M Shadows On New Avenged Sevenfold Album: “I Wanna Write A Classic Metal Record”
After talking to Metal Hammer about the potential direction of the new Avenged Sevenfold album last week, M Shadows has made some further comments on his hopes for the record in a new interview with Revolver magazine.
Check out some snippets below…
So, since you did this new song, have you been working on an album, too?
Ya know, the song we did, like I said, back in July. We’ve been working on the album since September, and this isn’t a dig at the direction of that song or anything, but I want people to understand that even if they like that song or if they don’t like it or whatever, the album is a completely different entity. We’re working in a direction that I really feel confident with. Ya know, this wasn’t a song for the album. It was more of a thing we did for fun for Call of Duty. The album has been getting worked on and we’ve been pretty quiet about it. I think that’s because we’re really trying to make this thing as good as possible without getting all these expectations and all sorts of people talking about “They said this or they said that.” All I can say is that I’m really, really happy with the album, and I’m really proud of it so far. I think we’re gonna start recording in January.
I know you don’t really want to talk about the direction yet, but how many songs have you written so far for it?
That’s a hard question to answer because songs come and go. There’s about six songs, whole song ideas that I’m 100% happy with. There’s a lot of other ideas and if those pieces find their place in other songs that could be… Let’s just put it this way, a million ideas and six solid songs.
What has it been like working with Arin on this album with writing?
It’s been good, man! It’s been cool. A lot of it’s been us refreshing him on what our influences are and where we’re coming from as a band. There’s a lot of things that he was never brought up on that we have to quickly get him acquired to such as Pantera and Metallica and Slayer and Megadeth and we’re introducing him to these records that were literally the biggest records when we were growing up. Just records that you have to know. He’s much younger and he grew up listening to Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine, ya know? So it’s a completely different generation and it makes me feel old to even talk about it. Right now, we’re handing him [Pantera's] Far Beyond Driven and [Metallica's] Master of Puppets and saying, “Learn these albums. You need to learn these things” because when we’re talking about “groove metal,” we’re not talking about some Warped Tour band. We’re talking about fucking Pantera! We’re talking about Black Sabbath, ya know? So we’re getting him acquired to that and I think he’s learning really quickly what we’re looking for. We’re not looking for an overly technically proficient drummer. We’re looking for a guy that knows how to fit the song and be in the groove and play the right thing in the right moment. It’s been cool. It’s been good. He’s been doing really, really well.
Have you seen him attach himself to one of these records? Is there one that he’s just going crazy over?
I think he was blown away by the simplicity of “The Black Album” and what Lars [Ulrich, Metallica drummer] does. How it’s just so catchy, but so simple. What Lars is doing in there, just even his snare hits, it’s almost music in itself because it’s as catchy as guitar riffs. You take a little bit of that and you take a little bit of what [Pantera drummer] Vinnie Paul is doing in his style of kick-drum patterns and all that stuff and the groove, that he’s not overplaying stuff, but when he does come out of his little pocket, it’s perfect. It’s things like that that you see he’s kind of reacting to. He gets it. But he hasn’t really acquired that because a lot of modern-age metal is a lot of double kick and a lot of aggressive, overplayed drums, and a lot of times they forget about the groove. We’re trying to get him on the plain of “Hey dude, we’re not trying to impress people with our playing abilities. We’re trying to write the best songs possible.” He’s getting there. I think that takes a lot of maturity especially for a guy his age. When we were his age, we just wanted to shred. So he’s doing well. He’s growing up fast.
It sounds like going back and revisiting these records has been rubbing off on you. It sounds like you’ve really been thinking about that stuff.
Totally, dude. I’m going back even further. This isn’t a dig at anyone who’s doing dubstep and shit, but people keep saying, “Do you think Avenged is gonna put that kind of stuff in their music?” It’s actually the exact opposite. We’re going back to Sabbath stuff. We’re looking at the blues chords they’re playing most of their stuff in. We’re listening to classical. We’re listening to Zeppelin. We’re kind of going backwards with what we want this record to feel like. Kind of old soul. All this new stuff, “Let’s put some techno beat in our bridge” is just completely what we don’t want to do.
That sounds good!
It’s crazy. You get all these fans that are like, “Do you think Avenged is gonna do this type of thing?” It’s like, Man, I wanna make music. I get it. It’s pump-up music. You wanna go to a club and dance. It’s fun. Some of it’s really good, but to me, I wanna write a classic metal record, a classic rock record in 2013. So that’s our goal.