Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy, who is currently on the road as the touring drummer for AVENGED SEVENFOLD, was interviewed by Sabian's Chris Stankee at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, California on September 17, 2010 during the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar tour. The four-minute clip, which includes performance footage, can be viewed below.On how he became involved with AVENGED SEVENFOLD: Portnoy: "The relationship with AVENGED SEVENFOLD started as just a tribute for [late AVENGED SEVENFOLD drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan] and filling in for Jimmy. And then, as a result of the musical and personal chemistry we had making the record, it's kind of blossomed into now being on the road with them. And originally that was only gonna be a couple of months [so I could go] back to DREAM THEATER and now with the way that the DREAM THEATER story has unfolded, I will now remain out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD into 2011 and stay on the road with them for the full album cycle." On how he fits into AVENGED SEVENFOLD's current live show: Portnoy: "Although I'm not a bandmember, I am definitely part of the onstage presentation and chemistry. They don't want me to just sit in the background playing drums; I mean, they want me to be myself. The first couple of shows I played with them, I was trying to lay back and be conservative and be respectful — 'This is The Rev's drum throne; this is his spot.' But those guys were, like, 'No! Be yourself. Do your thing.' After a couple of shows, I immediately came out of my shell and now I'm totally at home with these guys and we have a great, great chemistry on stage together — musically and personally." "Nightmare", the fifth album from AVENGED SEVENFOLD, sold 162,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at the top of The Billboard 200 chart. Portnoy made his concert debut with the band on July 25 as they played live for the first time since Sullivan's death at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
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