Re: Portnoy out...
Not really a surprise.
Portnoy stated from the start, and even after the split from DT, that the AX& gig was temporary with no long term commitments.
And face it, the guys in AX7 are 1/2 his age. While they may all be friends, I doubt they want someone their father's age in the band long term. It would more fitting for their long term image to have someone closer to their age, and closer to where they are musically.
And for the band, you know, they went with Portnoy immediately without considering anyone else. Much like a re-bound girlfriend, I'm sure it was nice way to fill the gap and deal with the pain, but with the passing of time, you want a chance to step back, and evaluate your long term plans more.
I never thought the two would stick with each other beyond this tour.
I'm sure Portnoy will find plenty of side projects to keep him busy. He's always had 101 side projects going on. The only question is can he put enough of them together to keep us his house payments without the Dream Theater touring income.