Cooperative TV sat down with M Shadows ahead of Avenged Sevenfold’s concert in Chile to talk about what the band wanted to accomplish with the style of “Hail To The King,” every album being a ‘natural experiment,’ the criticism their albums have received for being different than the other and playing “Hail To The King” live. Shadows also spoke with DG Medios (Spanish/Translated):
“I love playing in Chile. [...]” says M Shadows. “The last time, I remember all those guys waiting outside the hotel. That does not happen everywhere in the world.” The group is promoting their sixth album, Hail To The King, which received rave reviews and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in its first week. “[...] Nightmare was a hit and people wanted to hear what was coming,” explains Shadows, referring to the good commercial performance of the album. With it, the group also sought to get out of their familiar sounds and explore new ones. Shadows defines the new sound as “more basic, more hymns of Rock/Metal. We took a simpler approach.” And work has brought its rewards. “There are people who approached us and told us, ‘I didn’t understand before, but I really liked the last album.’ We opened a whole new fan base,” says the singer. […] Shadows explain his pleasure of going through South America, “They live and die by Rock. It’s a great place for Avenged Sevenfold.”
Avenged Sevenfold has launched a Facebook page for Hail To The King: Deathbat. As of the launch, they’ve included an interview M Shadows did with Game Informer where he talks about his background as a gamer, what Call Of Duty clan he belongs to, what sparked the idea for Hail To The King: Deathbat, the inspiration behind the game, what areas of the game were focused on, what role he played in development, how Avenged Sevenfold is incorporated into the game and more.
Arin Ilejay was interviewed backstage at Soundwave 2014 in Brisbane by Browny and spoke about why he gets nervous before shows, what tattoo he shares with members of Bullet For My Valentine, writing music for the future, adopting a classic metal style of his own, who is “too big” to play live with Avenged Sevenfold, working on Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 and more. Keep an eye out here for photo coverage from Soundwave 2014 and accompanying sideshows.
M Shadows was a guest on Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast (9:10) and spoke about reactions from fans upon hearing new music from Avenged Sevenfold, selling 160,000+ albums during this day and age, choosing set-lists and what their set-list plans are for upcoming tours, doing as much as they can with their stage production, having three major stage sets to rotate usage with, how much the “Bat Country” music video cost to make, the decline of physical album sales over the years, creating their stage-name as teenagers, how the band got involved with the Call Of Duty franchise, filming their Call Of Duty cameo, Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King: Deathbat game and how Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan is involved, recording new songs for Hail To The King: Deathbat and including new versions of older songs, how life is 4 years after Jimmy’ passing and what he misses the most about him, giving Arin Ilejay the opportunity to build his own legacy, what his favorite song to play live is (it’s also his favorite song that Avenged Sevenfold has written) and much more.
UPDATE 1/19: That Metal Show‘s Season 13 premiere episode featuring M Shadows can be streamed (geographical restrictions may apply) here. Matt (9:40) speaks about how Avenged Sevenfold celebrated their #1 albums, the criticism that comes along with success and how he handles it, Hail To The King: Deathbat, if he could be in any other band which would it be, the one song he wish he wrote, his one vice, the best concert he’s ever attended, the first album he bought with his own money, who he thinks is the better vocalist between Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant and more. Zakk Wylde also complimented the band’s success saying, “the success that Avenged Sevenfold has is just great for the whole hard-rock community and rock community in general.”
1/18: That Metal Show has posted bonus content from their season 13 premiere episode taping. In ‘Avenged Sevenfold carries the Metal Torch’ and ‘Zakk Wylde and M. Shadows Put (the Rest Of) It on the Table’ Matt touches on carrying the metal torch, the first song he learned how to play on guitar, the weirdest rumor he’s ever heard about himself and his favorite new band. In the ‘Backstage Interview: M Shadows’ he talks about his first concert, malfunctioning fog machines, his pre-show rituals, weirdest fan requests, what album he would take on a deserted island and gives advice to aspiring rockstars. He also chats with Jennifer in her ‘Miss Box of Junk’ segment about his diet plan and what he listens to when he works out.
Synyster Gates recently spoke with Rolling Stone Italia (Italian/Translated) about being in the music scene for 14 years, being considered “the next big thing” in metal (in regards to becoming the next Metallica), the philosophy behind Hail To The King, the arrangement for “Planets,” moving to Warner Bros from Hopeless and more.
As Slayer have debuted with a label that specializes not in your genre: they’re on Def Jam, the label hip hop par excellence, you were on Hopeless Records, one of the most important labels of American punk scene.
“Well, they [Hopeless] were always very cool with us while we were with them, but then things stopped working, so in 2004 we moved to Warner that – unlike the other majors – has guaranteed 100% artistic freedom. Hopeless gave us less control, Warner instead have allowed us to cultivate the artistic growth of the band. For years now we are with them, they’re the perfect label for us.”
Bass Player Magazine has published their feature on Johnny Christ from their December 2013 issue. Johnny spoke about dialing in his sound on “Hail To The King,” how his playing techniques have changed over time, his signature Schecter bass, writing his bass parts on “Hail To The King,” what rigs he records with and plays live, the evolution of Avenged Sevenfold’s rhythm section with Arin Ilejay, how three different drummers have differed in terms of groove and more. Check out Premier Guitar’s Rig Rundown for Johnny Christ here.
