Listen to the complete interview with Mike Portnoy and John Moyer
I had the distinct pleasure to chat with two of the most dynamic musicians in the world of heavy metal and hard rock, Mike Portnoy and John Moyer.
Portnoy is a name I’m sure you are familiar with. As a founding member of the masterful prog rock super group Dream Theater, the drummer who replaced The Rev on Avenged Sevenfold‘s Nightmare, and all around world-famous percussionist, Portnoy has solidified himself as a musician to be reckoned with. So much so, that when Symphony X‘s vocalist Russell Allen and Mike Orlando set out to do their own thing, the first person they contacted was Portnoy. Thus, Adrenaline Mob was born.
Moyer is the bassist of the mega successful Disturbed, who is now on haitus. He’s been with the band for the last eight years, collaborating on their four most recent albums. Prior to Disturbed, you may remember Moyer from The Union Underground. In February of this year, it was announced he would be the bassist for Adrenaline Mob.
Adrenaline Mob has been around for about a year, debuting their live show at the Hiro Ballroom in New York City in 2011. On March 12th, 2012, the band came together back at the site of their first live show to debut the release of their first full-length studio album, Omerta. If you are a fan of rock and roll, hard rock, heavy metal, or just good ol’ fashioned ass-kicking tunage, then Omerta is a disc you’ll want to have in your collection.
It was an honor to talk with these two musicians at the Hiro Ballroom. Portnoy told me, “It really all begins tonight. Even though I’ve been active with Adrenaline Mob for the last 12 months, it really is a new beginning and it’s only just starting now.” If you were in the crowd to witness the “beginning,” then you know just how powerful Adrenaline Mob really is.
It’s exciting to have Moyer join the ranks of the Mob. “Really what attracted me are the songs,” he told me about why he decided to join the band. How has he been preparing for his first live show? “Listening to the CD a lot, listening to the material backwards and forward. It’s such an honor to be playing with these guys, on many levels. The musicianship is through the roof.”
Omerta does an exceptional job displaying that musicianship. At times you feel the technicality of a prog rock band, at other times you feel the powerful anthem of a legendary rock band…But from beginning to end, you feel the power and rawness of an incredible hard rock band that takes no prisoners. Omerta is perfect in every way.
One of the coolest parts of the album has to be the collaboration between the Mob and Lzzy Hale of Halestorm on the band’s cover of Duran Duran‘s “Come Undone.” “The next step is to get her on stage to do it live,” Portnoy said. “I can’t wait to see that happen.” I imagine fans of both bands will be on the edge of their respective mosh pits waiting for that to happen.
It only makes sense that Adrenaline Mob debuts such a solid album as Omerta with a live CD release show…”This is absolutely a live band. That’s the way this band really shines,” Portnoy explained to me. He couldn’t be more correct. If you saw them on their tour with Godsmack, if you saw their debut show last year, if you saw them tonight debuting Omerta, you know that Portnoy speaks the truth. And fortunately for you, they have no plans to slow down. Portnoy said, “We’re hoping to be doing a US run in May before we head over to Europe in June and July. You know, it’s all coming together. All the pieces are slowly falling into place. We can’t wait to get out there. We can’t wait to hit the road as much as possible this year.”
And don’t worry, I asked Moyer about Disturbed. Basically, it is what you think. They’re on a haitus. There’s no bad blood, and according to Moyer, the band has been nothing but supportive and excited about his debut with Adrenaline Mob. He told me, “I was looking to stay busy while Disturbed is taking a break. I’m not only playing with a great group of guys but I’m learning a lot, too.” Who knows what the future holds for Disturbed, but this much is sure: Moyer isn’t slowing down, and he’ll only be helping elevate Adrenaline Mob to new levels with the help of his fellow brothers.
So…what did you learn from all of this? Simply put, buy Omerta and crank it up. From the opening punch in the face, “Undaunted,” to the impossible-not-to-sing-along-with “Feelin’ Me,” to the aforementioned Duran Duran cover “Come Undone,” this album is flawless from front to back. Get it, turn it on, and get ready to bang your head.
And if you want to experience Adrenaline Mob the way it is designed to be experienced, keep your eyes and ears open for their tour dates and see them live…it’ll be a show you won’t soon forget.
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