AVENGED SEVENFOLD Is 'Still Finishing Up' New Album: 'We're Getting In A Great Place As A Band Again'

April 29, 2022

AVENGED SEVENFOLD bassist Johnny Christ says that the band is "still finishing up" the follow-up to 2016's "The Stage" album.

The 37-year-old Huntington Beach, California-based musician offered an update on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's new LP while speaking to HELLYEAH and MUDVAYNE singer Chad Gray during an episode of his Internet TV show "Drinks With Johnny".

Regarding AVENGED SEVENFOLD's current status, Christ said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're still finishing up our record that we started. We had a lot of delays, for a lot of different reasons. We'll go into it at a later date and we'll be letting all the fans know. But it's just delays, and then adding COVID to some of those delays… We're a pretty intricate band. The delays were already there, and [COVID] just made it a little longer.'

He continued: "Finishing the record to the caliber that we have created… A lot of string arrangements, a lot of different things that you need — players to come in on, and they're all part of a union and stuff, and they have different new protocols of how… 'Oh, if we wanna do a full orchestra, we've gotta do these three guys and then these three guys.' We were, like, 'Nope. We're just gonna wait until we can get the whole fucking thing together. Let's do it right.' … And that's just one of the delays. There's a few others. But, basically, we're finishing that up.

"We're literally in the talks right now, having band meetings, about what the next couple of years are gonna look like and scheduling and everything like that," Johnny added. "So we're excited. We're getting in a great place as a band again. Not that there was a bad place.

"You know what the other thing is, Chad? We all have young families right now. So being off for a little while [during the pandemic] was kind of a silver lining, a blessing in disguise in a lot of ways. I've gotten to watch my five-year-old son grow up firsthand without being on the road, without really working too much. I've been home every day — which is good and bad for me."

Two months ago, AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows said that the band's new album was "90 percent done" after the band was able to get a 78-piece orchestra to record its parts for the follow-up to "The Stage". A month earlier, M. Shadows told Metal Hammer that the band would complete the mixing of its eighth studio album by March. "The record's been recorded for a year, but we haven't been able to put the real strings on it, because we couldn't fly out to Prague," he said. "When an orchestra have to social distance and they aren't sitting next to each other, they can get out of tune, and we have just finally got to a place where we can use this 70-piece orchestra as we intended."

Regarding the musical direction of the follow-up to "The Stage", M. Shadows said: "There are so many influences… We're very influenced by Kanye West. The thing about Kanye is that he is pulling from such great soul music. I didn't grow up with that stuff — my dad listened to BOSTON and Alice Cooper [and] I didn't get that taste of black music and old soul. So, diving deep into jazz musicians… We're not trying to do a jazz record, but the chord changes and progressions are so eye-opening to us."

AVENGED SEVENFOLD kept a low profile during 2019. A blood blister on M. Shadows's vocal cords forced the band to cancel a summer 2018 tour with PROPHETS OF RAGE and THREE DAYS GRACE.

"The Stage" was surprise-released in October 2016. The release of the disc, which was announced the night it went on sale, earned the lowest sales of an AVENGED SEVENFOLD album in 11 years. It sold 76 thousand copies in its first week, 73 thousand of which were physical.

"The Stage", AVENGED's debut for Capitol, sold less than half as many copies in its first week as the group's two previous efforts, 2010's "Nightmare" and 2013's "Hail To The King".

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