Enlarge Photo: Markus Felix via Wikimedia Commons

Avenged Sevenfold Guitarist Synyster Gates Explains Rap Influence on New Record


Later this week, Avenged Sevenfold will release new album Life Is But a Dream… and, if the early singles are any indication, it explores uncharted territory for the long-running metal band. While doing interviews at Welcome to Rockville, guitarist Synyster Gates spoke to 101.1 WJRR about how the members of Avenged Sevenfold listened to a lot of rap music in order to find different approaches to songwriting, without changing what he views as the core of the band.

“This is the most guitar-centric record, by far. It’s all fucking guitar and it’s all fucking crazy. But we really wanted to not just into a fucking bridge where get into some clean or fucking halftime shit or just bringing the chorus back in a different way.

“It was like ‘How do fuck do we make these soundscapes, these riffs, these things that will sound like Avenged, but how do we make them fresh? And how do you hear guitar for the first time for guys who have been playing guitar their whole lives? How do we have them hear it for the very first time with brand new ears or eyes?”

Gates goes on to explain that he is impressed by technical prowess but that he’s more excited when an artist can write a song that evokes a genuine emotional reaction or challenge his way of thinking.

“I’m certainly not, in my mind, on the face of the Mt. Rushmore. But what I would consider the best guitar players to have accomplished [that] is beyond playing solo guitar. I’m more impressed when somebody that can do this craziest shit that you’ve ever heard write a song.

“Like Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, ‘More Than Words’… Are you kidding me? He can do that too? That fucking touches my soul.

“So, that’s what I try to provide. I try to write, I try to produce, I try to orchestrate, and our entire band thinks like a multi-hyphenate in that sort of thing. It’s how many different dimensions can we bring to the table. So it’s like ‘He always does that, that’s our one-trick-pony guy over there that does that, one-trick-pony guy over there.’ It gets stale after a while.”

Whether they’re good or bad, I think we’ll all have feelings on Life Is But a Dream… on Friday.

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