August 25, 2011

Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of GuitarWorld.com recently conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

GuitarWorld.com: Unfortunately these days the importance of [releasing] physical [CDs] is diminishing. You've been around for so many years, and seen it all. What do you feel about this change?

Portnoy: Well, change is inevitable with the evolution of technology. In the '70s we had records, in the '80s we had CDs, and now we are living in the digital age. You can say it's sad or unfortunate, but the reality is you've got to roll with the times and the technology. I still love collecting because I'm a huge collector myself and I love to go out and buy music, particularly the special editions. But the reality is, when I'm sitting in a hotel room at 3 in the morning and I see something on the Internet that interests me in the form of a band I want to hear, I like the ability to just go online to iTunes and download it immediately. So it's something I as a fan enjoy being able to have. I see both sides of the coin.

GuitarWorld.com: Drumming-wise, what kind of a challenge does [ADRENALINE MOB] present to you? Obviously there is a huge gap between this and DREAM THEATER.

Portnoy: The thing is about restraint, and playing what's best for the groove of the song, and I'm down with that. I'm totally cool with that. I played with DREAM THEATER, and so far that's been everything I'm about. This is far from what I'm about, and I'm about many, many different things. I could be just as happy playing a BEATLES song as I am when I'm thrashing out the double-bass stuff with ADRENALINE MOB. The stuff I'm playing with ADRENALINE MOB is all about the energy and the song. It's about groove and riff-oriented songs. So, if anything, I have to show some restraint and make sure I play what's best for the song.

GuitarWorld.com: Obviously you are always involved with so many other projects. Is there anything in the pipeline or is ADRENALINE MOB your primary focus?

Portnoy: I have a few other things going. Actually, this year alone I did three different bands and projects in the studio. They're all slowly coming around, so throughout 2012 and beyond, you'll see me with three other bands. ADRENALINE MOB right now is my main focus, but I've also got a thing going with John Sykes which is in more of a classic rock vein, and then I also have a thing with Steve Morse which is kind of an alternative, proggy thing. So each of these bands is taking me down different musical roads and in the coming year or so, there will come a situation where they will all be releasing music, and at that point I'll be kind of juggling all of them on tour but they are all very different from each other and I'm very proud of each of them for different reasons. But ADRENALINE MOB is what I'm doing now. This is the first one to actually come out and it's very exciting for me to move into the next phase of my career.

Read the entire interview from GuitarWorld.com.

Photo credit: Joe LaRusso

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