Avenged Sevenfold: 'We Want to Blow Kids' Minds With Our Show'

"We have a whole new sense of purpose," says guitarist Zacky Vengeance.

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Discussing a massive stage set of their current concert trek, US metallers Avenged Sevenfold stressed the importance of delivering a mind-boggling performance and leaving the crowd in awe. Chatting with Metal Hammer, guitarist Zacky Vengeance admitted that there was a period for the five-piece when hitting the stage wasn't such a thrill. "There are times in the past when going onstage felt a bit of a chore," he said, "but now we have a whole new sense of purpose. Our time onstage is undeniably the most exciting two hours of our day." Zacky's fellow guitarist Synyster Gates chipped in, saying, "I hope we're not the Last of the Mohicans when it comes to putting on a big, crazy, over-the-top theatrical rock show. This is what we grew up on, with bands like Maiden and Metallica, and I really hope we're not the last of a dying breed. "We want to blow kids' minds just as we had our minds blown by massive shows when we were growing up," Gates added. "Metal should be spectacular and dramatic and thrilling. When kids invest their time and money in coming to see us, we owe it to them to give them the best night of their lives." The latest A7X studio effort, "Hail to the King," saw its release on August 27 through Warner Bros.

197 comments sorted by best / new / date

    WholeLottaIzzy
    Only saw the first line of the title on the main news page. Got an immature "ha" out of it.
    MetalRock4ever
    I read it like that, but was hoping that a7x wasn't going to be another band who was going down the wrong path, just like lostprophets' Watkins... Thank god for reading the entire article (or just the title) =)
    ScottStewart1
    I thought they were starting to wear their Lostprophets influence on their sleeves as well
    JimBell
    I got an immature ''ha'' out of it alright! Am I the only one who saw this.. reading the title between the two apostrophes it reads 'We want to blow kids' SURELY NOT ANOTHER IAN WATKINS ARTICLE???!!?
    hudsonstradlin
    oh, pipe down, children. I love A7X, but the way they talk about themselves makes me ashamed to be a fan.
    skidlz
    Especially given how bad Hail to the King is...it's like they should have released it as a tribute album and instead parade it around, babbling about how they're the last true metal band. After The Rev died, they wrote and released "Not Ready to Die" for CoD: Black Ops. That song, though obviously written for a video game, was the direction they SHOULD be going, rather than rehashing what other artists did 20-30 years ago.
    K33nbl4d3
    I tend to agree with your sentiment, at least. As much as I don't wish to oppose artists' choices of direction, A7X had a real identity before which they seem to have lost a significant part of with trying to be the next great metal band. They don't seem to realise that Maiden and Metallica were both successful for doing things which hadn't been done before, or at least, hadn't been done the way they did them.
    nor.omar.9
    Bands should be free to head into whatever direction they want. If they want to sound like 80s metal, let them sound like 80's metal. In my opinion though, Hail To The King sounded too forced and seemed pretty watered down compared to a lot of the 80's metal that i'm into anyway. I don't mind bands going in new directions as long as they can successfully pull it off.
    squirttilithurt
    I did not like the Black Ops song. HAIL is a good album, but I also think that A7X should stick to being A7X.
    Audible Warfare
    Well, what is A7X? What is there real sound? I think those are the questions they themselves are trying to figure out. I've always loved the band and every album they've ever written (yes, even Hail to the King) but hopefully with the next album they hone their style and unveil the true A7X, not the "next Metallica."
    ruipalmeira
    hail to the king is their worst album. by far the most balanced either technically and musically speaking is Nightmare, but they had a legendary drummer working with them (obviously, mike portnoy). It had great "fast", radio suited songs, and bigger more "progressive" songs.
    motleysixx666
    your a ****ing idiot for saying that. better than anything else any other bands put out in the last 5 years. why do they sell #1 albums? huh? go listen to your gay metalcore bullshit and leave metal to the big boys.
    Samhuinn
    I always thought that reporters kept bringing up the Metallica and Maiden comparison, and for a second thought that we perhaps were being a little harsh. Now I see that they themselves bring it up every opportunity they get, or create. Rather pathatic, I'd say.
    s7peterson
    These stories are all form ONE INTERVIEW! UG is just rehashing one interview for new stories almost every day
    whatzit.tooyah.
    I've seen their show, and Metallica's, and Maiden's. Honestly, I've seen a dozen metal bands that have better live shows than them. Pyro doesn't make up for your lack of stage presence.
