Singer Shadows is grateful drummer was there when they needed him – but admits the situation got “out of hand”
Avenged Sevenfold singer M Shadows admits the situation with ex Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy got “out of hand” – but he’s still grateful for the time they spent together.
And he admits he’s not the world’s best vocalist, despite winning that award at the Revolver Golden Gods recently.
Portnoy stepped in to replace A7X drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, who died of an accidental drug overdose at Christmas 2009. The drummer recorded the band’s 2010 album Nightmare with them, then went on tour in support of the release.
That led to his decision to quit Dream Theater in the hope of remaining with A7X – but they insist that was never on the cards. And although Shadows says he’s on good terms with Portnoy, he admits they didn’t speak at the Golden Gods ceremony, where the drummer also won an award.
Shadows tells Ultimate Guitar: “We were looking for someone who was young and unknown to replace Jimmy. We wanted to give someone a chance who wasn’t completely jaded. One thing we didn’t want was an older session guy, or a guy who just saw it as a gig.
“Things with Mike got a little out of hand for a while there. The way he runs his camp is a little different to how we run ours. It couldn’t co-exist.
“He helped us out in a time of need and he stayed true to Jimmy’s parts. We were really thankful for that because he could have come in and been like, ‘No, I’m not playing that, why don’t we do this?’. Kudos to him.
“It was nice to go into those awards and basically sweep them, and I’m sure Mike appreciates it as well. I didn’t get to talk to him afterwards but our guitarist Zacky Vengeance did and they exchanged some nice words.”
A7X won four Golden Gods, but Shadows is cautious about the ‘best vocalist’ gong: “Do I think I’m the best? No, absolutely not – but it was nice the fans voted for it and I’m very grateful. It was a nice moment; humbling and gratifying at the same time.”
The band have been touring with new drummer Arin Ilejay and recently recorded a video game track with him. Shadows says: “He’s been killing it on the road and he’s a really nice guy, which is more than we could ever ask for. It was great to be able to record Not Ready to Die for Call of Duty: Black Ops because it means we don’t go into the next record completely blind about how he is in the studio.”
Dream Theater recently announced Mike Mangini as founding member Portnoy’s permanent replacement. Last week they revealed how Portnoy had admitted his departure was a mistake – but by the time he’d asked to rejoin it was too late.