Angela Villand of Hard-Rock-Reviews.com recently conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) about ADRENALINE MOB, his new band with SYMPHONY X frontman Russell Allen, guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP), bassist Paul DiLeo and STUCK MOJO/FOZZY axeman Rich Ward. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Hard-Rock-Reviews.com: You've assembled many side projects and musical endeavors over the years. But ADRENALINE MOB is something that was brought to you, by a friend and fellow musician, Russell Allen. How did this project unfold?
Portnoy: Unlike most of my other bands and projects, I was not the matchmaker; I was actually one of the chosen ones (by them). It began with Mike Orlando and Russell Allen, who were already working on the material for at least a year prior to my involvement. Russell and I had been friends for many, many years because I took SYMPHONY X out with DREAM THEATER on a couple of different tours, and he and I became good friends and always wanted to work together. Anyways, once my time with DREAM THEATER and AVENGED SEVENFOLD ended, and Russ knew that I was "available," he contacted me, and played me some of the stuff that he and Mike Orlando had been working on. Within literally one minute of hearing the first tune, I knew I was on board, and I immediately loved the whole vibe and the sound of it. So, once I came on board, the three of us kind of became the nucleus of the band, and at that point we brought Paul DiLeo and Rich Ward into the fold as well. That's how it all came together.
Hard-Rock-Reviews.com: Was it anything like what you expected from those guys?
Portnoy: You know, when Russ mentioned wanting to do something with me, I kind of expected it was going to be "SYMPHONY X-esque," and I think even a lot of fans that are coming into ADRENALINE MOB are expecting it to sound like SYMPHONY X or DREAM THEATER, but obviously, it's not. It's a completely different beast and a completely different style and genre. To me, that was so refreshing and exciting. The minute I heard the song "Undaunted", I knew I was on board because it was just crushing grooves and riffs. After my time with AVENGED SEVENFOLD on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Tour, touring with bands like STONE SOUR, DISTURBED, HELLYEAH, you know, the whole Uproar experience was such a pleasure to me that I knew one of the next things I was going to do musically needed to be something that was stylistically in that sound and vein.
Hard-Rock-Reviews.com: Fans and new listeners may be expecting something from the "progressive" genre, especially since both you and Russell Allen have spent most of your careers in that arena of style. How would you describe the music you've created in ADRENALINE MOB to someone that hasn't heard it yet?
Portnoy: I would absolutely not put the term progressive on this band at all, because we're not. It's not anything like DREAM THEATER or SYMPHONY X. It's just straight-ahead metal. I don't know what would you classify PANTERA or BLACK LABEL SOCIETY as? I don't know whatever that is, I think that's what this is; its crushing riffs, big grooves and shredding. I mean, the only elements of progressive that this band has is the fact that the players can shred, but realistically, stylistically it doesn't have much in common with the term "progressive." I think people need to know right out of the gates that this is not gonna be DREAM THEATER or SYMPHONY X territory; it's something else entirely. If you like PANTERA, ALICE IN CHAINS, stuff like that, you know this is what this is all about. The fact is this is a whole other side of myself and Russell Allen.
Read the entire interview at Hard-Rock-Reviews.com.
Photo credit: Joe LaRusso