AVENGED SEVENFOLD Guitarist: ‘Since THE REV’s Passing, We’ve Had To Grow Up Quite A Bit’

Joe Matera of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Synyster Gates. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: I want to start the interview by asking you how has the dynamic changed within AVENGED SEVENFOLD having added new recruit Arin Ilejay on drums?

Synyster Gates: Well, it is hard to say. I mean, there are a few different things, definitely, compared to the dynamic we had with Jimmy [“The Rev” Sullivan] and the dynamic we had with Mike Portnoy [DREAM THEATER], so it is different. Also, Arin is very young, and it is more about us taking him under our wings at this point whereas with Jimmy, things were absolutely insane and the guy was a madman, very funny and we were all friends, so it was a much crazier time for AVENGED SEVENFOLD. I also think since The Rev‘s passing, we’ve had to grow up quite a bit, and I think Mike helped us to get through our period of grieving. I mean, playing with Arin now is definitely a lot lighter kind of atmosphere than the moments we had with Mike Portnoy at that time. And not because of Mike, but because it was a lot closer towards the passing of The Rev. But now, I think we’re into the healing process and it is a breath of fresh air to have this really young talented kid out with us that is so humbled by this experience and very deserving of all the things that are going to come to him.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: So have you begun the writing process for next album yet?

Synyster Gates: We don’t have any plans right now, as we are just really focused on touring. A lot of new cool places have opened up and we are really excited to come and see all our fans, both old fans and new fans, and go out and just play for all these kids, that haven’t seen us or haven’t seen us in awhile. And that is what is exciting to us right now. When we try and blend the two together, the songwriting and the touring like we did before, it doesn’t really work. We tend to become very focused on what we are doing. And we tend to be a little bit one-track-minded. We’re very much perfectionists, so when we’re putting on a huge show and want to play to the best of ability, we rehearse intensely. And I have a guitar pretty much in my hand for at least five hours before doing a show. I’m just noodling and mucking around and working on some of the songs here and there.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: What do you think of bands such as BLACK VEIL BRIDES who are taking the whole ‘80s glam thing and putting a modern twist to it all?

Synyster Gates: It is definitely a cool thing. The first time I saw those guys, I hadn’t heard anything about them previously, and we were just doing festivals, and I was like, “Oh, wow, this is pretty crazy. I have got to definitely check them out,” purely based on their look. I was pretty much expecting it to be a screamy hardcore or a poppier-sounding band trying to be like MÖTLEY CRÜE. But they’re extremely talented dudes and I love the image and I think they are really a great band.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: The turning point both musically and commercially for AVENGED SEVENFOLD came with 2005’s “City Of Evil”. How do you look back on that album today?

Synyster Gates: We pretty much had decided on that record that we were going to pretty forget about any guidelines or rules or regulations, and that we would create any form or type of music that we wanted, and so pretty much we threw out the rule book and went in and wrote an album that we were and are very, very proud of. It is a very musically adventurous album and it saw us delving into different types of music, music that we hadn’t previously done. And it was a cool time to explore all this type of music.

Read the entire interview from Ultimate-Guitar.com.