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Jakarta Post

Avenged Sevenfold ready to rock Jakarta

  • Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, January 18, 2015   /  02:15 pm
Avenged Sevenfold ready to rock Jakarta Rock star: Avenged Sevenfold took to stage at the 48 Hours festival. (AFP/Ethan Miller) (AFP/Ethan Miller)

Rock star: Avenged Sevenfold took to stage at the 48 Hours festival. (AFP/Ethan Miller)

California-based metal band Avenged Sevenfold (A7x)is in town to appease hungry fans after their planned concert in 2012 was put on hold due to technical glitches  by the would-be promoter.

Now, the five-piece band is on the Jakarta leg of a tour to promote their latest album, Hail to the King.

The tour includes shows in Korea, Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and, for the first time, Hawaii.

The Jakarta show is slated for Jan. 18 in Parkir Timur Senayan at the Bung Karno Sports Complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta.

The band was formed in 1999, with band members performing under pseudonyms: M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates, Johnny Christ and The Reverend.

They emerged with a metalcore sound on their first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, which helped revive American heavy metal.

They released their major label debut, City of Evil, in 2005, moving away from metalcore and toward straight metal.

In a journey to find new sounds, A7x evolved into groove, as seen in their sixth studio album, Hail to the King, which was released in 2013.

The album marked the debut of new drummer Arin Ilejay, who replaced James '€œThe Rev'€ Sullivan, who died in 2009.

Critics say that Hail to the King, which was three years in the making, was the band'€™s most experimental work to date.

Creativity in finding new ways to reach fans was also seen after the release of the Hail to the King animated series (available in YouTube), which also served as a prologue for the Hail to the King: Deathbat mobile game '€“ giving the fans their own mix of music, animation and gaming.

Both the series and game tell the story of the band'€™s fictional mascot, the Deathbat.

In an email interview, Shadows talked about different topics on the album, their metal heroes and games.

Q. How do you see your fans in Southeast Asia?

A. Our fans in Southeast Asia blew us away when we first toured there many years ago. Ever since, it has been very important to us to come back as often as possible, Southeast Asia is very important to the A7X Family.

Could you tell us about the creative process in making this album?

We had set out with a goal on this record. We wanted more blues and more of a 1990s metal sound than our previous ones. The process was writing a ton and making sure everything fit that criteria.

What stands out the most about the album?

The simplicity in it is what makes it stand out. We needed to prove we could write simple huge songs and we accomplished that.

Your music has evolved over the years. Where has the metalcore gone? Can we expect a comeback?

The metalcore has been left behind. It'€™s not something that any of us find enjoyment in listening to, so it'€™s obviously that the direction we would write songs in. I wouldn'€™t hold my breath for a comeback. We are ever evolving and never repeat ourselves.

How do you want to see A7x as a band develops?

I want to stay away from trends and do what we want to do musically. We write music because we have to '€” it'€™s a part of our very being. As we develop I just see us following our heart on this musical journey.

Has the resurgence of metal heroes such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica affected you as a band?

It has been good for us, because there are some big bands to play with. People think this is a competition between bands, when the reality is the more successful bands the better. It really does help everyone when there are some big bands leading the charge.

Are you here to promote video game Deathbat as well? Could you tell us about the game?

We are actually here strictly for the music. The game is a fun thing that we built for the fans. If you enjoy action adventure games then I suggest you pick it up '€” it'€™s very fun.

It'€™s been rated 4.5 out of 5 by gamers. Any input from the gamers you can use for improvement?

There are always opinions out there. Most of the time opinions come from people who don'€™t know the situation or art of making a game. You get complaints because people on high end devices want better graphics and then you get complaints about the graphics taking too much space on a lower-end phone. You can'€™t win '€” you just got to do your best.

How about the animated series? Is there more to come?

Nah, we did that for fun. Always evolving and trying new things.

What do you do on your off days?

Hang out with my kids and golf.

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