Avenged Sevenfold Aiming to Start New Album Recording This Year: 'There's Tons of Inspiration'

Guitarist Zacky Vengeance also talks the importance of "Waking the Fallen" in great detail, more inside.

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Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Zacky Vengeance has confirmed that the band will buckle up and start writing new material as soon as the upcoming Japan dates are wrapped up.

Chatting with Billboard, Zacky noted, "I think once we get home, the ideas are going to start brewing. I know Syn [Gates'] 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--kin' awesome. So there's tons of inspiration that I know we'll be drawing from," he concluded.

During the rest of the interview, the guitarist focused on "Waking the Fallen" deluxe re-issue titled "Waking the Fallen: Resurrected." Dropping 11 years after the original release, the record is set to be unleashed as a two-CD/DVD set on August 26.

Explaining how the group had initially planned to mark the 10th anniversary, but figured that quality matters more than precise timing, Vengeance focused on the album and its importance, saying, "'Waking the Fallen truly encompasses everything that Avenged Sevenfold was at that time.

"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 a-- off."

The album also marked Synyster Gates' debut with the band, and as Zacky remembers it, there was a lot of clashing going on with the producer. "Me and him f--kin' nearly hated each other, 'cause I'm hard-headed and he was hard-headed," the guitarist recalled. "I think he even tried to get me kicked out of the band at that point - the band I'd f--kin' started - 'cause producers could be f--kin' retards."

Rounding up the story, the guitarist explained how A7X were always aware of the "big purpose" they believe they had in the rock world from day one. "Even when we were at that point when we had very few fans, we never felt like a small band. We always felt like we had a big purpose. When we wrote 'Waking the Fallen,' it was important. Listening back to it now, it's really not the best-produced album, but at the time, we were involved in every aspect of it and we were so proud of it," he concluded.

The group's current set of scheduled dates stretches across mid-August and two Summer Sonic shows in Japan, meaning that the initial writing sessions for the new album might kick off in the very near future. Tour details and ticket info here.

