Zacky Vengeance was interviewed by The National Student and talked about surprise releasing “The Stage,” the themes on the album, some of the musical influences on it, the new stage production, designing the album insert art and their old label.
The sheer creativity of The Stage exists almost in direct contrast to its predecessor, Hail to the King (2013), which was very clearly inspired by classic metal acts such as Metallica and Guns n’ Roses.
“Obviously you can tell the heavy-handed influence on Hail to the King,” Zacky admits, but explains that, when it came to The Stage, “Matt would listen to some obscure hip-hop and then come back with a drumbeat that he could convey to Brooks [Wackerman, drummer] that was somehow metal, but was inspired by some wacky hip-hop riff or something. I wouldn’t even be able to decipher that it came from hip-hop. Everyone’s mind works differently.”
He continues: “We were so inside our own heads in search of trying to create a new style of heavy metal or hard rock by incorporating crazy drumbeats and long, ambitious songs. Our influences were as far off the beaten path as they’ve ever been.”