Deathbat News

Johnny Christ, “[Avenged Sevenfold] Are Starting To Get To That ‘Test Of Time’ Area.”
July 3, 2014, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Interviews, Johnny Christ, M Shadows, Synyster Gates

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.”


8 Comments so far
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In my mind, Avenged Sevenfold is the Metallica of the modern day, and I don’t think they’ll lose that placement. Unfortunately, in today’s industry, it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll be able to have the massive record sales and have everyone in the world know their name. But A7X still has one hell of a dedicated following!

Comment by SynVanSambora

I do not believe they will stand the test of time. I see them heading downward after this point. They have not paid any dues or earned respect by long term type of fans and are nowhere near scale of Iron Maiden/Metallica/Slayer. Those bands have stood the test of time because they earned their place. Avenged Sevenfold had many eyes on them with Nightmare due to The Revs passing and then Hail To The King because it was their first album without him. Hail To The King is a 7 out of 10 album and decently solid with only a few mistakes…..tragic mistakes none the less. If the next album does not take a step in the correct direction(and at this point there is no way to say what that is from a fans point of view) and ends up sounding like another album trying to mimic legendary bands, I will be moving on as a fan. They have had a great run but they are starting to become a corny old rock band that I can no longer take serious. I’d like to see them still making great memorable albums in 10 or 20 years I just do not at this rate. I hope they find their way because they have a lot of talent compared to many bands of today.

I also do not know why Synyster said they have not had an over night success either. They had 2 albums out before they were signed to a major record label and debuting at number 1 on TRL. I guess that would not be considered an over night success for bands that struggle and make 6 albums before they finally can tour the world as headliners? Just my 2 cents…..


Comment by Darnell

I think if Avenged don’t “stand the test of time”, it’s because the youth/modern day rock/metal fans are too narrow minded and are rarely giving bands like Avenged the chance to pave the way for next “legendary” rock/metal bands.
Avenged have the potential to be the next legends of rock and carry on the legacy of rock/metal but they are just not being given the chance. And it’s not just Avenged, it’s other bands too.

Comment by Manna

You would be correct if Iron Maiden / Metallica / Slayer (and any other band) would have been perfect and never made a bad record. But they did. The difference between A7X and those guys is that A7X has been on a constant road to success and bettering themselves, instead of starting super high, going really low, and than up again. I don’t see A7X stopping anytime soon for haters, fans that only like the first two records, or people like you, who don’t believe in them.

Comment by Rad

Yes, they made terrible albums AFTER releasing The Black album, Powerslave, Reign In Blood, South Of Heaven?? There is a reason that people do not want to let go of those bands and that is because they have released A+ albums many times. Avenged Sevenfold has Hail To The King which is great and I may not believe they have it in them to move upward from here but that does not mean I am any less of a fan than you are. It means I am a fan who is opinionated and wants to see them push to be better. It is not about stopping for haters it is about standing the test of time. They have barely hit the 10 year mark in their career. These other bands are on 30 years or more now. That’s the real question is if Avenged Sevenfold will be able to last that long successfully and I do not see that happening. No need to mention haters or fans that like the first two records. I became a fan with City Of Evil and it is still one of my all time favorite albums to this day.


Comment by Darnell

You have to think, Avenged is headlining over Megadeth, Black Sabbath and every other band out there… except Metallica and Iron Maiden (will they even play a show without headlining?) Another thing, past Metallica’s first few albums their albums have been so-so, ranging from alright to terrible. Iron Maiden’s doing a little better, but honestly, I don’t think even 1/4th the crowd they pull in is there to listen to their new songs. Although Hail to the King is nothing special and rips off every band under the sun, people still love it and it’s still a good listen. Once Metallica and Iron Maiden are too old and have to retire, it’s all Avenged.

Comment by McGee

They do not headline over Sabbath. Just to correct your mistake there.

Comment by Darnell

Thought this guy said it great on your Facebook:

“…And Hail To The King was a record that needed to be done. The new wave of American Heavy Metal is going downhill with non-stop shredding and over complexation with no sense how to serve a song whatsoever. Hail To The King with it’s solid fucking songwriting is a nod to the glory days of heavy metal, where it was truly a force to be reckoned with, even beyond the boundaries of it’s own genre. Plus, I experienced Planets and Acid Rain hardly as unoriginal songs.

Avenged Sevenfold will continue to be there and they will pass the test of time with flying colors because they are one of the most influential bands in modern metal and rock, inspiring young people everywhere to pick up an instrument and forming their own group.”

Comment by Cal

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