Avenged Sevenfold returned to the world after seven years with a new record Life Is But A Dream and it immediately divided the band's fanbase. Some were on board with the band's newfound progressive, experimental sound, while others were clearly expecting a more straightforward Avenged Sevenfold record. It was a bold move by Avenged Sevenfold to come back with a record so unlike anything they'd ever done before, but clearly they're thrilled with the end result.
Now in an interview with Blackcraft, Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Zacky Vengeance explains how easy it would've been for the band to crank out some run-of-the-mill metal album and call it a day… and more importantly, why nobody in the band wanted to do that.
"Having the time off gave us a chance to look at ourselves and really reflect. You get to that point in life when your life changes. We have families now, we have obligations, and the easy road is make the next Hail To The King album or do Nightmare Part Two, go package up with the same bands you've always played with, sell the same amount of tickets, get a paycheck, [and] you'll be comfortable. And that just never really sat well with any of us. And it wasn't like an internal discussion, like, 'Hey, what are we gonna do to reinvent ourselves?' I didn't fucking care. It was, 'What are we gonna do to not want to not do this?' Because I never wanna feel like I'm phoning it in. And I never wanna feel like I'm just putting on the heavy metal vest and trying to grow my hair and trying to fit in, in hopes of being the next Metallica.
"It just doesn't feel right. We didn't start the band to do that. We wanted to be insane. We wanted to dress crazy. We wanted to write crazy music. And I think we all collectively, at the same moment, realized you either have to go all in on what you love and be completely fearless, which is what we've always lived and died by, and if you try and get pulled into the realm of playing it safe, which so many people do, because it's easy to do when you have mouths to feed, and go up there and just go through the motions, that's career suicide. And we collectively just said, 'Let's have fun with this. No matter, do what we want to do. Bounce off each other's ideas, and let's be happy as a band, the five of us. And if anybody else likes it, great. If they don't, fuck it. At least we went down with the ship the way that we should.'"
As for what's next with Avenged Sevenfold, vocalist M. Shadows said in a recent interview that the band is working on some new music that's vastly different than Life Is But A Dream. Shadows later clarified that Avenged Sevenfold isn't in the studio or anything like that, but they're certainly thinking about new music.
"There's something vastly different in the works," said Shadows. "There were some avenues on this record that we really wanted to explore … I appreciate that comparison because I love that record, there is so much chaos and then there's beauty in the chaos. I think of [Weezer's] Pinkerton, that's another record that's chaotic but so beautiful."