AVENGED SEVENFOLD manager Larry Jacobson has told LA Weekly's "West Coast Sound" blog that there is no correlation between drummer Mike Portnoy's departure from the band and the cancelation of the group's participation in the Australian Soundwave festival. He writes, "The plan had always been for Mike Portnoy to play with the band through 2010. Nothing changed there but it was confusing [because] Mike gave interviews suggesting he may be touring with the band beyond 2010. There will be another drummer behind the kit for the band's 'Nightmare After Christmas' tour [in January/February] as well as for the many other dates around the world that are underway into 2011 and beyond. As for Australia, the timing is completely unrelated. If you've read any of the juvenile and public attacks by the [Soundwave] promoter, you can probably figure out why the band had legitimate doubts they could work with him to be able to put on the professional show their fans expect. They're not in Australia every day so each tour needs to be the best the band has to offer."AVENGED SEVENFOLD issued a statement yesterday explaining that "we know we are not ready to add another permanent member of AVENGED SEVENFOLD [following last year's passing of drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan]. We don't know if we will ever be. But if we do, it will only be with someone who is not only a brilliant drummer, but also someone we've gotten to know well on the road and off, and who you the fans have had a chance to get to know, and hopefully accept. In other words, in this family, we take these steps together, band and our extended fan family." The group added, "Mike and the band agree that can't be him. Why? Long before there was an AVENGED SEVENFOLD, there were members of this band who looked up to Mike and, in Jimmy's case, learned a lot from watching Mike play. He is a brilliant writer, producer and, of course, drummer. Because of that, the world and we would always see it as AVENGED SEVENFOLD with Mike Portnoy." AVENGED SEVENFOLD is slated to hit the road in the U.S. next month as part of the "Nightmare After Christmas" tour, along with STONE SOUR and HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD. James Sullivan, AVENGED SEVENFOLD's founding drummer, was found dead in his California home last December 28 of a fatal mixture of drugs and alcohol.