”
The result is Adrenaline Mob, formed with Russell Allen of Symphony X, Mike Orlando and Moyer of Disturbed.
“It’s the first thing I’ve had to start from scratch since Dream Theater,” Portnoy reflects. “I’ve done a lot of other projects – Transatlantic, Liquid Tension Experiment and OSI – but in all those cases I could count on the Dream Theater audience to be on board.
“Adrenaline Mob is a completely different genre where we do have to start from scratch, except for maybe a handful of people who are behind it because of my name or Russell’s name.
“It’s exciting and also scary. There are a lot of growing pains, a lot of adjustments – especially for me and John. He had a lot of success and comfort with Disturbed, as I did with Dream Theater. Going back and sharing a bus with the crew is something John and I haven’t done in a while.”
But the drummer believes it’s worth the effort. “We believe in it,” he says. “The songs are strong, the chemistry is great and when you see the show you’ll get it.
“The music is not prog. It’s not the most complex. But I feel like I am in one of the strongest bands in the world of any genre. I’m part of an exciting new explosion.”