111 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MrWeatherHead
    Hate me if you want but every Avenged Sevenfold album has had a completely different style so whatever comes next I'm honestly really interested to hear what direction it will be.
    link no1
    It will be a Progressive Blackened Technical Death Metal album and the entire of UG will announce them as their God.
    Random9000
    This is exactly what causes the issue they are having with some fans though. Fans like me for example, I absolutely love Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, Waking the Fallen is one of my favorite albums of all time, and when it came out I about worshiped City of Evil. But I compare A7X to KoRn in a lot of ways. Each album had subtle or not so subtle changes and eventually that change just doesn't work anymore. Granted that's my opinion. I personally cannot stand A7X post City of Evil, but that's just me.
    ebmusicman16
    It will be interesting to hear what it sounds like, normally there is a large gap between the release of albums but A7X seem to be getting back into the groove of things now
    Chris_Helheim
    All this hate is so childish,I mean at least be creative...the time it takes to talk shit about a band you don't like can be used as time in which you'll discover a band you like so instead of spreading hate expand the boundaries of what you love...Oprah moment,I know...but I'm really interested to see what they'll come up with next...I'm not a fan of their last album but maybe they'll surprise us with this one.
    imspazzen
    I'm not an A7X fan by any means, but I don't see why they get the hate they do. The only thing that should be hated on is their singers' awful hair.
    HomicidalFetus
    i personally feel they're overrated. Not hating just my opinion but they don't deserve to be hated on. Im not a A7X fan but i don't seek out to bash they're music and say that they're not metal and they suck. Everyone to their own taste. And i don't understand why people get made about This Means War. Ya it kinda sounds like Sad But True but theirs no need to be angry. I was angry about the riff they stole in Unholy Confessions but i wasn't mad for that long and i let it go. Everyone else should do the same for This Means War. Get over it
    imspazzen
    This isn't directed at you, but whenever someone actually hates a band because they're "overrated" then they're really letting other people's opinions base their own. I could go on a whole rant about this but really, in the age of the internet, you can put on blinders to pretty much everything and focus on what you like. In that respect, I find it hard to see why anyone would let it affect them. This article is the first I've heard of A7X since the Mike Portnoy stuff because I'm not particularly interested in the band. I don't click on something I don't like just so I can let some childish disdain build up; I just don't understand that mindset. I listened to "This Means War" and it hardly resembles "Sad But True". I think it's fine considering the album was supposedly paying tributes to the greats. Dream Theater practically copied "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" in their song "Trial of Tears" but I've never heard anyone complain about it. A7X have just found themselves in a state of popularity where people are going to criticize them on every detail. Like my hatred towards the singer's hair lol
    Potato1029
    Hopefully A7x find their sound again on this album. I feel like there last release was them trying too hard to be something their not.
    siamesedream777
    Not really a big fan after City of Evil, but still having a lot of respect for these guys musicianship. Keep rocking!
    guitarpro15
    City of Evil was such a great album. I wonder if a City of Evil II would ever surface. The sound they captured on that album was insanely good.
    Sixxstarr
    I feel like the only person that doesn't care if they ripped off metallica...it wasn't even the best song on the album lol I hope to see some more stuff like the self titled album.
    F I C T I O N
    Avenged Sevenfold is the band that introduced me to metal. It would be absolutely amazing if they came back with an album similar to Waking the Fallen or City of Evil. Those two are classics and easily two of my favorite albums. Nightmare was okay, and I can totally understand the inspiration for that album. But, Hail to the King was royally awful. I think that part of it was the absence of The Rev. The drums were so uninspired! Here's to hoping for the best on the next album!
    archangels
    I really hope they go back to experimenting like they did on their self-titled instead of making another Hail to the King.
    jfreund
    1 If you don't like them don't listen to them. 2 Their Album hit gold today so more people must agree with me. They are a great band. So you just keep listening to your pop music crap And the rest of us will keep cranking AVENGED SEVEN FOLD. Hail to the F***ing King
    qrEE
    1 I don't listen to them. 2 Gold means they sold 500,000 records. 500,000 records out of what, 7 billion people? And just 300 million in the US, I dunno I'm pretty sure more people don't agree with you than do. 3 Really my last point is irrelevant because popularity is irrelevant to quality. I think they're terrible and like I said, I don't listen to them because they're terrible. 4 When did anyone say that disliking A7X meant you automatically like pop music? I think I prefer pop over A7X but I don't really listen to either.
    TomWhaley