    Reemy
    You wrote something very important there. I love these guys and I know they can be nice and awesome and totally hilarious, but for stage presence... meh. I haven't been to that many of their shows, but they always seemed kinda bored. (Matt is getting better though, talking to the crowd, asking us how we are etc.)
    morbidguitar
    Up until now I had no idea what an A7X is. Glad they wanna "blow kids minds" because that's about the only people who know or care about them by the sounds of it.
    Air_Stryker
    All of this. I'm actually going to see them at Wembley Arena tomorrow, but I have no idea if they're just gonna get there and play good music or let their ego's get the better of them and dick around... Last thing I want is another "METALLICAH FAMILYY" kind of bullsh*t.Or even worse they behave like the current G'n'R and don't turn up until I should be on my way home.
    leila.campbell.
    my neighbor's sister makes $87 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her check was $20633 just working on the laptop for a few hours. use this link..... WWW.FB49.COM
    Salvo416
    Uhhh really UG, we have enough articles about blowing kids for one week.
    -LAW-
    I work in a secondary school - considering Avenged Sevenfold is the most popular form of metal among the children, then yes. You will blow kids minds... Because that is the vast majority of your fanbase. Kid-metal.
    anguyen92
    Not like there's anything wrong with that as long as there's no lawsuits and all of that stuff.
    Izzy-Sweet
    Why should that be a negative thing? I don't expect kids to be listening to death/thrash or anything like that. Hell, I still don't, but A7X are a good entry level metal band.
    -LAW-
    I never said it was a negative thing - it does get kids into metal somewhat (if you can even describe Avenged as metal). In my eyes Avenged are simply another generic kid-pop-metal band; which is a genre to itself. That's all I was saying.
    EpsilonX
    Maybe lately they are, but Waking the Fallen and City of Evil are great no matter how old you are.
    Martialist
    Why does Avenged Sevenfold have to be generic? Because they are successful and people know who they are? Sorry that there is only about 134 people on this Earth that listen to your super death black metal. The heaviest stuff I listen to is Bring Me the Horizon's Crucify Me. Almost anything heavier has no melody and is annoying af to listen to. There's a reason why Avenged Sevenfold is successful. Stop being an elitist over people that listen to softer, more mainstreamed forms of metal.
    -LAW-
    Dude, if you love pop-metal that's cool. I prefer really heavy shit. There's nothing wrong with that; different preferences in art makes the world a more interesting place. Umm, so sorry if I offended thee - I'm not poking fun, I'm just stating my opinion. ...Super Death Black Metal? That's the best oxymoron I've heard all week.
    Second Rate
    Anything heavier than Bring Me The Horizon is not melodic? That has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever read (though I do see people spout it quite often). This stems from a rather simplistic notion that seems to persist among pop music fans that only the vocals can carry melody. Melody does exist in the more extreme reaches of Heavy Metal, but it is provided by the stringed instruments, rather than the vocals. A song like Emperor's "Thus Spake the Night Spirit" has just as much melody as anything Avenged Sevenfold have ever released. Just because it is tremolo picked at a high tempo doesn't make it less valid than M. Shadows' out of key caterwauling.
    TheExterminator
    "Why does Avenged Sevenfold have to be generic?" Because that's what they are. Has nothing to do with their success or how many people know them, and everything to do with the fact that they started out as a trendy Metalcore band the same time every other crappy trendy Metalcore band came out, and their latest album was "I don't know what Heavy Metal is, but I'm going to make it" Heavy Metal. The reason they're successful is because they jumped onto the flavour-of-the-decade trend and rolled with it. If this were the 80s, they'd have been a Glam band, if this were the 90s, they'd be Rap/Rock. Had they formed 5-10 years later than they had, they'd have made Deathcore. It's what trend bands do.
    scrymusic
    NIN has consistently put on great shows!! Tool has consistently put on great shows!! AX7....You're not a dying breed....lol
    BjarnedeGraaf
    Their live show I saw early november was this: - Big ass statue of their Bat-skull logo that spits fire and fireworks - Some interaction with the crowd. - Dedicating a song to the Rev - A bad guitar solo by Synyster and an OK solo of the new drummer- Pretty good performance live. - Good mix between old and new songs, although they left some good ones out like Beast and the Harlot to be honest, I saw an Airbourne show which was more spectacular, and they didnt use any fire(works)
    BuriedAlive7x
    you forgot this
    Plus once in a while they'll let a lucky fan come up and do a song with them ... their pick of any instrument.
    little_boy
    Seriously, what kind of name is "Synyster Gates"? Is the dude 12 years old?
