1. Friendship always comes before business.
“We have grown up with each other. Most of us have been friends before we started with Avenged Sevenfold. It is important to remember. It will never first be band business. We see each other outside of that. Just yesterday we had a barbecue and everyone was there.”
2. Never forget what the base is: hard rock and heavy metal.
“We grew up with hard rock, classic rock and metal and we remain true to that. Honestly it’s the only genres we like to play, and that’s a good thing. All our albums are different, but the basis is the same. We will never experiment with electronics or a dance beat, because that happens to be popular.”
3. Honor your family.
“Guitarist Synyster Gates and I have been married to twins who we already knew since high school. I’ve been with my wife for 16 years, ever since. We were also always best friends with The Rev. We knew each other for years, but now we’re both married and all of a sudden family. Synyster Gates is the uncle of my son, that is really insane.”
4. Play golf as much as possible.
“When I’m on tour, there is only one thing I like to do on a day off: Golf. Certainly if my family isn’t there. There are a few other things for me that I can make my head empty and can load me mentally for the next show. I am really obsessed with that combination of relaxation and competition.”
5. Invest in a good live show.
“We think it’s important to have strong production. Much of the money we earn, we put directly back into the live show. People pay a lot of money for tickets, I think they should get their money’s worth. Many bands forget that, but we always think back to the old shows from Iron Maiden, Kiss and Motley Crue. Of course, it comes down to the music, but also the entertainment.”
6. Songwriting is more important than technique.
“Certainly in metal, bands often forget how important songwriting is. Everyone wants the hardest or fastest, the most technical too. But, very often this leads to not good songs. In the 1980’s hard rock bands like Judas Priest and Aerosmith, the best songwriters on the planet. It used to be all about the melody. Look at musicians like Lars Ulrich of Metallica or Slash of Guns ‘N Roses. People whine that Lars is not the best drummer, but he writes great drum parts, which is an exact fit with what Metallica does. And if Slash picks up his guitar, he always comes up with a catchy riff.”
7. Never cut your hair because it is said that long hair isn’t cool anymore.
“Always keep your back straight, don’t be swayed by what other people say. We’re cocky, especially in our early days we were very competitive. […] Record companies want, for example, a hand in your direction of a new sound or new look, but you should never let them. Never cut your hair because people say that long hair is no longer cool.
Submitted by Frej.