Asked about the role PANTERA has played in his professional and personal life, Portnoy said: "I've loved those guys. I've been a fan of theirs since 'Cowboys From Hell' came out. We [PANTERA and DREAM THEATER] were labelmates.
"'Cowboys From Hell' and [DREAM THEATER's] 'Images And Words' pretty much came out at a very similar time and we were dealing with the same people at the label and management and booking agents; we were basically working with the same teams while we were both coming out at the same time.
"I remember when 'Cowboys From Hell' came out, it was the fucking heaviest thing I'd heard, because at that point, everything was starting to get very grungy, so PANTERA was kind of [waving] the metal flag and keeping it alive throughout the '90s. So I was a huge fan of theirs just because they filled a void that I was missing as a heavy music fan around that time in the '90s. And on a personal level, I'm really good friends with [all] those guys… still good friends with them. I toured with Rex [Brown, former PANTERA bassist], when KILL DEVIL HILL and ADRENALINE MOB went out together. And I've done the 'Metal Masters' shows with Phil [Anselmo, former PANTERA singer]. And I've known Vinnie [Paul Abbott, former PANTERA drummer] all those years… When I was out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, HELLYEAH was out with us. So I've pretty much toured and played with all those guys in various incarnations the last couple of years and still remains friends with all three of those guys."
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 27 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
Portnoy played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's 2010 album, "Nightmare", following the death of that band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, and toured with them for the entire second half of that year.
Portnoy announced his departure from ADRENALINE MOB in June 2013 due to "scheduling conflicts." He has since been replaced by A.J. Pero (TWISTED SISTER).
THE WINERY DOGS' self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart.