Mike Portnoy sat down with Steve-O of 94.5 The Buzz’s The Live Addiction and spoke about his experience with Avenged Sevenfold and his fondest memories with the band (starting at 6:13 in the video).
Steve-O: [Avenged Sevenfold] are one of my favorite bands. They’re one of the bands that got me into heavier music. You played drums on their album ‘Nightmare’ after their drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan passed away. What was that whole experience like for you?
MP: “It was a really cool experience. There were basically two experiences. There was the album and the tour. The album was a really heavy emotional experience ’cause we started the album, I don’t know, maybe six weeks after The Rev was buried so it was still really fresh for those guys and, you know, everybody was really, very emotional. So, making the album was a really emotional experience and I felt really honored to have been part of that experience with them. That’s why me and Zacky got these matching tattoos. To me, it was a real amazing experience to bond with them during that period and then after that experience, you know, I wanted to be there to help them and that’s how my services got, you know, called upon for the first half of the tour. I did, I think, I guess, the first five or six months of the ‘Nightmare’ tour, basically till the end of 2010 and at that point it was just them getting back on their feet and helping them out. I don’t think I was ever going to be there for long. I was still in Dream Theater at that point and even once I left Dream Theater, you know, it was pretty established that it was just a helping-them-out phase and it was a great tour, man. I had fun with those guys and I’m so happy to see that they’ve gotten back on their feet and have blossomed to a whole new level and continue to do what they’re doing. It’s an experience I look back upon with a lot of great memories.
Steve O: Can you share one of your fondest memories while out on the road without those dudes?
MP: “I could think of a million. The very first show in Montreal, that was heavy ’cause that was their very first time on stage without The Rev. For me personally, I have to thank their fans for being so open and welcoming to me because like you said, you know, for me I was walking into something that was already well established and already had a very strong fanbase and to step into that situation for me could have been very uncomfortable. But, their fans, who were still heavily mourning Jimmy’s death were so welcoming to me and I felt it right immediately from that very first show in Montreal. I think that also helped the other guys move on, move forward. The fans were always great to me and always thanked me for helping the boys out, so that first show comes to mind. Also, one of the last shows I played with them. We did a USO tour in Iraq. That’s one of the highlights also of my time with them was going to Iraq with them and having that experience which was pretty cool.