M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold Talks with GRD About New Drummer, New Material, and the Upcoming Grand Rapids Concert
He shared how it's been going with new drummer Brooks Wackerman, gave us an update on the new album, talked about the recent show with Metallica, and the upcoming concert in Grand Rapids with Volbeat, Avatar, and Killswitch Engage.
Avenged Sevenfold just played a big show with Metallica at the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Prior to that, they were awesome enough to put on a free show for 1,500 people at First Avenue. M. Shadows says it was sort of like a practice run, it being their first show with new drummer Brooks Wackerman:
Minneapolis has always been a great town for us. We just felt like if we announced the show the day before and just made it free and had people come down, there'd be way less pressure on him [Brooks]... We actually enjoyed it so much. It was really insane to be back out there and feel the love. "
As far as the process of Brooks becoming A7X's new drummer:
First off we had to keep it secret. We had to respect Bad Religion and what he was going to have to do with telling them that he decided he wanted to play with us. We're huge fans of Bad Religion. They were one of our favorite bands growing up and they still are, they still put out such great music. And so for us, it was about working with him for a year before we even announced it because we wanted to make sure he was the right guy. But deep down we already knew, we'd known Brooks for years and years and years, and we knew he was a phenomenal drummer. We knew that there was no way he was going to have trouble recreating The Rev's parts or Mike Portnoy's parts. Basically for us it was about writing with him, writing songs with him and see how that went before we decided to pull the trigger. Once we did that, we just knew, you can show that guy a song and he can learn it in three listens. He's that good of a drummer."
Earlier this year, there had been talk that Avenged Sevenfold was working on a new album. When I asked M. Shadows if he had any updates for us, he said:
Yeah, we are very wishy-washy [Laughing]. We've been writing, we've been throwing stuff around. We've been working. That's all I can really say about it. I think there's a lot of speculation online, and we're just kind of leaving it that way. When there is something to be heard, we'll let the world know. But right now, we're just still working on stuff."
As far as what fans can expect at the upcoming concert September 14 at Van Andel Arena:
Right now on this tour, we are thinking of going with a really clean, really big look... I think what we are going to start doing, we are going to start bringing out older things that people haven't necessarily heard in a long time, or things we've never played, like we debuted a song called 'Planets' the other night, we've been playing a song called 'Acid Rain'. We want to start bringing out some older stuff that people haven't necessarily heard.
We also talked about Avenged Sevenfold's "Deathbat" game, what it's like playing on Metallica's stage, and more! Check out the full interview above!