After recent speculation following the announcement of Mike Portnoy's departure from Avenged Sevenfold, the band have revealed that their new drummer will be Arin Ilejay of Confide. A post on the band's official website explained the reasons for their decision:
We recently asked several friends who knew Jimmy and his style, and also knew our music and each of our personalities to suggest drummers to tour with us starting this year.
Our long time studio drum tech, Mike Fasano, recommended Arin Ilejay. We've rehearsed with Arin and have been impressed with his technical skills, attitude and work ethic. We're very excited to tour with Arin and hope all of you will give him the warm welcome to the family we have.
Ilejay got his first live outing with Avenged Sevenfold when the band began their Nightmare after Christmas tour in Philadelphia last night. He replaces ex Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, whose contract with the band was not renewed at the end of 2010. Portnoy, in turn, replaced Jimmy The Rev Sullivan, a founding member of the band who died in December of 2009.
Avenged Sevenfold's tour schedule will see them trek across the U.S alongside Stone Sour, Hollywood Undead and New Medicine through January and February. The band has also been announced as one of the headliners for this year's Download Festival at Donington Racetrack in Derbyshire.
Mike Portnoy, meanwhile has announced that he is to be involved in a new side project with current Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse.
Portnoy's former band mates in Dream Theater are also set to announce their replacement drummer in the near future. Portnoy left the band in September 2010, citing conflicting interests as the reason for his departure.