Kat Mykals from the Evansville, Indiana radio station 103 GBF recently interviewed AVENGED SEVENFOLD bassist Johnny Christ. The full chat can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On the group's latest release, "The Stage", being an "evolving album":
Johnny: "Well, it was just the idea of basically releasing the [bonus] songs after the album release — just continually have more content being put on it wherever it's being streamed, and everything like that. We always had this idea when we went in to writing and recording the record that we were going to keep things moving along, and have more content to give to the fans after the record came out. We wanted to do it in a fun way, so we decided to do some classic song covers, and we sat around, picked out some songs, started going through them and seeing which ones we could, you know, half do justice for, because they're some pretty incredible songs that we dove into. It was an idea to keep the evolving — we used the word evolving, just because it was easier — but to keep pushing that content for the fans to grasp on to, and maybe go to some of these streaming services, because the rock world doesn't really go to them as much as some of the other genres. We just thought it would be something fun to do, you know – something different for us, so it keeps things rolling, I guess."
On covering PINK FLOYD's "Wish You Were Here":
Johnny: "That was one of the first songs that we knew we were going to cover. [Vocalist M.] Shadows is a huge fan of that song — I think we all are — and we wanted to delve into it and pick it apart, and see what we could do to do it any kind of justice. The song's already a perfect song, and just out of fandom, we wanted to see if we could challenge ourselves to do something cool with it. We kept it pretty true to the track, just did a few different things differently that we wanted to do to experiment in the recording process of it, and we just felt like it was a song that [Shadows] had a good register of vocals for it, and just, super-fandom — just, 'This is an amazing song; let's dive into it and see what we can do.'"
On the role the band's music plays in the current musical zeitgeist:
Johnny: "I kind of feel as far as where it is in society or anything like that today, or in this day and age, I feel like that's kind of up to the listener to decide and kind of tell us. We're just the artist putting it out, you know? As far as thought-provoking, yeah, I'd like to hope so, that the lyrical content of 'The Stage' and some other songs that we've done in general just gets people thinking about more than just what's at face value. It's hard to say, though — as an artist, you can only put out what you want, and then hopefully, the listeners can kind of tell you where at with it. As far as the genre goes, I feel that we have our own little niche in hard rock, metal, whatever you want to call it, because we've all grown up with very different musical backgrounds, and I feel like it kind of shows through in our songwriting."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD will release a "deluxe edition" of "The Stage" on December 15. The album was originally released in October 2016 with almost no promotion beforehand.
The surprise release, which was announced the night it went on sale, earned the lowest first-week sales of an AVENGED SEVENFOLD album in eleven years. According to SoundScan, the album has sold 193,000 copies to date in America. Each of the group's five previous albums, meanwhile, have sold at least 500,000 copies in the U.S., with sales of both 2005's "City Of Evil" and the band's self-titled 2007 release topping one million copies.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD's 2018 North American arena headlining tour will kick off January 12 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with special guests BREAKING BENJAMIN and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. The trek will be North America's introduction to the electrifying "Stage" spectacle that drew rave reviews in Europe.