In the December 31st issue of Kerrang! they posted a “50 Albums You Must Hear In 2010” special that featured an interview with M. Shadows. I typed this up from a copy I grabbed. Please keep in mind that this was conducted before The Rev’s passing.
Album Number: Five
Follow-Up To: 2007’s “Avenged Sevenfold”
WHEN DO AX7 HIT THE STUDIO?
M SHADOWS (vocals): “In January. We’ve been throwing around ideas for the last year or so and really knuckled down on the writing in September. We wanted to give ourselves enough time to make the best record possible. We have a lot of good songs but now we’re trying to beat them and write even better stuff. Even if a song is blowing us away, we’re constantly trying to beat it. We’re really striving for something special.
WHATS THE IMPETUS BEHIND THIS ADDED PRESSURE?
“Well, I thought our  self-titled record wasnt as emotionally draining as [2005’s] City Of Evil or [2003’s] Waking The Fallen, and I really wanted to make an album that gets the best out of us again. We’ve been doing this for so long now, we want to fall in love with what we’re doing again. We dont want to put out any bad records and it takes a little bit longer to make sure we’re putting out only our best efforts, then so be it.”
DO YOU PLAN ON PRODUCING IT AGAIN YOURSELVES OR GETTING SOMEONE ELSE IN?
“We’re talking to a few people who seem promising but we’re going to keep that under wraps for now because the deals havent been done yet. Since we did the last record ourselves, we wanted to see if we could get comfortable enough with someone else this time. With us, it’s really important to know that if we’re paying a producer, they are able to contribute musically and make suggestions. We dont want someone who just knows how to twiddle knobs. We just need to find someone who can listen to our songs, let us be Avenged Sevenfold and make suggestions that get us from A to Z quicker.”
HOW IS THE ALBUM SHAPING UP SO FAR?
“We have about 20 ideas, with about 13 complete songs. Right now we’re writing about two songs a week, working our butts off. Last time we only put 10 songs but we’ll have a lot more this time – it’ll probably be as bid as City Of Evil, like 75 minutes. So far, it sounds more like classic metal; it’s old school, thrashy and its heavier with more solos. Lyrically and musically it will have a conceptual feel. There’s talk of doing a track that encompasses each of the others for example, and of doing reprises and interludes and little things like that. We’re trying to do something really fun and cool.”
WHAT VIBE ARE YOU AIMING FOR?
“It’s a dark record. The music is emotional. Our goal is to make every single part memorable, we want to evoke reactions live and at home. It’ll have big rock ballads, the big fun stuff, the piano, the choir, the orchestra and all the visual things you expect but with a different, moodier vibe. Lyrically, I’ve been inspired by everything from the ways kids are brought up nowadays, to schooling, the economy, religion, war and the behaviour of our government. It all plays into how kids are so emotionally detached from the real world right now.”
HAVE YOUR RECENT NUPTIALS CHANGED YOUR OUTLOOK ON THE WORLD?
“Not directly but in a certain way I guess. As a band we’re all growing up a little and maturing. When you’re young and youre carless you can throw it all out there and not really give a shit but now we really have to believe in something if we’re going to put our name to it. When I the record on I want every single moment to be a slam dunker.”