Avenged Sevenfold Guitarist on New Record: 'It Blasts Your F--king Head Off'

"I think our songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds," says Synyster Gates.

Avenged Sevenfold Guitarist on New Record: 'It Blasts Your F--king Head Off'
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Avenged Sevenfold axeman Synyster Gates seemed rather excited as he recently discussed the upcoming album "Hail to the King," calling it the band's "biggest record by f--king far." During a chat with Revolver, Gates also talked about drummer Arin Ilejay's studio debut with A7X, saying that he tore the group "a new a--hole." "I think our songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds," he said. "Sonically, this record is our biggest record by fucking far. When you turn this fucking thing on, it blasts your fucking head off." When asked about the drummer's input, Gates commented: "He came in f--king hot and tore us a new a--hole. It was really, really cool. He has impeccable groove, which we've always known. But what I don't think we knew is his proclivity for taste. He is one of the most tasteful drummers I've ever heard in my life. He's got that caveman, f--king barbaric huge groove philosophy that we were trying to go for on this record. He really got it in his heart and soul." But Ilejay's playing wasn't impeccable from day one, as he initially had a few issues with fitting in. However, those proved to be nothing more but small bumps on the road. "On the first day of recording, I think everybody was getting to him, so he started overplaying and trying to show his stuff a little bit more," Gates said. "And we said, 'Dude, you've just got to lay back and do what we've been talking about for the last f--king nine months.'" The guitarist confessed thinking about writing the drum parts with M. Shadows at first, but added that on the second recording day, everything had changed. "We thought that we maybe were going to have to arrange all of these songs, especially on day one. But when he came in on day two, it was just so refreshing. Everybody had goose bumps and we were just looking at each other like, 'Holy s--t, this kid's a monster.'" As a follow-up to their 2010 chart-topper "Nightmare," "Hail to the King" is set to drop on August via Warner Bros. Records as the sixth studio effort in the group's catalogue.

126 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Braykah
    Wow, this writer has to be really fuc king confused with the f--king censoring.
    cemerson2012
    Lets edit it in the first paragraph, but not the second, then edit it again in the third... so much for censorship
    jordo246
    So Kim Kardashian is a better person than anyone here?
    sideslick
    Why is this still funny when the previous comment was deleted? I have no idea what you're replying to, but you still win!
    DimeBatteryDrrl
    people love to give this band a bad rep. these guys are incredible musicians and make some great stuff.
    Himynameisben95
    Everyone I know loves A7X (including me) but we always kind of joked that listening to them made us feel like 15 year old girls. I was disappointed when I saw all these people being so negative on the web.
    jonathanb2
    Well said. I'm stoked for this album and I'm ready to have my f--king head blasted off.
    thf24
    Definitely incredible musicians, no doubt. I've never quite been able to get into them though. It just seems like what they're trying to do just doesn't fit together right a lot of the time, and the vocals get on my nerves.
    BwareDWare94
    False. That was the easiest True or False question I've ever seen . On a more serious note, they're not bad, but they're not a band that should be worshiped, imo. They're good, but those who listen to other metal of this time period, be it other American bands or bands from overseas, know that they aren't a top metal band of their time. Are they probably the most popular? Yeah, but I'll keep listening to stuff like Dark Tranquillity and Heaven Shall Burn and be happy. As far as American stuff goes, I'll stick with Job For a Cowboy (their newer material, ala Ruination and Demonocracy) over bands like Avenged.
    sideslick
    Something with this exact same message has been gold for last few A7X articles... I'm gonna do it next time!
    biff022
    Edited for truth content... "people love to give this band a bad rep. these guys are incredible musicians and make some great"... tweenwave. This guys can sure play, but they have no taste. Grohl said something like "the guitar players are total shredders but their songs suck"... I have to agree. It's like if you never heard Metallica before you'd think this band was heavy. Their stuff is just so hackneyed and overdone... one of the most derivative bands out there. Lame.
    brndnstffrd
    Let me guess, the only reason that you agree with this is because Dave Grohl said it
    cheesyp00fs
    I'm just hoping for another City of Evil, that's all.
    jordo246
    Yeah let's hope the band loose any progress they've made in the last 8 years
    henrihell
    Pretty much Srsly though, the last two albums weren't as brilliant as CoE. I hope they would do another album like CoE, but still keeping all good parts of the progress they've made.
    BwareDWare94
    lose* Loose is "not tight." Why do so many people not know the difference?
    vikkyvik
    Because there uneducated.
    BwareDWare94
    they're* There is "a place." Why do so many people not know the difference?
    vikkyvik
    Sigh....the lack of joke understanding is stupendouser..... Oh well.
    BwareDWare94
    A joke is funny. (and I caught it. I just thought I'd build on it some more) That wasn't. Why do so many people not know the difference?
    jared.burke4
    finally, an article about A7X that doesn't mention them being "without drummer James "the Rev" Sullivan".
    LostLegion
    I'd like another album like Waking The Fallen but it's pretty obvious that that won't happen. Still, I'm excited for this.
    Tonyborbony
    I'm actually very excited for this album. Can't wait to hear the new drummer play.
    Subatomic7
    Just as long as there's some good jams on it **** it, they're pretty cool dudes too.
    n0ir
    I hope it's good, I loved city of evil and waking the fallen instantly, and their self titled album grew on me. My favourite band growing up so I can't wait *crosses fingers*
    Irwin Navarro
    The guitarist confessed thinking about writing the drum parts with M. Shadows at first, but added that on the second recording day, everything had changed. M Shadows or Syn Gates dont even play drums so how are they gonna write the parts Not hatin, just sayin. Go Arin!
    brndnstffrd
    Actually they do. In an article they said that they both love to play the drums and recieved a ton of lessons from Jimmy
    Morphogenesis26
    Hopefully it's better than Nightmare. Also, the swearing isn't a problem since I hear people like that every day swear just as much, if not more.
    a7xrocker201
    Yeah I felt nightmare had good songs on it but like Waking The Fallen and City of Evil (and even self-titled), they really didn't have songs that stuck I thought. WTF to COE to Self-Titled you could see their style sort of evolving but keeping that A7X feel still. I felt that the music sort of stopped and became generic in Nightmare (grant it the band was going through a rough time, I don't know if that happened before or after Jimmy's death). I love A7X but the teaser they put out really didn't impress me.
    SGplayer1991
    A7X has been one of my favorite bands since I was 15. So to hear a new album especially with Arin on it I can't wait. They have always challenged themselves not to sound the same each album and give us amazing music. I await the new album from the snippet that I heard it sounds awesome.
    Nameless742
    I think every A7X fan has their fingers crossed they are gonna like this one. I'm hopeful.
    Ronald-Raygun
    I've never liked them...mediocre at best. Plus they have stupid names for themselves. END.
    sideslick
    What's wrong with stage names? -Slash -The Edge -Freddie Mercury -Gene Simmons -Meat Loaf -Mike Dirnt -Marilyn Manson -Dimebag None of those are birth-names.