Full Metal Jackie spoke with Johnny Christ and he touched on Waking The Fallen: Resurrected, reviewing old footage for the DVD portion of the re-issue, how Avenged Sevenfold begin the ‘writing-new-material’ process and what non-musical aspect of touring makes him most appreciative to be on the road.
An anniversary edition is a great opportunity to do something really special for fans. What special edition albums from other bands are your favorites and what other ideas did they give you for ‘Waking the Fallen: Resurrected’?
JC: Usually I don’t really go back and listen to a lot of special edition ones. The Iron Maiden stuff they have done before, and I think that they have done it a couple of other times, where they do special edition stuff which is cool because they give you a little extra, you know and they are not trying to remaster it. I think those are some of the ideas that we went with.
You can definitely tell the record was made for the time that it was and on the budget that it was. ‘Waking the Fallen,’ I mean. We think that it is cool. It serves its purpose. It serves its time. We don’t want to remaster it or anything like that. To give extra stuff we have put on a few extra tracks of songs that were just a bunch of demoed out songs that eventually became ‘Waking the Fallen’ songs but there are parts in there where you hear four or five different songs in one song because we were just writing like crazy. Then we just had to go in and listen to them. We started to take apart those songs and make them into more concise songs to create ‘Waking the Fallen.’ There are even some riffs on there that we didn’t even use on ‘Waking the Fallen’ but we did use on ‘City of Evil.’ It is kind of wild.
Johnny, was it bittersweet reviewing old footage for the DVD portion of ‘Waking the Fallen: Resurrected’ and seeing The Rev?
JC: Yeah, you know, we all — it was a different time, so it was just fun to see everyone in that aspect and obviously anytime we see stuff with Jimmy it is just bittersweet. You know, little by little we get by a little better each time. It has been a while and things start to get a little easier as anyone who has lost someone very close to them knows that you still feel that way. But you find out that you can just celebrate it than let it hurt you, so it’s actually kind of nice to see The Rev all in black and still wearing makeup and everything like that because that was a time when we were still putting on the makeup and making sure that we were very serious and all in black and everything like that. Now, that just isn’t the case anymore. It is fun to look back and see that youthful time.
Filed under: Hail To The King: Deathbat, Interviews, M Shadows, Mayhem Festival 2014
M Shadows was interviewed by 93.3 WMMR’s Markus and he spoke about what bands on Mayhem he was excited to see live, what band(s) Avenged Sevenfold wanted on Mayhem Festival’s lineup, the biggest prankster in Avenged Sevenfold, what book he’s currently reading, Hail To The King: Deathbat, what he did on his time off before writing & recording Hail To The King, playing golf and his current handicap, show day routines, heading overseas in early-2015, Avenged Sevenfold’s stage production, giving back to their fans with a great live show, being excited about writing new music, writing ‘music’ on the road and more.
Filed under: Billboard, Interviews, Waking The Fallen / Waking The Fallen: Resurrected, Zacky Vengeance
Zacky Vengeance talked to Billboard about Avenged Sevenfold’s “Waking The Fallen: Resurrected” and getting inspiration to use for new material.
“Waking the Fallen truly encompasses everything that Avenged Sevenfold was at that time,” notes Vengeance. “It was us being fearless, us showing our roots in heavy metal, punk, rock ‘n’ roll and not being afraid to try everything under the sun when it comes to writing music. We had a real producer (Andrew Murdock). We wanted to take it to a different level rather than keep it in the garage. We really tried to make the album sound good. We tried to learn how to play our instruments better. We wanted to be professional. We learned that bands learn how to play in time and how to sing in key, and we had to work our ass off.”
It was also A7X’s first release with lead guitarist Synyster Gates, and Vengeance does remember locking horns with Murdock over his role in the group. “Me and him f—in’ nearly hated each other, ’cause I’m hard-headed and he was hard-headed,” Vengeance recalls. “I think he even tried to get me kicked out of the band at that point — the band I’d f—in’ started — ’cause producers could be f—in’ retards.”
“I think once we get home, the ideas are going to start brewing,” Vengeance predicts. “I know Syn’s been writing a ton purely for fun, trying different styles, recording backstage, keeping himself busy. I’ve been thinking of all sorts of ideas, listening to tons of different music to get inspiration — as have all of us. And being on tour, I’m so inspired. Seeing bands like Body Count with Ice-T out there, they’re so old-school and riff-based and over the top and slightly offensive and it’s f—in’ awesome. So there’s tons of inspiration that I know we’ll be drawing from.”
Meltdown from 101 WRIF talked with Synyster Gates about Mayhem Festival, Body Count, what he thinks about Zakk Wylde calling him the torchbearer for the new generation of guitarists, his top 5 favorite guitarists, blending eclectic elements into Avenged Sevenfold’s music, why he brings his Pro-Tools rig on tour with him, what the rig consists of, giving fans their money’s worth during live shows and more.
