AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Zacky Vengeance recently spoke to Gary Graff of TheMorningSun.com about the band's latest release, "Hail To The King", which became the group's second consecutive No. 1 album on The Billboard 200 chart.
"When it comes to numbers, I like the statement it makes is for all of rock and metal," Vengeance said. "For any band that's picking up a guitar and playing in front of five people, it's making a statement. It's saying that kid who's picking up a guitar still has a chance to someday take over. He still has a chance. So every time we put an album out, we're keeping an opportunity to keep the same dream alive that started when THE BEATLES wrote 'Helter Skelter', y'know?"
Zacky also talked about writing for the first time without AVENGED SEVENFOLD drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan, who died in late December 2009.
"We had three solid years to figure out what the hell we were gonna do, but we still dreaded the moment and the day we'd be in the studio without him," he said. "But we had enough faith in each other to realize we were able to do this. We just had to put a little bit more weight on each of our individual shoulders, but we truly feel confident in each other's abilities. We had never depended on one member of Avenged. We're always a unit."
Regarding the direction of AVENGED SEVENFOLD's new material, Zacky said: "We took a conscious approach to try to write in a more direct fashion. Just by nature, we're always filled with so many ideas and want to cram as many ideas into a song as we can, and I think that gave us a lot of our signature sound. But, looking back, that could be a little bit meandering, y'know?
"At this point in our career we've shared so many stages across the world and seen bands like IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA on a nightly basis and see how every person in their crowds knows every word and sings along in unison, and that's where we wanted to get to. We wanted to write the kind of songs that can really cross any language barriers, any borders and resonate with fans around the world."
"For us to dial back a little bit and have a little more straightforward, singalong appeal was a challenge. In order to do that we had to throw away a lot of stuff. We kind of wrote this album with the rule that if a guitar riff can't stand alone without adding a dual harmony riff or any other stuff, then it wasn't a good enough riff. So this time instead of adding layers, it was really about peeling back layers."
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