    BuriedAlive7x
    What's wrong with having a stage name? He's had that since the very beginning, he was like 20 years old. The name "Syn" just stuck ... that goes for the other members to.
    sucubus
    'We Want to Blow Kids' Minds With Our Show' so they are adopting the Ian Watkins approach to rock shows.....too soon?
    Basti95
    I knew someone would. But yes, it's too soon.
    leony03
    Theres no too soon for a scumbag like Watkins. He deserves all the rapin' he will get in jail.
    link no1
    He deserves all the rapin'? Yea, I can't wait to hear his post jail rap career either.
    Malchius
    That would be rapping, with two ps. Raping is, as in he's going to get raped, multiple time.
    Kueller917
    Not really a big fan but if they want to put on a good show more power to them.
    Kavabangac
    Hate em or love em, most bands today could only learn from them about putting on a great live show.
    K33nbl4d3
    I do think their view of metal is quite limited if they think they're the only ones putting on a show, though. Many bands from across the spectrum do great live setups; I'd highlight most power and symphonic metal, as well as visual kei, as groups in which almost all the bands put on brilliant show, but of course every single genre and subgenre has examples of bands that do it.
    Dystopiaz
    Well they`re not one of them.
    K33nbl4d3
    That may be so or it may not; I haven't seen them. I just felt the statement "I hope we're not the Last of the Mohicans when it comes to putting on a big, crazy, over-the-top theatrical rock show." was a pretty ridiculous thing to say given the artists that are out there.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Especially consider the theatricality of a lot of Death Metal or Black Metal bands.
    thebigredjj10
    Also Rammstein. I don't care whether a person likes their music or not, not many shows are bigger than theirs.
    _tim*
    to be more precise, they want to blow kids' minds, and when i went to their show, i saw 15 years old girls passing out. So they reached their goal
    iommi600
    Well, apparently I wasn't the only one to read "blow kids" at first glance. Glad to know I'm not a sick ****. That being said, dear Synyster Gates: your band is bad and you should feel bad.
    Mr Winters
    Well I've seen them live and they're actually pretty good. That was before Hail To The King though, I wouldn't pay to hear that album live. Boring as fuck . But seriously UG just stop. This is getting old.
    phidias13
    Before making an awesome show, Z Vengeance should train first his stage presence, i saw them in Paris (20th November) he is totally absent, disconnected sometimes i felt he was bored to be on stage. Not to mention, they didn't use pyro that night because of an incident earlier in the day.
    TomWhaley
    Saw them twice this year and both times everybody on stage looked so bored. Gates was absolutely painful to watch. It's probably because 75% of their setlist has been the same ever since the self-titled came out. I'm getting bored as a fan. No matter how much pyro you throw in there, I'm still never excited to hear songs like "Welcome to the Family" live.
    eddiedeathnino
    Really? Welcome to the Family is actually one of their best songs in my opinion. I'm seeing them on tuesday and I'm hoping they play it. I'm also really hoping it's a good show because Gates was the guitarist that really got me into the instrument but after reading these comments, I'm thinking I'm going to be let down.
    TomWhaley
    No, the show is still absolutely great! It's just like, for me, after seeing them live for a decade, their energy is just way down compared to the "Waking the Fallen" "City of Evil" and self-titled days. I'd still definitely go to the show. You'll have a great time! You won't be let down
    jonathanb2
    That's true. I love Avenged Sevenfold, but Zacky and Gates always look sooo bored onstage.
    HDI
    They have the stupidest stage names.
    _tim*
    Who cares ? And do you honestly think that the stage name "Rob Zombie" is better than "Matt Shadows" ? I don't listen to their names, i listen to their music
    HDI
    Yes, I do think Rob Zombie sounds better than Matt Shadows and Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates.
    HDI
    And I didn't say anything about their music, I said they have stupid stage names.
    hatton93
    You don't need fancy lights and props to make a good show, obviously if those things are combined with good, energetic live performances it can be mind blowing, but if you need those things to hide behind, you're obviously doing something wrong Proof you can make a decent Metal show with just a banner and some bog standard lights nowadays right here
    jordanmaiers
    Isn't this the same Metal Hammer interview that the last like 6 a7x UG articles have been from? C'mon man!
    squirttilithurt
    I think all bands need to learn to not make any statements so ULTIMATE GUITAR won't rephrase statements to create drama. I saw A7X a few months ago and it was definitely one of the best shows I've EVER been to. My friends agreed. None of us went to the show expecting it to stack up to Metallica, but A7X delivered. I highly recommend seeing them this tour. There is nothing wrong with a band talking and being positive about themselves. Athletes do it all the time. It's part of the mentality that removes anxiety and focuses the mind to produce results.
    iammclovin
    I like A7X but to say that when Rammstein is still setting everything on fire is just silly.
    connor494
    sick of seeing daily articles about how awesome they think they are, yes they can make good music but they are so far up their own ass !
    stephen28
    whats with children in rock bands calling their fans kids? comes across as a little condescending.....nice that they want to put on good shows though
    sarcasm6391
    I don't think there's ever been an a7x article on here that hasn't in someway mentioned "like metallica and iron maiden".