Filed under: Interviews, Music Festivals (USA), Revolver Magazine, Synyster Gates
Jose Mangin interviewed Synyster Gates backstage at Rock On The Range 2014 for Revolver Magazine. Gates talked about Rock On The Range, what bands he wanted to check out at the festival, do’s and don’ts of performing at the festival, Hail To The King’s success, what his extracurricular actives are and more.
Candy from Big Dog 106 interviewed M Shadows and he talked about playing the same venue in Idaho on Mayhem for the first time since 2001 on Warped Tour, Waking The Fallen: Resurrected, what ‘deep cut’ he would like to add to Avenged Sevenfold’s set list, Hail To The King: Deathbat, the “This Means War” music video, Avenged Sevenfold’s touring plans for the rest of the year, where they may be playing next year, the significance behind the plate he autographed at the Lafayette, LA stop of the Shepherd Of Fire Tour, some of the weirdest things he’s autographed and touring with Korn on Mayhem Festival.
Synyster Gates called into 99.9 KISW to speak with Jolene ahead of Mayhem Festival’s stop in Auburn, WA. He spoke about Waking The Fallen: Resurrected, playing Mayhem on his birthday, playing European festivals, the World Cup and more. You can find the photo round-up from Auburn, WA here.
Synyster Gates, M Shadows and Johnny Christ spoke to Riverside, CA’s Press Enterprise about recording ‘Hail To The King’ and “hopefully” becoming a band that stood ‘test of time.’
For Avenged Sevenfold, which includes singer M. Shadows, with bassist Johnny Christ, new drummer Arin Ilejay and guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance, the [Mayhem] festival is a coronation on the heels of 2013’s “Hail to the King,” a heavy, hard-hitting album that is the Huntington Beach band’s biggest-sounding release yet.
Gates and Shadows spent a lot of time at each other’s homes listening to a variety of rock music, going back to the basics and artists that many of their heroes list as influences. They broke down as many tracks as they could, and Gates recalls having lengthy philosophical discussions about AC/DC and the Rolling Stones.
The idea, they say, was to strip everything back and simplify, cut out much of the dueling guitars, the Queen-style backing vocals.
“It was exciting to get back in the saddle and reassure ourselves that we could still do it,” Gates says. “We had such a clear vision of what we wanted with this record, (more) than we had on any other record before.”
“It was just all so simple,” Shadows continues. “But if you add one bad riff or just one bad little note, it just destroys everything. Those guys (AC/DC and the Stones) are geniuses at what they do because most bands can’t contain themselves – they have to (mess) it up. So we did our best not to (mess) it up.”
“We’ve had some huge moments,” Gates says. “But we’ve always been on a steady, gentle, upward slope, and I think that keeps us grounded. There’s been no overnight success here and we haven’t dealt with a whole lot of hot and cold.”
“We’re lucky to have such great fans that have stood by us, let us be us and try new things,” Johnny Christ adds. “It’s a trip now that other bands are saying that they look up to us. In my mind I’m still 18 years old trying to emulate Pantera in my bedroom.
“But we’re starting to get to that ‘test of time’ area. Hopefully, we’ll get past that and become the band that stood the test of time. Right now we’re just cranking away while we still have youth in us.”
Arin Ilejay talked to Alton, IL’s The Telegraph about how it will be touring with alongside Korn on this Summer’s Mayhem Festival, the show they’ll be bringing to fans and their set list. Brian “Head” Welch (Korn) also spoke about being “guided” by Avenged Sevenfold.
“I really like the bands and really excited to tour with Korn,” said Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer Arin Ilejay during a recent interview with The Telegraph. “Since Soundwave Festival in Australia we got to know the guys. It’s really awesome. As a kid, listening to Korn, it’s like, ‘No way dude, I’m actually friends with these guys.’”
Yet Korn’s guitarist, Brian “Head” Welch, who left the band nearly 10 years ago in 2005, defers to Avenged Sevenfold as the mentors to today’s metal musicians.
“I think Avenged is guiding us now because they’re huge,” Welch said in a separate interview with The Telegraph. “It’s cool they got respect for us, now (we’re ) just one that influenced them and be looked up to like that. It encourages me to know we helped make them think, ‘Maybe I could do this thing for a living.’ So we don’t mentor, they’re going on their own and killing it.”
“We are bringing the craziest show, we’re bringing so much and blowing things up. This is definitely a city we’re looking forward to playing,” he said about St. Louis, where the festival takes place at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights, Mo. “We’re constantly driving from city to city now and in the U.S. right now. We’re touring a lot, so we’re already kind of on fire.”
