Avenged Sevenfold’s New Album is 70% Done
Avenged Sevenfold have quite the redemption act ahead of them after surprise-releasing their last album, The Stage, to little fanfare back in October of 2016. Whether or not the release connected with longtime fans is open for debate (I’ve seen as much praise as hate), but what can’t be argued is that the lack of a traditional album promo cycle blunted the band’s momentum. By the time their next record comes out, late this year at the earliest, it will have been more than eight full years since their last album with a proper promotional campaign… that’s a very, very long time to be absent from public music consciousness in the traditional way, even if a segment of fans will find ways to connect with a band no matter what.
In a new chat with Minneapolis, Minnesota’s 93X radio station, frontman M. Shadows provided a brief update on progress the band has made on their next record. He explained:
“We’re working on stuff. We have pretty much 70 percent of the record done. We have some things we can’t finish right now ’cause of COVID — string players, et cetera. We know Andy [Wallace, Avenged Sevenfold’s longtime mixer] doesn’t wanna travel, or his management doesn’t want him to travel because of COVID. So there’s just a lot of things going on.”
As far as a timeline for releases goes, Shadows said not to expect anything until touring comes back:
“It doesn’t make sense for us right now to put out a record and not be able to tour it. The world has changed. Putting out a record on Spotify without touring for a rock band, it just doesn’t make sense to us. So we’re gonna wait till everything is back, then we’ll come out with the record, finish it up, and all will be good.”
Speaking to Kerrang! late last year, Shadows revealed the majority of the material was written before the pandemic hit, but has been progressing slowly in the studio since:
“We’ve been writing a record for a while, and most of it was already written [before the coronavirus pandemic]. But then we kinda took a break on it, and then it would be like, ‘Hey, let’s get together two days this week,’ instead of five or six. It just started getting more casual. Then we recorded really casually, and — like I said — we’re still in the middle of it: we still have all these things that we can’t do. We’re still trying to get string sections together, and our mixer is older and I know that they don’t want him to travel right now because of COVID, so even if we got it done right now, we couldn’t get it mixed. So we’re just not worrying about it, you know? It’s like, ‘When we can, we can.’ But right now, we can’t. [Laughs].”
In the same interview, Shadows elaborated on why the band won’t put a record out until they can properly tour behind it, saying:
“No one wants to put out the record if we can’t tour it. The reality is — and no-one wants to hear this — in this day and age, rock ‘n’ roll just takes too long to make: you know, it’s going to be a three-year record to make. And if we put that record out and then we’re locked down for another year, as much as people don’t want to believe this, they are not going to give a shit about a record that came out a year prior when it’s time to tour.
“And so if it’s going to take us two or three years to write a record, we’re not going to put it out if we can’t go play it live. We know the anticipation won’t be there when the tours come around. You see it every day — if you look at iTunes or Spotify and see how quickly it all turns over, it’s just weekly onto the next thing and onto the next thing again. If you just imagine putting out a record in August, and then you’re not touring until next August, people don’t want to hear this but they’re not going to care; they’re going to be like, ‘What’s next?’ Once the Gojira record, or the new Metallica record, or the new Megadeth record comes out, they’re not going to care about what came out the year prior.
“Our whole thing is: if it’s going to take us three years to do a record, we’re going to make sure we can play it live and people are going to be excited about it.”
Shadows added of the new album’s musical direction:
“The [new] record sounds nothing like ‘The Stage’ — it’s a completely new direction, and it sounds nothing like anything we’ve done. That’s all I’ll say about it: it’s over the top, and it’s very eclectic and wild.”
You can watch the full interview with 93X below.