    500,000 records in an age where digital is king and selling 21k in their first week gets you #1 on the Billboard 200... This isn't the 90's anymore where every record sells 1,000,000 copies in the first ten minutes.
    metalmaniac90
    "They sound just like Metallica." Funny story, Metallica used to get told they sounded like Motorhead. Obviously thats bullshit, and so is "they sound like Metallica." So how about you insecure elitist ****s, spend more time building up your favorite band, instead of trying to tear one you don't like down?
    mop10893
    All I have ever seen throughout their career is people shitting all over them any chance they get. Now they release their worst effort since their debut, and all of the sudden most people are defending them. What the ****? I'm a huge fan of A7X and I almost had to hide it because I didn't want to deal with ignorant people telling me I had bad taste in music. Now all of the sudden everyone likes them?
    goon316
    Big Avenged fan but I rarely listen to Hail, and when I do it's usually only Coming Home and maybe another song before I get bored and switch out cds. Really hoping they bring it with this next album, and actually let the new guy write some drum parts that aren't boring as hell.
    jaypelzer
    Waking The Fallen was a killer album. Everything else is very... meh.
    guitarpro15
    City of Evil was their Dark Side for me. Such a powerful album.
    TomWhaley
    "Waking the Fallen" and "City of Evil" are the two highlights of their musical career, in my opinion. Self-titled on has been kind of boring.
    the_bi99man
    Agreed. Waking the Fallen and City of Evil were both straight up masterpieces, with distinctive and unique sounds. Especially City of Evil. Nobody else sounds like that, and it was such a perfect fit for their whole image and band name and stuff like that too. It was the definitive Avenged Sevenfold for me.
    sideslick
    I liked the experimentation with the self-titled album. The orchestration and the craziness was pretty great. A Little Piece of Heaven will always be my favorite A7X song.
    MaidenisGOD89
    Hate me all you want, but I just cannot stand this band.
    Nuclearcrayon
    Done worry man, it's your opinion But you can't deny they're doing a great job of getting young people into Metal! They deserve credit for that at least!
    Renegade24
    Looking forward to the new album. Hopefully it isn't as lam as HTTK was. I was thoroughly unimpressed with the album and felt it was a total step backwards for the band. Nightmare wasn't as good as self-titled but at least it felt like a step to the side rather than a palpable step back. Hopefully A7X wins me back. I used to be a huge fan and now I'm meh on them.
    Jimjambanx
    I think they should revisit their old waken the fallen sound (music wise, not necessarily vocal wise), they've done a lot of more radio friendly stuff as of late, but I think they pulled off that old sound better.
    TomWhaley
    There is absolutely NO way they're starting a new album this year... Gates has been writing on the road for mainly himself, and maybe some of that will translate to the new record, but I highly doubt that writing a new record this year is even close to a priority for them. It's incredibly out of character for this band. They're probably only halfway done touring "Hail to the King."
    Sixxstarr
    Yes, because you know of everything they do and no band has ever written for an album without announcing it
    sideslick
    I just want them to let Arin actually drum. The drums in HttK were weak. Arin is so much better than that. He can play those older tunes like no one else. I personally think he is even better than Portnoy, in some respects. They need to stop restricting Arin for the Rev's sake. Don't get me wrong, the Rev was a brilliant drummer and writer, and a great person, but Arin has so much potential, and it seems that A7X is scared that the Rev will be forgotten if he reaches it.
    MeepMan
    They only had Arin hold back on the drums for HTTK because they were after the whole stripped back, simplified drum sound,(Pantera/Metallica style). I'm sure he'll play some more technical beats in future.
    the_bi99man
    I certainly do hope so. As I said earlier in this comment section, Hail has actually grown on me a lot, but I do agree that the drums are a serious low point. Just way too many songs and riffs with the exact same down-tempo two-step. Even Metallica and Pantera spiced it up more than that. Especially Pantera.
    cyclonus
    You planning on ripping off artists other than Metallica this time then?
    acdcfan34
    It was one riff. Chill out.
    cyclonus
    More like a whole song
    TomWhaley
    Alright... One song out of six albums doesn't label the entire band as "rip offs." Christ. People take this way too far. When it comes to Avenged, petty metal kids somehow get even more petty. Didn't think it was possible.
    Nuclearcrayon
    No, it was one riff. The pre-chorus and chorus don't sound like "Sad But True" at all really. Plus the lyrics are actually quite profound. And besides Slayer did the same thing. "Implode" ripped off a riff from "Damage Inc". I don't see half as many people complaining about that.
    cyclonus
    The structure was virtually identical
    D4CE
    The structure of 90% of all popular songs are the same..
    prssecustum
    not to burst your bubble dude, but are you saying by using a basic verse, pre chorus, chorus, verse, pre chorus, chorus structure is blatantly ripping off metallica? Many artists no matter what genre it is use that structure, your point is invalid. Yes, the tempo and main riff sound a lot like sad but true, but since this is a guitar sight first and foremost..... the two songs are in two different tunings technically. This means war is in Drop D (D A D G B E) and Sad but True is in standard D (D G C F A D), and while the key of the songs are the same, they are different. The tempo is similar, but omg, a band is using a slow, driving tempo and using a heavy riff over it, how dare they. The one riff is similar, argument over with.
