In an interview earlier today with Chris Jericho on Talk with Jericho, M. Shadows shut down the rumor mill and introduced Brooks Wackerman as the new drummer of Avenged Sevenfold. Wackerman announced in October that he was leaving the band Bad Religion and now we know why, he was joining Avenged Sevenfold.
Link to Interview:
In the interview M. Shadows discussed Arin Ilejay’s departure from the band, the process of bringing Brooks Wackerman into the Avenged Sevenfold family, the band’s sound and what the future holds for A7X.
In regards to Arin Ilejay, M. Shadows wanted to make it clear that he is a great drummer and person, he just didn't have a lot in common with the band. Arin’s age and experience level did become an issue and there was a generation gap musically and personally. M. Shadows explained that Arin practically went from selling cymbals to the hectic life of a touring rock musician. The band noticed that it was wearing on their drummer and it got to a point where Arin was so exhausted that he was forgetting his drum parts. Although it was becoming apparent to the band that Arin was not working out, they did not want leave him high and dry. The band wanted to make sure he was financially stable and not left in the lurch just because they were not working out as a musical unit. So although Avenged Sevenfold had been secretly working with a new drummer for some time, they did not announce Arin’s departure until July 2015.
Shadows said the band had a “come to Jesus moment,” where they could either coast with the status quo or tear it all down and build it back up. A7X came to terms with the fact that they needed to “gear up . . . and strap on the boots” and make the changes that were needed for the betterment of the band. The decision to replace Arin Ilejay was not made lightly and the process of finding the right replacement was not rushed.
Avenged Sevenfold quietly approached Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman who was someone they knew and had toured with previously. He was closer in age to the band and like A7X he was from the Southern California area. Luckily, Brooks was onboard with the idea so out of the public eye the band felt out the dynamic of the new lineup. A7X spent time going through the paces and practicing with Brooks to be certain that he would be the right fit for the band. The process took about a year but the new lineup did indeed gel and M. Shadows said that they knew that beloved A7X drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, who passed away in 2009, would approve of this decision and be happy with the addition of Brooks Wackerman.
Shadows would not say when new music was coming, just that when they were ready, it will happen. In regards to the band’s musical direction, M. Shadows discussed the stripped down sound from their last album Hail to the King but stated that would not be their direction moving forward. Shadows hinted that for the next CD they were not going back to their old sound per se, but they were not going lose the core of the Avenged Sevenfold sound either. I am really interested in seeing and hearing new music from Avenged Sevenfold and my curiosity has been peaked, the ball is in your court Avenged Sevenfold, carry on.
Look for Avenged Sevenfold to release a new DVD entitled This Is Bat Country which chronicles the band’s journey from the beginning. A release date has not been announced but you can see a teaser of the DVD: