Avenged Sevenfold recently revealed their first new single "Nobody" from the long-awaited new album Life Is But A Dream, and it's wildly different than anything the band has ever done before. Gone are the thrashier and more straight forward heavy metal bits of the band's sound, replaced entirely by experimental tones and equally experimental songwriting. It's a choice that seems to have divided the band's fanbase, but is one that seems to stay true to Avenged Sevenfold's artistic vision.
In a new interview on their TRAX Podcast, Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows explained why the strange, droning "Nobody" was chosen as the first single and how it represents Life Is But A Dream as a whole.
"For me, if you were to take a black hole of the record and all the fringes of it, I think 'Nobody' sits right at the center. And I think it sits right at the center because the riff is huge. We are experimenting with tones and how the production on it [sounds], but it also… listen, 'Nothing' on the record sounds like anything else on the record, right? They all have their things, but 'Nobody' for me sounds like this solid… it's very depthy in the in the lyrics. It represents fully where we are coming from in terms of the concept and the sort of headspace we are coming from.
"It checks a lot of boxes for us, and I think the the riff is so killer that it will drill into your head like like a worm. Also without trying to be proggy, it's got a very interesting arrangement and it's got a seriousness to it that I think shows that we're not trying to give you like, the flashiest thing on the record or the most ear candy-esque thing. We're trying to give you something that's meaningful and weighty. It's very weighty."
Shadows then touched on why the single, and album, is a departure from the band's usual sound. Long story short, Shadows said he and guitarist Synyster Gates had some experiences with psychedelic drugs, namely 5-MeO-DMT, that opened his mind to being more "bold" with the band's choices.
"Me and [Synyster Gates] were exploring deeply in psychedelics throughout the last few years. One of those things in particular was 5-MeO-DMT. I had a very tough experience in like, you know, type A personality [whose] ego gets completely demolished. You see yourself leave your body and we can get into that more, but one thing that I came out of that realizing was that life is so short. Don't put anything out unless it's bold, and 'bold' was the word that we were using. 'Bold' was like, don't just play within your genre.
"There's a huge difference between Waking The Fallen and City Of Evil, but they were both playing within a genre. Yeah, it was different but it was all within a… there was a sphere there. On this record, we didn't want to be a part of any of that. We wanted to just put out art that just… if we saw something or heard a sound, we wanted to figure out how to get that, but not with our normal tools, right? If there was a feeling, we wanted to try to extract that feeling in audio, but not with our normal tool shed.
"So when you look at like the guitar tone, or the riff and the guitar tone, for something like 'Nobody,' that's just a droning thing that we had to figure out how to melodically play between major and minor, and to make it interesting. But the same time we didn't want to actually make notes with it. We wanted to just have this thing [droning] almost like Terminator 2. Then we're gonna play melodically with it, but it was basically this psychedelic experience that took us into this 'be bold. Don't do psychedelics and make Pink Floyd. No, do your own thing and make your own stamp.'"
And if you haven't checked out "Nobody" yet, do it below. It's a trip.