    Izzy-Sweet
    So... what you're saying is that two bands of a similar music genre released songs with similar musical structures? You've clearly got a great argument for your case.
    flameguitarcody
    Better go listen to the album again there are all sorts of songs rehashed and stolen from other bands than metallica, and lyrics profound really? that alone makes me question you as a troll lol. The reason people are not pissed at slayer is because A. Slayer didn't make their fame off the song, B. They did not do an entire cover album and pass it off as their own work. C. they did not make millions off stolen material because the children of today aren't old enough to know the music that was stolen.
    spikewolf123
    You got more ideas? I didn't know Metallica released a new album.
    VíctorG
    You know, that's getting kind of old now. One riff from one song.
    telephonebear
    its more than just the riff to be honest, the entire structure of the song seems very similar. but even so it was just the one song and the joke is old.
    the_bi99man
    Yeah, it really is more than just the riff. It's the song. The way the sections flow into each other, the rhythm, the vocal phrasing... you could play the songs on top of each other and they'd fit. As for the album, it's grown on me since I gave it another few listens recently, after being less than stoked when it first came out. I really like a lot of it, actually. Especially Requiem. That song is tits. I even really like This Means War. But I can't separate it from Sad but True. The similarities go far beyond that one riff, and anyone who doesn't understand that obviously isn't paying attention, or isn't familiar enough with both songs.
    Artturi
    The latest A7X album has sounds modelled in a very very Metallica-ish way....
    archangels
    No, it wasn't just one riff from one song. The whole Hail to the King album sounds like they were actively trying to sound like Metallica. You can defend that all you want, and they are free to make whatever they want, but when they went the experimental route on their self-titled (which included an 8-minute orchestral metal song that actually got radio play), then release Hail to the King, it appears to fans as if they got lazy and just tried to rip off a sound that everyone has already heard a hundred times before. I know they're huge fans of Metallica and all of A7x's music is influenced by them, but to me Hail to the King as a whole was a huge step backwards musically for the band and stylistically sounds like a rip-off instead of coming across as unique sound that was merely influenced by Metallica and similar artists.
    zeroceid
    I love 'A Little Piece Of Heaven' - such a cool song and at the time the kind of creativity I had hoped they would continue on with. I agree that H2TK was a massive step backwards after they had begun to find a distinctive sound.
    Johnsny
    I think you are seeing the effect of what losing the Rev had on their musical direction. I believe he had a huge hand in their experimental route like "A Little Piece of Heaven." similar to Metallica losing Cliff.
    the_bi99man
    Yeah, the Rev was definitely the one doing most of the pushing for that kind of wild stuff. Listen to Pinkly Smooth. It's kind of crappy, but it shows just what level of ridiculousness the Rev was into.
    TomWhaley
    Dude Pinkly Smooth is AWESOME! But yeah, it totally shows their more experimental, Mr. Bungle influenced side. Gates often cites the Mr. Bungle self-titled as his all time favorite record. I'd love to see that show a little more... It's time for them to make something exciting again.
    Himynameisben95
    Which riff btw? I always thought the end of Buried Alive sounded a lot like Metallica, mainly vocal-wise. But which riff is it you're referring to?
    VíctorG
    The verse riff from This Means War, it sounds almost exactly like Sad But True, and everyone's freaking out as if it was the first time a band borrowed a riff from another band.
    Izzy-Sweet
    Hallelujah, someone said it! Besides, the album's clearly an homage to their favourite artists, it's called "Hail To The King" for crying out loud.
    sideslick
    I think the major culprit is the vocals during the verse for This Means War. The melody is identical, up until the pre-chorus.
    nicholasbush
    Peope seem to overlook the fact that the whole Hail to the King album is basically an homage to their favourite bands. Doing Time sounds very much like It's So Easy by GnR, and Heretic sounds similar to Symphony of Destruction. They were these guys favourite bands, I'm not really sure why people are losing it over them borrowing stuff. Besides, I'd say it's preferable to a straight up cover album.
    Regression
    i think it's pathetic how much people will defend them for this. i think it says a lot about you as a musician if you think plagiarism is acceptable. the song is at roughly the same tempo, they're in the same key. the opening riff is very reminiscent of Sad But True. They copy that part where it goes silent before the main riff comes in. the way the main riff transitions into the verse section is similar. the verses are also very similar stylistically, with similar vocal phrasing, nearly identical drums and the open string chugging in the back. if you deny that they plagiarised this song you're clearly in denial or simply have very limited musical knowledge. im aware stylistic similarities are always bound to crop up in songs, but this is more than that. its a shame considering that a7x had found a unique sound with COE and self titled. ive lost a lot of respect for them now.