Avenged Sevenfold has mainly been considered by music critics as heavy metal, hard rock and metalcore, which is a fusion of extreme metal and hardcore punk. They also are known for their album cover’s and T-shirt’s dramatic imagery. They have released six studio albums, one live album/compilation/DVD, and eighteen singles and sold more than 8 million albums worldwide.
“We’re constantly thinking, ‘What’s going to be best for this city?’,” Ilejay said about their body of work. “We don’t want to give exactly what we’ve performed in the past, especially now having this many albums to choose from. We know fans have to hear ‘Afterlife’ or ‘Critical Acclaim,’ and do our best to give them their desired stuff, but we will have a lot of ‘Hail to the King,’ especially live, it changes it, heightens it. The band put a lot of work into it. You see it come to life and lived out on stage.”
Nick Valdez of San Bernardino’s X1039 chatted with M Shadows about what draws Avenged Sevenfold to play festivals, Hail To The King’s ‘classic metal’ sound, Waking The Fallen: Resurrected, what bands he wants to check out at Mayhem Festival and his 4th of July plans.
Synyster Gates reflected on his first show with Avenged Sevenfold to Revolver telling the publication why he turned “bright orange-green like an Oompa Loompa.”
“I remember the first show,” he says. “I really wasn’t nervous at all. The worst part about the first show wasn’t nerves, it was the fact I was going to paint my face–like a Wes Borland thing with a weird painted face the whole time. I don’t know why, that is horrifying. But once my face was painted, I quickly realized, a shiver went up my spine, that this was a really bad idea. I tried to take the paint off, but I turned bright orange-green like an Oompa Loompa and we couldn’t get it off. But I went up there, and that was the only thing I was embarrassed about–an odd tone to my skin color. It was pretty ridiculous.”
Synyster Gates shared what his sweatiest concert ever was, one item he’ll carry with him all Summer, tips for winning over a crowd, advice for bands just starting to play live and more with Guitar World for their 2014 Summer Tour Survival Guide.
Your sweatiest concert ever?
Definitely the 2004 Warped Tour when we played in Arizona. I think it got up to 127 degrees, and I remember feeling like I was going to faint. Just god awful. So we drank a bunch of margaritas to keep us extremely sedated.
One item you will carry with you at all times this summer?
A ProTools rig strapped to my back, literally. It keeps me sane, writing a bunch of different stuff like classical stuff or any guitar stuff. I don’t like being locked in a cage on the creative scale. I need an outlet.
Tips for winning over a tough crowd?
You just have to be confident. Don’t give ’em anything to further their disapproval. Just go up there, rock out, and act like it’s a base of your fans. And don’t scream and yell at them.
Johnny Christ was interviewed at Graspop Metal Meeting 2014 and spoke a little about being one of the youngest Graspop Metal Meeting headliners, the difference between European and American festivals and the bands stage set for the show. There’s also a few glimpses of their performance included.
Arin Ilejay gave Rhythm Magazine a list of nine drummers that helped influence his style.
“One of the first big influences for me was Dave Weckl. His is the kind of stuff that I would just sit and listen to. I learned drums by just listening to music and playing what I heard. My dad turned me onto Dave Weckl and his playing was incredible. At the time I couldn’t pull any of it off, I don’t think I could even do any of it now to be honest. I haven’t listened to him as much lately because I’ve been focusing on different music, but he inspired me to want to be better.”
“The Mars Volta was a huge thing for me, guys like Jon Theodore and Thomas Pridgen are incredible guys. Thomas Pridgen has been huge for me recently. Jon Theodore had a huge influence on my style as well. He broadened my horizons when it comes to different techniques.
The Rev (Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan) was the person that got me into metal. There weren’t any metal drummers that drew me in until him. Jimmy’s parts are amazing so [on joining the band] being already a fan of Jimmy – he’s one of my favourite drummers – I wanted to do his parts right, you know? So I was like, “I’m going to do these parts right, this is what I’m good at, this is what I do.”
Filed under: Arin Ilejay, Hail To The King: Deathbat, Interviews, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, Johnny Christ, M Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance
“Well, for instance, Arin [Ilejay] really wanted a blade in each hand with a boomerang effect so that they would come back to him. We couldn’t do that, so we compromised and gave him a double-sided sword. Zacky [Vengeance] wanted a baseball bat—he throws rocks at people, and mashes them with a bat. Synyster Gates has a little demon that runs around with him—and when you use his magic powers, you hear one of his dive-bombs, which he recorded specially for it. Johnny [Christ] has the “Hell Sword,” which rains blood on people, and I [M Shadows] have “Shadows Sight,” which is like a black plume of smoke that you inhale in your lungs. We all did stupid voiceovers for it when we were a little inebriated. [Laughs] Also, with the blessing of his parents, we put The Rev in the game. Once you unlock his character, you can use him as your comrade to help you through the levels.”