Top 20 Drumming News Stories Of 2011

Mike Portnoy & Avenged Sevenfold Part Ways

In the latest twist of the ongoing saga of Mike Portnoy’s employment, the metal drumming phenom has announced that he will no longer work with the Orange County pop metal outfit Avenged Sevenfold.

“Yes, the rumors are true,” he wrote in his Facebook blog, “sadly my time with Avenged Sevenfold has come to an end. The band has decided to carry on into 2011 without me. I had a great time with them throughout 2010, but it was their choice to end the relationship at the end of 2010 as was always the initial plan. I had an awesome time on stage with the guys every night and have so many cool memories from the experience with them. I am proud to always be part of the A7X family and history. I also adore the A7X fans and totally appreciate the way they welcomed me aboard and were so loving and supportive during my time with the band – thank you!”

However, it seems as if Portnoy’s exit was hastier than he may suggest, since Avenged Sevenfold has had to cancel an appearance at Australia’s Soundwave Festival in February for lack of a drummer. “We’re really sorry it’s not possible for us to play this show, and apologize for any inconvenience it has caused,” frontman M. Shadows said in an official statement. “The last thing we ever want to do is disappoint our fans, and we’ll be back to make it up to the Australian fans soon.”

Following his altogether unceremonious departure from Dream Theater, the band Portnoy cofounded in 1985, this news begs the question of where the drum icon will crop up next. “As far as my future, I am excited by the endless musical possibilities that lie ahead of me,” Portnoy mused. “My love for music runs very deep and my taste is very broad and eclectic which will give me the chance to explore many different things and collaborate with many great friends and artists I admire and respect.” Of course, we will report on his plans while the ink is still drying on his next contract.

UPDATE: The members of Avenged Sevenfold have released a statement about their decision announced late last week to cut ties with Mike Portnoy, who filled in for the band’s late drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan:

“We’re not ready to add a permanent member - and we don’t know if we’ll ever be. If we do, it will be someone who’s not only a brilliant drummer but someone we’ve gotten to know well, and who the fans get to know and hopefully accept. Mike and the band agree it can’t be him. Why? Long before there was an Avenged Sevenfold there were members of this band who looked up to Mike. Jimmy learned a lot from watching Mike play. He’s also a brilliant writer and producer. But because of all that, the world would always see it as Avenged Sevenfold with Mike Portnoy.”

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