With seven studio albums to their name and eight million records sold worldwide, it's hard to argue with the work Avenged Sevenfold have put into their band—work which has been essential in getting them to where they are now in their career. With that work came the freedom to evolve naturally as songwriters without having to worry so much about being dazzling and technical, according to guitarist Synyster Gates.
"You've got to constantly evolve," Gates told radio station 93XRadio recently. "If I'm trying to write ‘Bat Country' again, or if I'm trying to write 'Unholy Confessions' again, I've failed before I've even started," Gates said. "That's not the mindset. So you got to switch things up…. And our catalog, I think, is proof of that. You have a song like ‘Unholy Confessions,' you also have a song like 'A Little Piece of Heaven' that's a fan favorite, that has hardly any guitar in it.
"And that's, to me, the most important thing. That's probably our best song. And it's very, very little guitar work. So to me, it's songwriting first and then connecting with your fan base."
Noting that he used to read guitar magazines religiously back in the day, Gates now says he "checks in" to see what's happening on the scene. "[That] could change. But I'm really into tone and textures and songwriting and that's where I've really spent most of my time studying greats, like Kanye, The Beatles, Elton John, even old school [Dr.] Dre stuff that actually has guitars in there and communicates well to a guitar player because it's fucking guitar.”
Avenged Sevenfold began teasing a new album late last year, with one fan who posting an image of a postcard they received showcasing the band's name and an hourglass on the front, with "2023" next to a vase of flowers on the back. We do know the new record was mixed by Andy Wallace (Slayer, Sepultura, Faith No More), who has mixed every Avenged Sevenfold record since City Of Evil in 2005. Stay tuned!