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.