Zacky Vengeance talked to Loudwire about how the idea to make Avenged Sevenfold’s “The Stage” an evolving album came to be, how new songs will roll out, the decision to cover “Malagueña Salerosa” and the process behind doing so, hearing the finished version for the first time, touring with Metallica, Deathbat Nation, Johnny Christ & Synyster Gates becoming dads and more.
I was going to ask a little bit about the rollout of this. What does this mean if you already have the album? Are there download links for the songs and how do you go about getting them?
Yeah, to be honest, what we’ve been discussing is that we want to get the songs out to our fans and the easiest method, the least intrusive method, would be getting them on the streaming services, which is sort of where the music world is headed currently. It’s a great tool and a great thing for music to be able to go to a site and instantly stream your favorite songs and albums. So naturally adding to the streaming services was our first intention.
It’s in no way an extended edition or bonus edition and we’re not trying to scrape a few bucks out of our fans. We just really wanted to do something special for our fans, and as far as a traditional rollout, we really don’t have one. The songs will make their way onto the Internet, and fans are incredibly adept at finding the songs on their own whether it be YouTube or Spotify or Apple Music or sharing the songs. That’s what they’re kind of there for I think, just to create some excitement, some dialogue between our fans and give them something to talk about. All the song choices that we’ve picked are unique in their own right. They’re fun and it’s really just to engage our fans.
This feels like it had to be so much fun for you, and Matt, who is not a natural Spanish speaker, sounds like a pro here. Having done this, can you tell me about hearing it back the first time as a finished version and what that experience was like?
(laughs) Yeah, hearing it the first time with Matt singing in Spanish, it just puts the biggest smile on your face. It’s definitely, and there’s no other way around saying this, but it’s definitely a ‘What the f–?’ moment (laughs). It was like, “What are we doing? This is awesome.” I think it just made us happy and it was something that was do different.
Growing up, I can’t even think of many of my favorite bands who would have even attempted something like this. It’s just so obscure to take a folk song in a different language and be a pretty well-respected English-speaking rock band and totally take a song and twist it around and have fun with it. My initial reaction was I just had the biggest smile on my face.
Since we’ve last talked, there’s also a new Avenged Sevenfold fan club and you even had fans get involved in the naming of the club. What’s it been like to see that take shape in recent months?
It’s something we’ve talked about since the beginning. We’ve always wanted a fan club, well, first and foremost, we wanted fans. [chuckle] And now we’re at the point where we actually have some of those, so we wanted to do something special for them. In this day and age, for us it’s important to really give back to the fans and create a place for them to share in everything we’re doing on the road. We’ve got exclusive content and videos and we want to make them part of each and every night and giving them a chance to meet us before the shows. That really pumps us up. It’s one thing to go onstage and see the fans, but it’s a whole other form of inspiration to actually meet these people that are the reason you get to do what you’re doing. Every night we’re able to meet fan club winners that are so excited to meet us and we’re excited to see them and know that they’re the ones with their fists in the air. It’s just our way of sharing and doing something with Avenged Sevenfold with the people who care the most.