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Q&A: Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold has been on the ride that every Little Band That Thinks It Can wants to take, from high school all the way to the main stage of the Warped Tour, the Madden 2006 soundtrack, and MTV. Over the course of the journey, they’ve broadened their sound from screaming hardcore, incorporating influences from Mick Mars to Ennio Morricone to Hunter S. Thompson. The result, a bizarre updating of insane hairspray metal rock, has alienated a few old fans, earned a whole bunch of new fans, and kept these five friends constantly entertained. We caught up with lead guitarist Synyster Gates before a recent show in Worcester, MA, and got his take on the whole crazy experience. Let’s start with the new direction in the band’s sound on the new album. How did it come about?
Synyster Gates: First, I guess it started off with us deciding not to scream anymore. We just felt that it was kind of a dated thing for us. It sounds funny, but it’s kind of something that was dying out, and it started from when we were kids stuck in a scene, afraid to write outside that box. But we just kind of slapped each other in the face and said, “Hey, this is not what we wanna do, we don’t listen to these fucking bands.” And [lead singer] Shadows, to me, has one of the best voices in rock and roll; he’s just such a fucking powerhouse, he has such a great tone. So we just decided to do all that, and with that first step then we just went, “Wow, let’s go crazy, write whatever we want.”PrintEmail