Mike Portnoy took to his forum to comment on the news of him heading into the studio with Avenged Sevenfold:
Even under normal circumstances, I would’ve been happy to help the guys out in any way I could as I think Avenged Sevenfold are a great band…but under these incredibly sad and tragic circumstances, I must say I am truly honored to have been asked to play with them…and I didn’t even have to think twice about saying yes.
These guys are a true family and it is an incredibly emotional experience to be here with them for the first time without their lost brother. But they have welcomed me into the family with open arms and there’s a real excitement to make the record they had set out to make…
I am treating my participation on this album with the utmost respect for Jimmy’s memory and am remaining as true as possible to the drum parts that he wrote for the songs and the record he wanted to make.
I want their fans to realize that I’m not trying to step into or fill The Rev’s shoes…I’m just merely lacing em up for him!