Rockers Avenged Sevenfold have cast doubt on whether they will ever fill the void left by tragic drummer JIMMY 'THE REV' SULLIVAN, insisting they're "not ready" to face a future with a permanent replacement.
The band members were left devastated when Sullivan died from a drug overdose in December 2009 and they subsequently hired Mike Portnoy as a temporary stand-in for their summer (10) concerts.
They parted ways with the former Dream Theater star last week (ends17Dec10) and the rockers have now explained the reasons behind their decision.
In a statement, the band says, "We’re not ready to add a permanent member - and we don’t know if we’ll ever be. If we do, it will be someone who’s not only a brilliant drummer but someone we’ve gotten to know well, and who the fans get to know and hopefully accept.
"Mike and the band agree it can’t be him. Why? Long before there was an Avenged Sevenfold there were members of this band who looked up to Mike.
"Jimmy learned a lot from watching Mike play. He’s also a brilliant writer and producer. But because of all that, the world would always see it as Avenged Sevenfold with Mike Portnoy."
Avenged Sevenfold's manager, Larry Jacobson, reveals they were driven to cut ties with Portnoy because they feared he was getting too comfortable with the group - even though it was made clear from the start that he would only be a temporary addition to the band.
He tells, "The plan had always been for Mike to play through 2010. Nothing changed, but it got confusing because Mike gave interviews suggesting he might tour with the band beyond 2010.
"There will be another drummer behind the kit for the Nightmare After Christmas tour in January and many other dates round the world in 2011 and beyond."