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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

John Sykes Departs Mike Portnoy Project; To Be Replaced By Richie Kotzen

Former Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes has pulled out of his planned collaboration with ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. He will be replaced by Richie Kotzen. reports that no official reason has been given for Sykes’ departure, but it is understood that a new guitarist will be brought in to the project, along with a yet-to-be-named bass player.

Portnoy isn’t exactly looking for work at the moment. In addition to his current band Adrenaline Mob, the drummer also is working with guitarist Steve Morse, multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse of Spock’s Beard, Dixie Dregs bass player Dave LaRue and vocalist Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, Endochine) in a new band called Flying Colors. An album is currently in the recording stage, and is due on March 27th.

“This album has bits and pieces of what you’d expect from each of us,” Portnoy said. “The sum of all its parts led to brand new, unchartered territory for everyone involved.”

Although Portnoy and Sykes demoed a dozen or so songs at a Los Angeles studio last year, their vastly different work ethics and conflicting schedules were solely to blame for the dissolution of their collaboration. Portnoy explained on Twitter, "Sad but true... I tried my best to make it work... Me and [Billy Sheehan] couldn't wait around any longer... [Billy] and I are moving on and have already begun work with another guitarist/vocalist, keeping the original 'power trio' concept."

Portnoy and Sheehan were joined by guitarist Tony Macalpine and keyboardist Derek Sherinian for an appearance at the Sabian Live event on Friday, January 20th at the Sheraton Park Hotel (next to the Hilton) in Anaheim, California as part of the the 2012 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show. Portnoy, Sheehan,Macalpine and Sherinian also performed together on January 14th at the twenty-third annual Guitar Center's Drum-Off, the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, Califo

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