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The sound of Avenged Sevenfold's long-awaited new album, Life Is but a Dream, was heavily influenced by drugs. In a new interview on their own TRAX Podcast, frontman M. Shadows revealed that many of the "bold" sonic leaps on the upcoming record (out June 2nd) were informed by he and guitarist Synyster Gates' recent experiences with the psychedelic drug 5-MeO-DMT, a cousin substance of the ego-destroying DMT.
"Me and [Synyster Gates] were exploring deeply in psychedelics throughout the last few years," Shadows said, as transcribed by Metal Injection. "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.'"
Listen to the full podcast conversation below.