Radio Argentina Rock & Pop's Interview With Zacky Vengeance. - Avenged Sevenfold

Radio Argentina Rock & Pop's Interview With Zacky Vengeance.

Radio Argentina Rock & Pop’s Olmedo recently spoke with Zacky Vengenace on his radio show and A7X Argentina have sent in the translated version of all three parts of the interview that was conducted. A big thank you goes out to do them for doing this.

-Your most recent tour is called ‘Welcome to the Family’. Of what family are you talking about? Yours, yourselves, you and your fans?
-Mostly about our fans. In the last year, we’ve been through so much together and they helped us during a very difficult time, so we got back up and helped our fans. At this point we’re more like a family that is more important than the band itself.

-Your most recent tour is called ‘Welcome to the Family’. Of what family are you talking about? Yours, yourselves, you and your fans?
-Mostly about our fans. In the last year, we’ve been through so much together and they helped us during a very difficult time, so we got back up and helped our fans. At this point we’re more like a family that is more important than the band itself.

-You have a new drummer; you called the unknown Arin Ilejay because you didn’t want Mike Portnoy to think he was going to be a permanent member of the group, especially now that he’s out of Dream Theater?
-Yeah, I mean, Mike helped us to get back on our feet. We were in a really difficult spot in we really appreciated him for helping out. We aren’t looking for a permanent replacement but we needed to bring our music, you know, back to life. We wanted to give somebody else the opportunity that we were given. Mike is more established but we came from nothing and built this great empire. We thought it was a really, really great thing and the only way we could do it was to bring somebody new and young along to kinda keep alive what we always wanted.

-How would you say you and Synyster Gates work as a guitar duo? More between the lines of Murray/Smith from Iron Maiden or Hetfield/Hammett from Metallica?
-I think what we have is really unique. Uhm, I love watching James Hetfield play because he’s a great guitar player. His rhythms are so solid it adds so much (but at the same time he’s capable to play great solos) I really, really like that. With all the stuff we’ve been writing, you know, it helped develop my style. And I think what me and Syn have is really special and I love all the duels that Iron Maiden has but I love the melodies that Metallica has and we try to incorporate all the styles just by being influenced by them.

-I personally discovered Avenged Sevenfold with your second album, Waking the Fallen. I didn’t expect City of Evil to be so successful. Did you? To me was a surprise.
-Yeah, I mean… it’s one of those things that we never really thought about. When we started the band we dreamt, like every young band, you know, playing in front of thousands of people across the world, and we always felt that we could do it because we work hard and we knew what we had was really special. Ahm, you know, we toured with so many bands but what we have with our fans is something really, really unique. Not many bands in the planet get to experience what we have. (In all the decisions we’ve made, we thought of our fans and ourselves with disregard to what was currently happening on the radio or was currently happening on TV or what other bands are doing. We didn’t care about, you know, that stuff and people seemed to like that. We started becoming popular and once we did that we got to sit back and we kinda said ‘we need to work harder because we have fans across the entire world, we need to go out there and work for then’. I still feel like we have a long way to go, ahm, and I don’t think we’ll ever feel completely satisfied. But it’s been a fun adventure so far.

-Let me tell you something, I know that in the US you are very big and I know that here you have a very important young audience but there’s a lot of adults that listen to heavy metal don’t even know who you are and the local promoters either. That’s why I think it took you so long to come here.
-Yeah, we’ve always looked forward to coming to Buenos Aires and now that we’re gonna go, you know, I don’t expect anyone to know about us, ‘cause we haven’t been there before. But what we’re gonna do is: we’re gonna go there, put on THE best show we can. We want the fans to see it and I know you have some younger fans. But around the world we started gaining respect from older metal fans and rock fans and there’s only one way to do that; it’s going out there and putting the best show we can. And coming back the next time and give them something that they’ll remember forever, and that’s what we’ve done around the entire world. There’s not been one place where we blew up because we’re played on the radio or MTV. We’ve had to work really hard and we went from playing in small clubs to small theaters to ballrooms to arenas. ‘Cause we haven’t been to Argentina yet, you know, we’re gonna go out there and give it our best shot and show to all our fans what we’re really about.

