Guitar World have put up their interview with Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates where they talk about their “wicked-and-wild guitar styles.” This article was originally published in the October 2010 issue. You can read the entire interview here.
GW That said, on a song like “Save Me,” there are solo sections where you must have said, “I’m just gonna blow some heads off.”
GATES [laughs] Yeah, there’s definitely some of that. But I hope that even if it’s too fast for people to hook onto any melodies, there’s still a vibe to it. Of course, “Save Me” is like four different complete blasphemies of vibes! It’s the last song on the record, and it’s over 10 minutes long. At that point it’s like, You think you’ve heard a bunch of crazy shit, but this is the craziest shit yet.
GW Along those lines, it’s clear that the band puts a lot of time and effort into song arrangement, in particular in the way you often incorporate decidedly un-metal instruments like pianos, strings and horns into the mix. Where does that come from?
GATES It’s a result of being an extremely hands-on band, and it comes out of a lot of trial and error. We listen to lots of classical music, including guys like [French Impressionist composer] Claude Debussy. And the contemporary favorite is certainly [film and TV composer] Danny Elfman. He’s just so incredible. His soundtrack for Edward Scissorhands is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time. So we’ll listen to all this music and study what’s going on on top of and underneath the melody, what kinds of instruments support the different instruments that are playing the melody—all that stuff. We spend a lot of time with MIDI keyboards and various processors, and we just figure it out. And all those things you hear in our songs work as submelodies and countermelodies, and everything has to fit.