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Zacky Vengeance of Avenged Sevenfold Speaks Out on Mike Portnoy + Dream Theater Drama

Zacky Vengeance of Avenged Sevenfold
Mary Ouellette /

In an interview with Nikki Blakk of California radio station 107.7 The Bone, Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Zacky Vengeance talked about unwillingly being caught up in some of the drama between their former touring sticksman Mike Portnoy and his former band Dream Theater.

Zacky commented on Portnoy leaving Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold, saying, “It was something that we were not used to at all. We had never, ever experienced any kind of in-the-spotlight drama; we just always stay in the shadows and keep any of our personal business private. And he is a very different character — he always goes straight to fans on Twitter or whatever. That’s how he dealt with his band, and it was new to us. We like to be in touch with our fans, but we’re also very private.”

The guitarist continued, “And he’d been talking about quitting Dream Theater, that he wasn’t necessarily happy, and he was excited to be playing with us; we were playing huge shows and stuff. I think he got caught up in the moment, got excited. We begged him to consider what he did, because we were in no position to find a permanent replacement, because in all honesty, you can’t replace Jimmy, who was our best friend — first and foremost — besides being an amazing drummer.”

Zacky goes on to say “He told us, ‘Hey, I’ve got good news and bad news. I quit Dream Theater.’ We were like, ‘Oh, no. Well, if you’re happy, then that’s good.’ [And he was like], ‘Now I can be with you guys.’ And we were like, ‘That’s not necessarily what we decided upon. And you should take your time and reconsider.’ And he was like, ‘Well, I put out my press release.’ We were like, ‘Dude, that’s not how we do business. You should have talked to us before.’

But the drama didn’t end there. Zacky further commented: “Then it was back and forth [between Mike and his former Dream Theater bandmates]. We were out of it; we had nothing to do with it. We were just trying to get back on our feet. So when all that was going down. t was causing us a lot of heartache, to be honest — to see our name in this drama-filled love triangle.”

Despite undesired and indirect participation in said love triangle, Zacky and A7x have no hard feelings towards the kit minder, who stepped in when they needed him the most. He said, “He helped us out at a really vulnerable time, and for that we will always be extremely appreciative. But for us, we were so unstable at that point that any unneeded attention was just very harmful to us. Obviously, it didn’t work out, but I think it’s for the best — for him and for us.”

Check out Nikki Black’s full interview with Zacky Veneagance

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