MetalIreland's "Metal Insight" podcast recently conducted an interview with AVENGED SEVENFOLD bassist Johnny Christ. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what new AVENGED SEVENFOLD drummer Brooks Wackerman brings to the band's latest album, "The Stage":
Johnny: "He brings a lot. Brooks came in and was right in line. And he was there every day, working and writing with us. We were jamming. A lot of the stuff on this record came through just writing riffs [and] stuff off each other, something that we haven't… We've definitely gotten into it a little bit, but not full-on jams to get riffs going where they are, and that had a lot to do with bouncing ideas off of Brooks and having him help bring songs to life. Certain rhythms… I mean, you can have the best riff in the world, but if the drums behind it just ain't vibing it, it's not gonna be the greatest riff, right? So you've gotta have someone there that can really bring that to life. Transitions, everything like that, he had his own ideas, he had his own riffs and ideas that he was bringing to the table, and he helped in such a great way. And, obviously, he's just such an amazing drummer. And we were just laughing the whole time, 'cause a lot of people only know him from his BAD RELIGION work, and we know him from INFECTIOUS GROOVES and all these kind of other things that he's played on, and we know him as a great drummer, but a lot of people might not know that. So we were just super excited, especially to have the first track open up with an incredible drum part that just kind of has its own vibe, and not many other people can write something like that. We just let him loose on it."
On former AVENGED SEVENFOLD recording and touring drummer Mike Portnoy's lasting impression on the band:
Johnny: "You know, I think… just having those moments where we can actually show our ability as players on our respective instruments. We've always kind of done it, and sometimes you go a little too long and everything like that. And that's great for the progressive fan and everything like that, and I love that stuff — I grew up on it — but for this band, we like to make sure that every note really counts and every part is really there. So I think what he brought is a little bit more of having those ideas back. I mean, looking back on what we did on 'Nightmare' with [late AVENGED SEVENFOLD drummer] Jimmy's ['The Rev' Sullivan] parts, there's some things that [Mike] was able to add in on 'Nightmare' with his hands and cymbal work that Jimmy hadn't really written out yet before he passed. So there was a lot of cool stuff. And it definitely inspired some ideas like that."
On whether he misses Mike Portnoy:
Johnny: "Mike? Oh, yeah. I love Mike. We still see him every once in a while when we're out near his hometown and out on the road and everything. We always make sure we hook with him and say hi, and to his family and everything. We're still great friends. Everyone knows Mike Portnoy's reputation. He's a great drummer, and he helped us out in a great time of need. He really helped us get back underneath out feet and continue this band. Between him and… he played an integral part, and our fans just rallied behind us, and today we're still doing it."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD is currently touring behind its seventh studio album, "The Stage", which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart in November.
The group made the album available at midnight on October 27 with almost no promotion beforehand, save for the arrival of a new song one week earlier. The quintet unveiled the disc with a live-streamed performance from the rooftop of Capitol Records in Hollywood, California.
Photo credit: Rafa Alcantara of TWENTYFOURCORE