AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows spoke to The Orange County Register about the band's latest addition, former BAD RELIGION, TENACIOUS D and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES drummer Brooks Wackerman. In 2015, Wackerman officially replaced Arin Ilejay, who was the group's first full-time drummer after the death of founding member Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan in 2009."It's been unbelievable," M. Shadows said of having Wackerman join the band. "We couldn't be happier and I don't think he could be happier. It's been fun to do a quick run through the United States with him and we've done some fun festivals. We did Mexico City [Knotfest] last week and Aftershock last night and just headlining these things and seeing him up there, to me, it's like that's where he's always belonged. He just rips up there. There were 40,000 people last night watching him do insane stuff. It just puts a smile on my face because I feel like we're this unbreakable team up there now and it's been fun again. It's been really, really good." Ilejay was AVENGED SEVENFOLD's drummer for four years, playing on 2013's "Hail To The King" album. In announcing his exit, the band thanked him for his "positive energy" but added that it "needed to move in a different direction." Guitarist Synyster Gates told The Pulse Of Radio not long ago what has kept the band's lineup relatively stable. "The number one thing is you've got to get along," he said. "You know, we're all best friends and everybody gets into disagreement at times, but you have to be able to discuss it and be able to live together and grow together. You know, if we weren't best friends, I couldn't imagine wanting to do it, because at the end of the day you look forward to being onstage with them because you're best friends. So all the b.s. just doesn't matter anymore." Ilejay was the second drummer to sit behind the kit for AVENGED SEVENFOLD since the death of Sullivan in December 2009. The band recorded its 2010 effort "Nightmare" with ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy. AVENGED SEVENFOLD surprise-released its new album, "The Stage", Thursday night following a 3D, 360-degree livestreamed virtual reality performance. According to a press release, the guys made history by becoming the first-ever rock band to drop an unannounced album in both digital and physical form.
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