    Irwin Navarro
    Gotta have respect for A7X... I dunno why many are hating on them for wanting to be like Metallica since it really shows musical growth. Look at what A7X has gone through. 1) They first started out as this "br00tal" metalcore band. (STST and WTF) 2) Decided to mix rock and metal with other genres ( COE and Self titled) 3) Lost a brother, almost disbanded and still soldiered on by making new music (Nightmare) 4) And lastly, they now want to follow the all time greats such as Maiden, Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth, and GNR. And they won many awards throughout the course of their careers. If that doesnt define musical growth, I dont know what does. It could have been worse, they could have been stuck with the "br00tal metalcore" phase they were in.
    ruipalmeira
    sorry, ever heard of Parkway Drive, i REALLY like their stuff, they seem to do brutal shows, although they don't tour around that much. that's metalcore, btw. and awesome, btw.
    sucubus
    people hate them because they suck. they are the pinnacle of over-rated mediocrity.
    Kakophony
    Hey man this is not a fight worth fighting here, the Napoleon Complex of everyone on UG and the fact that A7X are successful means that they will never be appreciated
    HDI
    I have no problem with A7X, but how is wanting to be like another band showing musical growth?
    Thrice Capades
    The masses disagree. But you're absolutely right. Especially number 3. You gotta give 'em credit for pushing forward.
    MitchHarpring
    HA! You're getting voted down because you showed empathy for a band losing one of its members! Only on UG...
    crazysam23_Atax
    Just because they won awards and changed their sound doesn't mean their musical growth is in always in a positive direction. Their last 2 albums were NOT examples of musical growth in a positive direction.
    iljh
    Anyone can say what they want, but they definitely bring a show to their live setting that not many bands do nowadays. Especially bands in the last 10 years.
    ruipalmeira
    do you know rammstein? they put out a hell of a show, and i don't understand shit of what they're singing.
    haifisch234
    Is it just me or are they some sort of posers? All those "messages" they deliver are a little childish.
    Irwin Navarro
    To the people who are hating on A7X, may I remind you that Mike Portnoy, which is one of the most respected names in metal actually wanted to become part of this band
    danf183
    I went to an a7x last month, and it was just normal, nothing special! sorry the bad english
    MitchHarpring
    Kids? Well...that's your problem. How about you don't cater to kids and you do something people your own age might not make fun of you for?
    christianonbass
    I am totally OK with crazy lights, pyrotechnics, all of that stuff, but a truly great show starts with the energy created by the band and their music. That gets the crowd into it, which keeps the band into it. A bunch of choreographed special effects, by themselves, will not make a mediocre concert great. A good example of great band energy was Pantera around 96. Whoa, I cannot remember their lighting. It was good I'm sure, but they freakin' rocked! Explosions or hot dancing girls would have added zilch...not needed
    joshuainsole93
    I've been a fan for about a decade, and whilst the quality of their releases has been declining since CoE, I've booked to see them live and I am bloody excited. Hopefully they live up to this statement.
    codyjt5150
    Hail to the king is like eating Metallica's shit, puking it out and serving it to other people.
    Guitar.Player14
    What do they mean by metal is dying? Yes metal in the 80s and 70s is a lot different than todays Metal but thats just music involving. Its different every decade or so, who cares thats just music being different. They think their so special.
    PiercedBand
    Agreed!! But the bands from the 80s have evolved also. I prefer 90s though. So why do they think they're special?!
    cfhdomination
    Tomorrow's headline: Avenged Sevenfold: "did we mention we're big Metallica and Iron Maiden fans?"
    rkdodz
    Sincerely, the first thing that came to my mind was: "wow, they must be friends of Ian Watkins" I know it's too soon.
    3d1n
    These guys just need to keep it shut..I did not mind these guys but with all these statements it makes me dislike them more and more..at one point you found performing live to be a chore???seriously!?