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Breakups & Shakeups


…and it's a familiar face.

…and it's a familiar face.

After a bit of teasing last month, today, Avenged Sevenfold officially confirmed that the band's new drummer is Brooks Wackerman, formerly of Bad Religion.

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Wackerman and Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows appeared on Chris Jericho's podcast today to make the announcement. According to Shadows, Wackerman was considered since the tragic passing of their original drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. In fact, The Rev actually introduced the rest of his band to Wackerman's drumming, on the Infectious Grooves album Groove Family Cyco Mas Borracho.

“To be honest, Brooks’ name has always been in the mix. It was one of the names we were throwing around when Jimmy passed away in terms of who was going to step up for Nightmare. We felt Mike [Portnoy] was the right choice and we still feel that way. Mike just destroyed on the record. He was perfect. But at the time, our tour manager brought up Brooks’ name as well. But at the time he was also busy with Bad Religion and it was also … people were going to look at it differently because he was a punk drummer at this point.”

As for why it didn't work out with their previous drummer, Arin Ilejay:

“It just became increasingly difficult to be on the same page, not only touring, but with writing and just where we want to take things,” said Shadows. “We’re just a bunch of guys who are all over the place and we have a bunch of different influences and we need somebody who can instantly … who can sit there and say, ‘Yeah, I’ve got that influence too or I understand why we’re gonna go here. I understand why we’re going to do that.'

It just got to the point where after Mayhem Festival last year, we had just decided to fire on all cylinders the way we want to, we needed to make a change. And we all had our little talk. We said, ‘Listen, we can ride this thing out the way it is right now and we’ll be fine or we can shake the nest a little bit and we want to fire on all cylinders again. We want to be the baddest band on the planet. We want to just dominate onstage. And I came up with the idea that I really want to talk to Brooks and see if there’s any chance and see where he’s at in his life right now.”

Read More: Avenged Sevenfold's New Drummer Is Brooks Wackerman |

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Shadows goes on to say there were no auditions, they specifically wanted Wackerman for the spot, and decided the best way to figure out if he works with the band is start jamming with him:

“What we did was we just wanted to make sure we didn’t jump into anything too fast, so for us it was, ‘Can we play the old songs? Let’s go have some rehearsals. Can we write together? Let’s write together. Let’s throw some riffs at him and see what would you play on this and can you give us 10 different drum beats around this riff?’ And it just instantly clicked and everyone was so excited.”

Wackerman said his former bandmates took it well…

“There was no lead up to it and no one knew. Initially it was shock to everyone,” said the drummer. “I spoke with every band member individually on a day off on tour right before our last show. There’s just a lot of history there, but they understood. They get it. I mean the band has been around for 35 years so they’ve gone through this before.”

Shadows also offered a hint on the band's new material:

The idea of the last record was a very stripped down sound and the idea of the next is a not very stripped down sound.

You can listen to the entire Talk Is Jericho episode here.

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