Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates Explains One Thing That’s Wrong With Rock Music Today

Recently, Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Brian Haner Jr., better known as Synyster Gates, sat down for an interview with Metal Sucks. Also joined by the band’s frontman M. Shadows, the two discussed their new album “Life Is but a Dream…” which is officially out as of today, June 2.

With the record’s two singles released earlier this year, as well as one song being premiered live, the fans got a taste of the album. And although the opinions and reactions varied, one thing was certain — it was different compared to their previous works.

Avenged Sevenfold - Beautiful Morning (Official Visualizer)

This was obvious from the very moment they released “Nobody” in March 2023. However, as Synyster Gates explains in the interview, they’ve deliberately done their best to distance themselves from their old style. He offered (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“We were really staying away from any sort of convention on this record. We wanted people to think they knew what was gonna happen, and then not. But then, I think once it settles, it’ll all make sense; once you hear the whole thing.

“We have proven over the last 23 years that we know the rules, we know how to write a three, four-minute song if we want. And what we’ve done now is we’ve kind of taken every left turn we could, just purely for our own sake, and just to kind of, you know, kick the hornet’s nest a little. Sometimes you got to shake things up.

Avenged Sevenfold - Game Over (Official Visualizer)

And while discussing the album and this new direction, Gates said that he thinks that modern rock music might be a bit too predictable:

“I think rock music has gotten a little formulaic, and sometimes you need to push those boundaries to let people know you do whatever you want. And this, hopefully, will be an inspiration to people to kind of really stretch those limits.”

Going more into the conversation, frontman M. Shadows also explained how the album’s second single “We Love You” surprised the audiences and how it did so compared to the first single “Nobody.” As he explained:

“This does it in the most frenetic way possible. ‘Nobody’ does it as a slow, kind of gravitational pull and a grind. This one does it in a way that is like, ‘You’ve completely lost your mind. Why are you making these left turns?’ It’s got so many different influences and things in it. Lots of sharp turns.”

Avenged Sevenfold - Nobody (Official Video)

Going more into the matter, Shadows also explained the lyrical meaning of “Nobody”:

“But, lyrically, it goes a lot into how we’re born on this planet, and then we are taught that success is money, success is nice thingsm gold chains, etc. And the reality is we get put into this grind of ‘more, more, more, build, build, build, higher, faster.’

“And all the while, you have your family and teachers going, ‘You’re great! Everything’s going to be fine. Just keep grinding you’re going to be great.’

Avenged Sevenfold - We Love You (Official VR 360° Video)

“And then one day you wake up, you’re 56 years old and you go, ‘I worked my life away.’ Now, a lot of people find work to be great, but a lot of people just get in the grind and there’s more, they think there’s a destination.

“This is more of that, you know, life’s the journey. It really is the journey, and there is no destination. If you get here, there’s always going to be someone above. If you keep looking up, you’re going to be unsatisfied.

“‘We Love You’ is a very sarcastic take on the kind of confines of this world that we live in, what we accept as success and what we accept as being a winner.”

Avenged Sevenfold - We Love You (Live Debut - Las Vegas, NV - AREA15)

The album, which is out on June 2, features a total of 11 new pieces. And, according to what Syn Gates had to say in another interview, this is their most guitar-centric record of all time. He explained:

“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 like for the first time for the 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?”

Avenged Sevenfold - Nobody Solo (Live @ Welcome To Rockville)

However, it’s still not the same as their previous albums:

“I plugged into a fucking amp, I tried it a couple of times [and started playing] stale Metallica riffs, stale Avenged riffs, stale old Pantera riffs. Like, I was just done with it. The band was done. So we had to go somewhere else.”

Photos: Altriascarlett13 (Avenged-sevenfold-synyster-gates)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.