Adrenaline Mob Interview: Mike Portnoy + John Moyer

Mike Portnoy of Adrenaline Mob at House of Blues Cleveland - 05.10.12
Mike Portnoy of Adrenaline Mob @ HOB Cleveland - 05.10.12 (Photo: T. Patrick Fenner / CleveRock)

Cleveland, OH – [Supergroup (noun): a rock music group whose performers are already famous from having performed individually or in other groups (Encarta Dictionary)]

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adrenaline mob / disturbed bassist john moyer
John Moyer of Adrenaline Mob @ HOB Cleveland - 05.10.12 (Photo: T. Patrick Fenner / CleveRock)

Fitting the definition to a tee, Adrenaline Mob formed in 2011 with Sonic Stop shredder Mike Orlando, Symphony X frontman Russell Allen, Disturbed bassist John Moyer, and one of the best drummers in the biz, Mike Portnoy, formerly of Dream Theater and current drummer for Avenged Sevenfold. The guys kicked off their tour in Cleveland last night (Thursday; 05.10.12).

After finishing a lengthy pre-show meet & greet during which all four members signed autographs and patiently posed for photos with VIPs, Portnoy and Moyer joined CleveRock for a quick chat about their new project, recently released debut album, ‘Omertá’ (03.13.12; Elm City Records), and upcoming tour.

Many supergroups are formed with two or more members already having been involved together in a different project, but Adrenaline Mob is made up of four musicians that have no previous experience playing with one another. Conflicting reports have surfaced over how the band formed, so let’s hear it straight from the source:

“There is a guy in Florida who puts together boy bands and he handpicked all of us from different projects,” Moyer joked.

Portnoy clarified, “It went in stages. And it all began with Mike Orlando, he’s the guitar player. He’s been kicking around these songs and these ideas for many, many, many years, and then he began working with Russell Allen… Russell contacted me and asked me if I’d be interested in getting involved, and then we did the album, and we did some limited touring last year, just to get people introduced the band, and then once the album came out, we brought John Moyer into the band and he’s the final piece to the puzzle, so here we are.”

Adrenaline Mob faces the challenge of overcoming pre-set expectations held by fans of the individual members’ primary projects. Each member of the band wants Adrenaline Mob to be known as a unique entity; not pieces/parts of their other projects.

“I think anybody that are fans of John’s will get and it embrace it, and fans that may know me through Avenged will get it. But anybody that knows me from Dream Theater, well, this is an entirely different animal. I think the most important thing is that people come in, see this band; take it for what it is. We have an album full of some great metal tunes and our live show is packed with energy, which is where the band’s name comes from, Adrenaline Mob. That’s what the band’s all about, and, you know, we just hope that the audience gets into it as much as we are,” Portnoy said.

Moyer chimed in, “We’re four guys onstage who are pretty decent musicians, having a great time.”

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The guys in Adrenaline Mob are proud of their new release, ‘Omertá,’ as they should be. The heavy-hitting album is highlighted by standout tracks

Mike Portnoy of Adrenaline Mob at House of Blues Cleveland - 05.10.12
Mike Portnoy of Adrenaline Mob @ HOB Cleveland - 05.10.12 (Photo: T. Patrick Fenner / CleveRock)

“Undaunted” and “Freight Train” as well as a cover of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone,” which features vocals from Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale (a longtime friend of CleveRock).

Moyer, who came late to the party, said, “I guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you like hard rock and heavy metal. It’s a killer record with some killer hooks on it. And I can say that because I didn’t play on it, so I can be objective.”

Portnoy added, “We feel that we’ve got a real strong record and feel that there is a lot of touring for us to do. It’s a really great that the album came out and did really well initially, but that’s just the start. We’re ready to keep it going and reach as many people as possible.”

Supergroups come and supergroups go. It’s not the fans that leave, but the members’ primary projects don’t always allow the time to commit elsewhere, let alone the ability to coordinate schedules with the others involved. So what does the future hold for Adrenaline Mob?

“To be honest, I don’t think that the chemistry of this lineup has been fully tapped into yet,” notes Portnoy. “Because this material was written before either of us were involved, and was recorded before John was involved… We’re really excited about the potential of THIS chemistry, the four people that are now in the band, the potential of what we could make with the follow-up record is really exciting.”

Moyer stated, “Sky is the limit! “I’m not putting any limitations on what it can be. I don’t think any of us are. Why wouldn’t I put everything into anything that I do? Anything that I do I’m going to hope the best for and make it as good as it can be. I think every one of us feels the same way, so no one is thinking that this is a side project and can only so far. We want it to go as far as we can. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a second and third record. “

Adrenaline Mob is on tour through May 22, with more dates expected to be announced. For more info, check out Adrenaline Mob on Facebook or follow the band on Twitter. Photos © T. Patrick Fenner / CleveRock.com. VIEW OUR FULL GALLERY FROM THE ADRENALINE MOB SHOW IN CLEVELAND!