Avenged Sevenfold has hired a new drummer to replace Mike Portnoy on the band’s upcoming tour dates. The lucky candidate is Arin Ilejay, former drummer for the Christian rock band Confide and artist relations director for TRX Cymbals.
Ilejay has big shoes to fill, stepping into the drum chair formerly held by ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, whose cameo appearance with Avenged Sevenfold played a role in his controversial departure from his long running gig with Dream Theater. Portnoy recorded the drum tracks for the latest Avenged Sevenfold album, Nightmare, following the death of founding drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, who died of an accidental drug overdose.
Today the following announcement was posted on the Avenged Sevenfold website: “We recently asked several friends who knew Jimmy and his style, and also knew our music and each of our personalities to suggest drummers to tour with us starting this year. Our long time studio drum tech, Mike Fasano, recommended Arin Ilejay. We've rehearsed with Arin and have been impressed with his technical skills, attitude and work ethic. We're very excited to tour with Arin and hope all of you will give him the warm welcome to the family we have.”
UPDATE: Here’s a video clip of Avenged Sevenfold’s gig last Saturday, January 22, in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was one of the first to feature new drummer Arin Ilejay. It was filmed by an audience member and the sound is a bit rough, but it gives you an idea of what Ilejay has brought to the mix