Johnny Christ on Time Between Avenged Sevenfold Records: “Those Delays Allowed Us Time to Experiment with Our Instruments or New Technology”
Whether you loved it or hated it, Avenged Sevenfold‘s latest record, Life Is But a Dream…, undeniably took the band in new directions. The seven-year gap between Avenged Sevenfold’s last record was a big one: seven years compared to the usual two or three. When asked why it took so long, bassist Johnny Christ explained that it was a combination of pandemic, technology and just wanting to have normal lives for a moment.
“There were several roadblocks that we had to get by. One of the biggest ones, the one that everybody knows about, is the pandemic, unfortunately. We got off the road in 2018, just like any other times, a little abruptly — our singer had some vocal issues. But just like any other time, we decided, ‘Okay, let’s just take a couple of months off. We just got home. Let’s see friends and family for a little bit,’ start to figure out what our muse was gonna be or what we wanna create on the new record. And we start those conversations and we start writing individually and then we start bringing it all together. That process was going well. We took a little bit — about the same time as it usually does, maybe a little longer; it was a little over a year by the time we were ready to take our demos and re-record them into the record forms that we do. And that was right about the time — we were scheduling with [producer] Joe Barresi, studio time, and the whole world shut down. So we were, like, ‘Well, I guess we’re gonna take a little bit longer on this.’
“You find the silver lining when shit like that goes down. So the silver lining was we all have young kids now, young families, so we were stay-at-home dads for a lot of it, for the last five years, which was really cool. I got to take my son to all of his practices and games and everything and school. It’s not like you want a pandemic to happen, but it gave us a new perspective on the record that we were about ready to go record. And it gave us time to continue to trim the fat.”
“There’s a lot of information on this record, but time-wise, it’s our shortest record we’ve ever put out. So it feels like you’ve gotten all this information, but we trimmed all the fat, and we did that over a process. And those delays allowed us time to experiment with our instruments or new technology, what’s going on out there. We did some really fun stuff that people won’t even know… you won’t even hear it. [People will think], ‘Oh, they must have programmed that.’ We didn’t program really anything on this record; it’s all live playing, even down to the flutes. Synyster Gates played flutes. It was a really wild time to just get in there [and make] a record that would have been made in the ’70s or the ’80s but with this sound. And it was a lot of fun.”
I was pleasantly surprised that Life Is But A Dream… has grown on me so much despite those awful pre-release singles. Here’s hoping it won’t take seven years for the next, if they even keep making full-lengths.