Dream Theater drummer and prog-rock icon Mike Portnoy issued a statement today confirming he will play drums on metal group Avenged Sevenfold’s upcoming album following the recent death of Avenged Sevenfold’s longtime drummer, James “The Rev” Sullivan.
“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,’” Portnoy said in a statement.
Sullivan died on Monday, Dec. 28, 2009. He was 28. An autopsy to determine the cause of death came back inconclusive.
Avenged Sevenfold announced the decision on their website yesterday.
“We asked Jimmy’s all time favorite drummer Mike Portnoy to record on behalf of him. Mike said it would be an honor and without question that’s what Jim would have wanted. It’s comforting to us that someone like Mike, who is undoubtedly revered as one of the best drummers in the world, held such respect and adoration for the Rev’s abilities,” the band said.
Said Portnoy: “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!”