Mike Portnoy Thrilled About First Adrenaline Mob Show
Adrenaline Mob drummer Mike Portnoy is ecstatic. "The show was electric! The live chemistry in this band is ridiculous. Everybody is a true performer -- I cannot wait for people everywhere to feel the adrenaline!"
Portnoy spoke to Noisecreep right after the first gig by his new band, Adrenaline Mob, which also features Stuck Mojo/Fozzy guitarist Rich Ward, Symphony X vocalist Russell Allen, Sonic Stump guitarist Mike Orlando, and bassist Paul DiLeo. They had just played to a packed house at the Hiro Ballroom in New York City to give fans a taste of their recently completed album.
Portnoy also talked about life in the wake of leaving Dream Theater, his high-profile run with Avenged Sevenfold, and other moments in the topsy-turvy world that is the rollercoaster life of one of the world's most famous stickmen.
Portnoy's frustrations stem from the instantaneous way rumors and gossip gets spread today, but it's not slowing him down.
"The thing that breaks my heart," shared Portnoy, "is that some of the fans rely more on what's reported about me than what I'm actually saying at the moment. I see all these sensational headlines on certain websites that misrepresent what I'm doing, and there are fans that react to that without knowing the real truth. I always try to offer sincere, heartfelt explanations through social media sites, and sometimes that gets lost.
"This past year for me featured the highest highs and some of the lowest lows. I mean, after spending 25 years in Dream Theater, something I'll never be more proud of, and then the experience with Avenged, it's been some pretty extreme emotional stuff."
Portnoy has stayed busy the last few months, making personal appearances, playing in a new project with Steve Morse, Neal Morse and Casey McPherson, and now with Adrenaline Mob.
Through it all, the intense focus on what his next move might be created lots of pressure in the drummer's life.
"It's when your family becomes more important than ever," Portnoy said. "My wife and kids have been through it all with me so they understood how intense my world had become. And they made sure I was okay."
Portnoy added that his wife in particular might be the biggest Adrenaline Mob fan to date. "She's heard pretty much everything I've ever done and she says this is her favorite stuff. That means something to me."
He also envisions his latest venture as something that can thrive while also allowing the other members to maintain their current bands.
"Look at what Corey Taylor does with Slipknot and Stone Sour. It's doable, when you get the schedules all set up, to accommodate more than one working band at a time. That's how I imagine Adrenaline Mob working out right now."
In the meantime, Portnoy is taking a quick holiday with his family before coming home to find a label for his new band.
"I'm energized," he said. "Playing in Avenged Sevenfold the last year gave me this taste of sort of recapturing my youth, making me feel like a teenager a bit. With Adrenaline Mob, that feeling is full force now, and I've never felt better about where I am musically."