Johnny Christ was interviewed by Overdrive and talked about the hurdles that Avenged Sevenfold have overcome, if they would set out to make a concept album, continuing to experiment and push boundaries, if they would consider doing another documentary or biography, headlining Download Festival for the second time, celebrating their 20th anniversary, and more.
OD – You guys have been touring ‘The Stage’ now for the guts of about a year and a half and with these Festival dates and the tour with Prophets of Rage and Three Days Grace, would it be correct to assume that this is the final stretch before the writing process begins all over again?
JOHNNY – Yeah, we’re really hitting it hard for this Summer and then some of the festivals over in Europe as well as our headline show in Belfast on June 6th. We’re actually doing a few shows in Europe that will take us right up until September and then we have a few last minute tie-in’s for September. At the moment we’re pretty excited and getting geared up and preparing ideas for the next album and just can’t wait to do the damn thing (laughing).
OD – This will be your second time headlining Download UK. There is only a very small amount of contemporary artists that have had the privilege of such an esteemed gig. When doing a show like this, is there an extra level of pressure or is it just ‘business as usual’?
JOHNNY – Yeah, (laughing) it’s a big one alright! It’s not exactly a ‘fear’ thing when doing shows of this magnitude. We’ve already headlined Download before and have played the festival many times prior to that, so this will be our second time headlining.
We’ve been here before but by no means does that mean that we are not apprehensive about it! Let’s just say that we are very aware of the show and know it’s coming up soon (laughing). We want to make it special and not just for us but for the fans also. We started off in Donington playing Download very early in the day and now, here we are closing the festival for the second time! Being able to play something as important as Download is very dear to our hearts. We know what it entails and we take that in when we are preparing our setlist as well as production. So, to answer the question, it’s not just another gig, nor is it a huge amount of pressure, it’s kind of somewhere in between those two factors (laughing). We know what we’re doing with that stage and can’t wait to get out there and kick some ass!
OD – Next year will see the band’s 20th anniversary, are there any plans to make the occasion with something special?
JOHNNY – We’ve thought about it but we have not really had a sit-down focused conversation about it. It’s more like “Hey, we’re hitting 20 years next year! We should probably do something special to mark the occasion.” and everyone is like ‘Yeah, that would be cool.” and that’s about as far as we have come with it (laughing).
If there’s a good idea for it then, yeah, for sure we’ll do something. It’s a big accomplishment for us to be able to look back over the last two decades and still be here doing what we do, albeit, older and grayer.
OD – With regards to the Belfast show, this will be the last performance for the band before Download Festival. Being able to do a ‘warm-up show’ in an arena has got to be a good feeling, right?
JOHNNY – I suppose when you look at it that way, yeah! (laughing) We have a killer show planned for Belfast and can’t wait to get on stage in the SSE Arena. We’re finalising our setlist now and I know that the fans will not be disappointed. It’s gonna be one hell of a show.