Rock drummer Mike Portnoy is one of the most influential drummers in the world. He is a founding member of Dream Theater and while he was with them, the band sold over ten million CDs/DVDs and sold out venues in every part of the world. He has won practically every drumming award available including 26 Modern Drummer Magazine Reader’s Poll Awards, among many, many more. Portnoy also filled in as Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer after their drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, passed away.
Currently, Portnoy is the drummer in Adrenaline Mob, a rock super group consisting of himself, singer Russell Allen (Symphony X), Mike Orlando and John Moyer (Disturbed). The band formed in 2011, and they have just released their first full-length album, Omerta, and it has received rave reviews. “This is a new band with a new sound and a new beginning,” declares Portnoy. “Forget what everyone has done in the past. I’ll cherish and look back at the last 25 years in Dream Theater with great pride, but it’s time for me to begin this next chapter. It’s similar to how Foo Fighters gave Dave Grohl a fresh start. That’s how I look at it.”
In a recently interview, Portnoy talked about his career and what he has in store for music fans. When asked at what point he knew he wanted to make a career out of playing music, he said, “I never had it as an ultimate goal. It just happened. I love music and I never wanted to do anything else.” Portnoy’s earliest influences include The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa.
March is a very busy month for Portnoy. Adrenaline Mob’s debut album was released on March 13th, and his other group, Flying Colors, will release their album on March 27th. What drives him to be so motivated? “It’s cool that the albums are coming out at the same time. Adrenaline Mob is high energy metal with big riffs. Flying Colors is alternative, progressive, poppy…it’s a softer side. I want people to see both sides to see where I am in my career today.”
Portnoy has some great advice for up and coming musicians: “It’s important to keep an open mind with what you listen to and play because you can learn from every genre. It’s also very important to play with other musicians.”
He has had so many memorable moments over the span of his career. “I have so much gratitude thus far. I’ve played in every venue around the world, performed with so many bands, and won just about every drum award,” he said.
Portnoy has many other projects he is working on for the near future. When asked if the rumors were true of him working with Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen, he said, “Yes, we have been working together. We have some great music brewing and have great chemistry. It’s step by step at this point.”
Adrenaline Mob will be touring this summer, with dates to be announced any day. On April 12th, he will be one of the musicians featured at Metal Masters III in L.A. The clinic also features Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Dave Lombardo and Kerry King (Slayer) and Frank Bello and Charlie Benante (Anthrax).
Adrenaline Mob is Russell Allen (vocals), Mike Orlando (guitar), Mike Portnoy (drums), and John Moyer (bass)
Flying Colors is Casey McPherson (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Steve Morse (guitar), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboard, vocals) and Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals)
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