Percussionist Mike Portnoy is standing up in defense of Aerosmith's Joey Kramer.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that the Aerosmith drummer was filing suit against the classic rock band. Following a period of recovery after some injuries, Kramer felt he was being exiled from the group ahead of a scheduled Grammy's performance. On Tuesday (Jan. 21), Aerosmith responded to the lawsuit with a statement on the matter, confirming the appearance would go on without him.

The "Dream On" rockers defended their decision by noting that Kramer's "wellbeing is of paramount importance" to the group, but they said his recovery didn't occur in time to rejoin them. This week, Portnoy — the Sons of Apollo drummer and ex-Dream Theater member — told Sirius XM's Trunk Nation that he questions the loyalty of the band.

"I think it's ridiculous — ridiculous," Portnoy said, as transcribed by Blabbermouth. "Where's the loyalty? You've seen 'em recently. Joey seemed — maybe he's not the way he was when he was in his 20s and 30s, but he seemed like he was pulling his weight."

He continued, "We've seen this with Bill Ward not being allowed to do the [Black] Sabbath tour and Peter Criss not being able to do a KISS tour. So, yeah, there's something to be said if somebody physically can't do it, but I think Joey's saying that he can. That's all Aerosmith is gonna do if they have a big event, they're gonna do 'Walk This Way' or 'Dream On' or whatever. You mean to tell me Joey can't play that? There's gotta be loyalty. I think there's something to be said for loyalty to an original member."

Kramer, who's been with Aerosmith for 50 years, had to take a temporary break from performing last year due to some minor injuries. He claimed that once he was able to return to the band, he was asked to audition for the position and subsequently turned down.

But Aerosmith maintain they've kept the door open for Kramer, explaining that his offered return came too late to appear on the Grammys. "Joey has … waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week," the group said. "We would be doing a disservice to him, to ourselves and to our fans to have him play without adequate time to prepare and rehearse."

Elsewhere in their statement, Aerosmith affirmed, "Joey Kramer is our brother." The band added, "We have missed him and have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so."

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