“When I joined the band, I was the new kid, and I didn’t fully understand the songwriting aspect to playing bass—I just wanted to get in there and throw bass lick riffs around whether or not they made sense for the song. Now, I have a better understanding of the songwriting process, and I understand how too work as a band. I’ve definitely evolved to where I orchestrate my bass lines rather than throw down a bunch of riffs. As with other things, when you practice your craft as often as you can, it eventually starts to get better. I’m still proud of the work I’ve done in the past, but I feel that I’m maturing with each album, honing in and synching into the groove. I love playing, so I’m always trying to do things a little bit better.”
Submitted by Troy.
ScuzzTV’s Scuzz Meets Avenged Sevenfold session featuring M Shadows and Zacky Vengeance is now available for viewing online. Matt and Zacky sat down with Beez in July to talk about what artists(s) made them want to be in a band, outgrowing hardcore music, the evolution between Sounding The Seventh Trumpet and Waking The Fallen, if Waking The Fallen felt special when they released it, where M Shadows and Zacky Vengeance were when they decided to have Synyster Gates join the band, rebelling against the hardcore scene, M Shadows goes on record and explains what happened with his vocal chords after Waking The Fallen, City Of Evil setting them apart from similar bands during the time of its release, self-producing their self-titled album and what they wanted to accomplish with it, how KROQ and MTV helped City Of Evil, what the first day in the studio was like after Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan’s passing, tragedy tightening their bond of friendship, Hail To The King being a ‘blast of cold water’ for fans and the album being the next proper transition for Avenged Sevenfold.
Metal Hammer TV caught up with Avenged Sevenfold while the band were in Manchester and spoke with Arin Ilejay backstage about life with the band, his favorite thing about their show, reminiscing with his bandmates, being Download’s main event and more.
EMP Rockinvasion sat down with Johnny Christ while Avenged Sevenfold were overseas to talk about strip clubs, killing time on tour with books/movies/video games, criticism, comparisons to Metallica and the differences between Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, Mike Portnoy and Arin Ilejay and more.
The Irish Times interviewed Arin Ilejay backstage at the O2 in Dublin where he talked about “the success of Hail to the King, carrying the torch for a new generation of headbangers and how he came to join the band that have become the standard-bearers for modern metal.”
M Shadows called into (1:22:25-1:27:31) BBC Radio 1′s The Rock Show with Daniel P Carter to talk about how Avenged Sevenfold’s European tour has been, getting the opportunity to headline Download 2014 and older generations giving younger bands a chance.
Musicians Friend spoke with Synyster Gates about how the lead-guitarist ended up working with Schecter, having 100% input on his signature guitar designs, how he uses the Sustainiac system, his road setup, Hellwin amps, the noise get nightmare, how his rig has evolved over the years, the hardest guitar piece he had to write for “Hail To The King” and more. You can also enter to win their Avenged Sevenfold Sweepstakes which includes a Schecter C-1 guitar autographed by Avenged Sevenfold, an A7X All Access DVD, Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough CD/DVD, the “Hail To The King” single, A7X catalog CD sampler (plain cover) and A7X guitar picks. The contest starts 12/3/13 and end on 12/17/13. Please read the Official Rules for eligibility.
MF: The new album, Hail to the King, is kind of a stripped-down version of years past, but it’s still guitar-heavy. What was the hardest guitar piece for you to write and/or record, and why?
SG: Oh, my goodness. Probably “Planets,” the second to last song, because it’s just so dissonant. We really wanted to have this cinematic quality to it but maintain the catchy melodies that kind of bind it all together, so when you took it apart you’d say, whoa, there’s a lot crazy modulation, chord changes and crazy s**t going on. It’s a different kind of arrangement, but it sounds very palatable still, and communicates what we were trying to communicate. Which was intergalactic f*****g war, I guess.
MF: What was your toughest solo to do on that album?
SG: They are all tough, either writing or playing. They take pretty much the same amount of time. There’s nothing that stuck out more than another. Definitely “Planets” and “Acid Rain” are my two favorite solos.
Midwest Music Scene conducted an interview (18:06-20:13) with James Cassells of Asking Alexandria at Metal Fest and touched on the subject of Avenged Sevenfold headlining Download Festival 2014, the good they’re doing for metal/rock music and the criticism they’ve received over “Hail To The King.” Back in August, Australia’s AHM Network caught up with AA’s Ben Bruce who commented that Synyster Gates is his guitar teacher.
Avenged Sevenfold’s headlining Download next year which is just crazy.
JC: Avenged Sevenfold… to start off they’re good friends of ours. We went on tour with them, they’re sweet dudes, awesome guys. They are stepping up, man. They’re going to the next level. They’re already a massive, massive band but they’re becoming the next Metallica, the next Iron Maiden. The next… a band that’s gonna go down in history.
A true big rock band. We haven’t had that in a long time.
JC: I know. That’s awesome. It’s so good how a true metal/rock act is getting to the point where it’s like, “You’re making this a mainstream thing. You’re becoming a household name.” And, that helped.. them doing that is helping every band that plays metal.
You’re playing Aftershock Festival in September in California and there are some big names on that tour like Korn and Megadeth. Who are you looking forward to hanging with most?
BB: Avenged Sevenfold are on that festival as well aren’t they? I’m looking forward to hanging with them because they’re such cool guys and we get on really well with them. Synyster Gates is actually my guitar teacher now, he makes videos and stuff for me so I can, y’know, learn how to play my instrument [laughs]. So I’m looking forward to that!