-Are you interested in gaining the respect of others audiences maybe a little more traditionalist, people that because you used eyeliner are not interested in you, independent from how your band sounds?
-Yeah, absolutely, I think a lot of people have a perception of us from when we were younger and we were trying up new things and that made a lot of people apprehensive, asking why are we becoming so popular and after that we went back, produced an album ourselves and we got to prove people that we were real, we’re really musicians and it’s not just the look, it’s not just an image. We love our music and we love our fans and we’re gonna go put the best shows on everywhere around the world. And with this album, we’re much older now, and been through a lot of experiences that, I mean, most people I hope will never have to go through, and we’ve grown up so much and I think the music speaks for itself. We go onstage and it’s music, you know, it’s not eyeliner anymore, it’s very real and I think everywhere we’ve been on tour people realized that and they are no longer apprehensive. And they say ‘ok, you guys are real, you really love your fans and you really make heavy metal’ and it’s not just image, it’s not just the scene. And I think we’ve earned a lot of respect from all people around the world.

-In the future, do you imagine the band following AC/DC’s steps, keeping a unique style or like Metallica, changing in with every record.
– I think it takes a lot, we look at all of that and we just write what we feel; no matter what I’m always gonna love aggressive, fast music. I’m not ready to settle down (…) AC/DC has their sound, no matter what they do people will always love them. Metallica, one of the greatest things they’ve done, it’s when Dead Magnetic came out they started shredding again and it was awesome that they do try to reinvent themselves. Sometimes they do it better than others but I can always appreciate a band trying and I think we’re a band that will always have an Avenged Sevenfold sound. Whatever future holds we’ll never know, but I feel like we’ll always write aggressive, fast metal music.

-I don’t know if you had the chance to run into the members of Slipknot after the death of their bass player, Paul Grey. You went through a something similar after the passing of your drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, and you might’ve been able to share some of your experiences.
-Yeah, we’re friends with all of those guys. We’re really good friends with Corey and Jim and their crew and, you know, went Paul passed away it really, really took to a bad spot ‘cause I knew exactly what they would have to go through because we’ve been through it. And then I sat down and cried all day because it really brought out feelings of what I had been going through. And, you know, after something like that happens you just don’t know what to do, you don’t know what to think. We went through the same thing and we didn’t wanna be a band without Jimmy and we just knew that we had to make the album, we had to put it out and it’s the hardest thing we ever did. And after that, we just took it one day at a time. And our fans helped us, and they pointed the direction. It wasn’t us, I mean, it was us working really hard, but it was our fans that carried us on their shoulders. And with Slipknot, you know, I love those guys; I think they are one of the greatest metal bands ever and hopefully they’ll be able to cope with it. I know their fans will be there supporting them no matter what and I think that goes a long way. Definitely a tragedy and hopefully they’ll emerge stronger from it.

-Are you able to see death from a different point of view now? Ronnie Dio died last year, Mike Starr died recently. Can you analyze it from a new perspective?
-Yeah, definitely. It becomes real, you know that is going to happen to you or everyone you care about someday and you realize that everyone has dealt with it and, I mean, that’s what the song welcome to the family is about, about understanding that everyone –our fans- have been through tragedy and we’re all a family, we understand what it’s like to lose somebody and, you know, it doesn’t make it any easier but we definitely appreciate everyone close to us and our band way more and our fans more than ever, because when you lose somebody you can’t believe they’re gone and it’s really, really hard. But you take everything you have and you are way more appreciative of it. I believe there’s something better, after all it’s said and done, and… you know, you come out of it with a completely different perspective.

-Thanks for everything Zacky and as a last question, having in mind that it’s the first time you’re playing in Buenos Aires; how are you planning your seltlist?
-We are gonna bring the best show that we can, it’s truly important to us that our fans that are waiting to see us get the same show that they deserve to see. We’re gonna play songs from all our albums, we definitely had to rehearsed some songs we’ve never played before that are fans in Argentina are gonna be pretty lucky to hear before the rest of the world. We’ve been practicing hard, you know, when we get down there we’ll play the show and we’ll let you guys be the judges.

-Ok man, thank you very much for doing this.
-Great, thank you!

NOTE From A7X Argentina: There are some parts [the ones between brackets] where what you read is not exactly what Zacky’s saying but the idea of it.