How Psychedelic Drugs + Terminator 2 Shaped The New Avenged Sevenfold Album

Terminator 2: Distributor: Tri-Star Pictures / M. Shadows Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images
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Last week, Avenged Sevenfold announced that their new album, Life Is But a Dream, will be out this June. Alongside the release of this news, the band put out a new single titled “Nobody.”

As part of the band’s TRAX podcast, M. Shadows talked about the new song and provided some insights into the band’s upcoming album. While talking about the record, Shadows revealed that the use of psychedelic drugs had a significant impact on the record’s creation.

Shadows says that, through the use of psychedelics, the band ended up pulling inspiration from the likes of Terminator 2. Speaking to their new song “Nobody,” the upcoming album, and the use of psychedelics, Shadows shares the following (which was transcribed by The PRP):

“Me and [Synyster Gates] were exploring deeply in psychedelics throughout the last few years. One of those things in particular was 5-MeO-DMT. I had a very tough experience in like, you know, type A personality [whose] ego gets completely demolished.

“You see yourself leave your body and we can get into that more, but one thing that I came out of that realizing was that life is so short. Don’t put anything out unless it’s bold, and ‘bold’ was the word that we were using. ‘Bold’ was like, don’t just play within your genre. There’s a huge difference between Waking The Fallen and City Of Evil, but they were both playing within a genre. Yeah, it was different but it was all within a… there was a sphere there.

“On this record, we didn’t want to be a part of any of that. We wanted to just put out art that just… if we saw something or heard a sound, we wanted to figure out how to get that, but not with our normal tools, right? If there was a feeling, we wanted to try to extract that feeling in audio, but not with our normal tool shed. So when you look at like the guitar tone, or the riff and the guitar tone, for something like ‘Nobody,’ that’s just a droning thing that we had to figure out how to melodically play between major and minor, and to make it interesting.

“But the same time we didn’t want to actually make notes with it. We wanted to just have this thing [droning] almost like Terminator 2. Then we’re gonna play melodically with it, but it was basically this psychedelic experience that took us into this ‘be bold. Don’t do psychedelics and make Pink Floyd. No, do your own thing and make your own stamp.’”

Shadows does make an interesting point in regard to Terminator 2; stereotypically speaking, psychedelics tend to be mentioned in regard to trippy ambient music, not industrial tones.

What do you make of Shadows’ points and how excited are you for the new Avenged Sevenfold album?

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