    VíctorG
    I'm not saying they didn't copy Sad But True (I'd rather use the term influence though), I'm saying that this has happened in the past a lot of times and no one really cared. A7X does it in a song and see what happens. What about Requiem? Planets? I know they're capable of much more than HTTK, but maybe they took this direction as a homage to the bands they grew up to, and it would be a dumb move to 'plagiarize' them at this stage. That's just my thoughts.
    Regression
    using the term influence is too flattering. think of the thousands of bands metallica have influenced, and most of them don't plagiarize Metallica songs. if it's an influence you take small stylistic elements, not whole sections of songs. people called trivium metallica rip offs, and even they didnt copy songs like this. yes this has happened before, and it was just as bad then as it is now. a7x deserve all the criticism they get for that song, and any other band who plagiarizes deserves the same. bands should own up to it and apologize. a7x sound better when they're not ripping off other bands anyway.
    KroniX
    Shepherd of Fire sounds very very similar to Enter Sandman. The whole album is modelled of Metallica's Black album, its a bloody disgrace mate!
    flameguitarcody
    lol you're stupid as hell if you think it was only one song that whole album is full of rehashed stolen material. With that kind of musical ear are you sure you're on the right site?
    matteo cubano
    You think they're bad you should read about this band Led Zeppelin who borrowed all sorts of elements of other people's music for a lot of their hits. God forbid people take something great and try to rework it and make it their own.Li this dude Stevie Ray Vaughn, guy stole ke
    matteo cubano
    Like this dude Stevie Ray Vaughn, guy stole licks from a million people in all his solos and acted like it was nothing. How unoriginal.
    biff022
    They've been around for so long, but I can't get over how flat out stupid their stage names are. Dorks.
    noodles07
    Yes! Their stagenames should be less flat and not stupid. How about biff022? For everyone? It would be awsome!
    TomWhaley
    Kinda was hoping that they would ditch the stage names after The Rev passed... Especially since they have no intention of giving Arin one. I think it would be a huge step up if they released an album and billed themselves using their real names. Saying "Synyster Gates" out loud was way cooler 10 years ago... haha
    Anjohl
    But Metallica haven't put out an album that they can rip off songs from...
    TomWhaley
    Because Metallica has only put out two shitty records in the last 16 years...
    crazysam23_Atax
    Ripoff album 2.0. This time, featuring more GNR style leads, more '90s Metallica riffs, and even less inspiration!
    Firewind Raging
    I thought they were really on a roll with City of Evil through to Nightmare, but HttK is just missing something for me. I guess it sounds so much like their influences that it barely sounds like an A7X album. Hopefully for the next record they don't try to write a new Black Album, they try to write a new A7X album.
    Manovvar
    i'm guessing that playdude has been their "inspiration" from the start?
    KingKrisKhan
    The people here defending them after ripping of a song or a riff is insane.
    TomWhaley
    How about the people here bitching about it instead? One song out of six whole albums... what a crime.
    qrEE
    Two songs. Let's not forget that Unholy Confessions stole the riff from Death.
    the_bi99man
    Wait, I'm actually curious what you're talking about. Death is among my all time favorite bands, and I love Unholy Confessions, too. Which riff?
    the_bi99man
    I just found the riffs in question. Unholy Confessions intro and one of the many riffs in Spirit Crusher. It's definitely close. Not exact, but very close. Closer than the This Means War and Sad but True riffs. But I still say This Means War is a worse case, because it wasn't really that riff that made it seem like a copy. If that riff was all there was, nobody would have even noticed the similarity. It's the fact that the flow of the verse into the pre-chorus and into the chorus is exactly the same, with nearly the same vocal phrasing.
    victor420
    its funny how everyone was bashing "Hail To The King" a few months ago, and you guys are all defending it. I'm not a fan of it myself but thats because I think A7X is terrible. Not just that album, "Bat Country" or whatever was a terrible song too. So quit bashing them for the Metallica thing because that is old but quit defending them, when a whole lot of you were condemning that album as bad. i wonder how long it'll take before Lulu gets thrown back in the mix for being good.
    gnarlax
    god i hope they switch up the drum rhythms this time. the last album sucked and totally lacked double bass drum. their new drummer isn't as creative as the REV was.
    mop10893
    They told him to scale it back because technical drumming didn't fit the songs they were writing. I hope the next album allows Arin to let loose because he's extremely talented behind the kit. Not Ready To Die, while not being a creative and technical masterpiece in terms of drums, showed he is capable of writing interesting drum parts. The drums in the pre-chorus come to mind.