Avenged Sevenfold

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An interview with Synyster Gates

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“We are going to do a lot of new and fucking crazy things.”

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The music industry has gone through so many changes over the years, some for good, many for the bad. It seems the days of camping out for a midnight release or concert tickets are long gone. It was a magical time before the internet ruined any element of surprise… Or so we thought.

Avenged Sevenfold have trumped the pirates and torrents by keeping their latest release ‘The Stage’ to themselves. Lead guitarist Synyster Gates tells us “We had to burn every bridge, as far as press is concerned including all of our media family, and that was tough. You couldn’t send it to a bunch of people, because that’s when it leaks. Once it leaks, it gets on a fucking truck, once it gets on a plane, a train a fucking automobile (laughs)”.

The secret and suspense worked, with over 70,000 units moved within the first week, ‘The Stage’ goes back to a simpler approach where Auto-Tune was the enemy “Absolutely! I appreciate you saying that as it was very important to us. Sometimes you forget how to make it natural and free, by trying to make it so perfect. This was just a bunch of dudes, just going in, and trying to harness an energy, and the last thing we were allowed to do, was over think shit.”

This also marks the debut of ex-Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman who replaced Arin Ilejay, “He bought in so much fucking amazing stuff, he bought in first takes (laughs); he’s a fucking freak. You would play a riff, and the last thing you would expect, is what he would play; we got a lot of mileage out of jamming with that dude.”

AX7 has always embraced new technology, and this time it’s no different. To celebrate the release, they played atop the famed Capitol Records Headquarters, but did it their way “ To do virtual reality and augmented reality like that, and to do it well. Its just starting to get to the point where its really exciting, we always like to do things differently, and it was just an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. Historically, we have been a meat and potatoes, kind of fire stage show kind of band, but this stuff is so cool, and unique, and its all brand new.”

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This is the first Capitol release, and while the fall out with previous label Warner has been documented, Gates is looking forward. “There is no ill will, there are so many unfamiliar faces and regime changes there, while there are still some people there, great fucking people that are still fighting for us, we felt like the side piece, and we wanna be the main squeeze. Capitol came in hot and only showed us nothing but love.”

The band renowned for their live shows, are now looking forward to bringing this new album to the stage. “We are currently trying to work all that out; we just want it to be big, grandiose, and totally fucking left of field. We are going to do a lot of new and fucking crazy things man. We are spending a lot of money to make it the most unreal show, and something you have never seen before; it’s going to be nuts.” As for songs he looks to bring to the stage, “there will always be songs that will be so much more fun (to play live), but I think Paradigm, and Sunny Disposition, I am fucking excited about”.

As we wrap up, I ask Synyster Gates if he could go back in time and give himself advice 15 years ago “I know exactly what it would be. It would be: scour the internet for porn (laughs). No; in 2008, I started going on all these guitar sites and started to develop my vocabulary, and there has been shit online for a lot longer than that. So I would love to get an extra five, six, seven years of shared guitar knowledge from the web under my belt.”

Of course, I asked about a future tour, “We just want to get up there, have a few beers, play, and have fun. Our heart and soul went into this album, and we will see you down there very soon.”

Written By Andrew Treadwell

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listen to “THE STAGE”

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