Zacky, guitarist for Avenged Sevenfold, called the Metal Refuge
for a short chat about the music his band makes, his appreciation for his fans, and touring. Unfortunately he was driving
in the boonies and the cell phone reception was less than stellar. After fading out and being cut off twice, the
interview was cut, but never the less we got a decent taste of what this rocker is about.
Read the review
of "Waking The Fallen"!
MR: Hello ?
Zacky Vengeance: Is Jake there?
MR: Yeah this is, is this Zacky?
This is Zacky from Avenged Sevenfold.
MR: What's going on man, how are you doing?
Zacky: Good, how
are you doing?
MR: I'm alright, just to start off thanks for doing this for us at the Metal Refuge.
No problem man.
MR: I got your cd here, I checked it out and it's pretty bad ass, but let's just kinda start
the interview here if you don't mind.
Zacky: Cool, no problem.
MR: Now you guys got together when you
were in high school and recorded your first album when you were like 18. How young were you when you started playing guitar?
Zacky: Um, I started playing when I was in the seventh grade, so it was around 12, 13... something like that.
Were you self taught?
Zacky: Yeah, yeah.
MR: So were you playing along with the radio or cds or something
Zacky: Yeah, I was playing along with my favorite bands. It was also a lot of fun back then so it was really
easy. And then you know, over the course of just playing and being around people you start to try new things, I was trying
to learn some new stuff.
MR: You just mentioned your favorite bands which I would take as your influences.
Who influenced you the most as a musician?
Zacky: Um, what got me into it you know, was bands like Rancid, Misfits
and Bad Religion. But, as far as all time favorite bands I've always like Guns N' Roses and Metallica and stuff like that.
MR: Speaking of them, what do you think of the new Metallica?
Zacky: I'm into it actually.
You're one of the few!
Zacky: Yeah definitely, we get that a lot. (inaudible) Whether or not it's good or not it still
sells a million copies.
MR: Yeah, how supportive has your family been throughout your pursuit of a music career?
Zacky: They've been amazing. They've always been helping, even before anyone cared about us. They've always been really
understanding and helping. I think everyone's families have been, if it wasn't for them we would never have gotten to this
MR: Do they go to your shows?
Zacky: Yeah, it was funny because I never really let them come
to the shows until I felt confident that they'd be happy because we were playing shitty shows for so long. With the bigger
shows we've always invited them out and it's really cool. And now all the shows are bigger.
MR: That's cool,
now I'm just assuming this, that you guys are using stage names or nick names...
did you guys come up with them?
Zacky: You know, we just kind of picked things that just kind of came out of our personalities.
You know there's really no meaning behind them, it was something we just did. They just kind of matched with our personalities
and it's kind of darker... they just kind of stuck with us.
MR: Also kind of like a dis-identification of yourselves?
Zacky: Exactly !
MR: Alright now the band name is inspired by a biblical story, who's idea was it for
Zacky: Um, that was Shadows that came up with that. He uh, (inaudible) it basically means the first murder
MR: You guys didn't have any disagreements about it? As soon as it was brought up it was "yeah this
is what we are"?
Zacky: Yeah, you know um, that was pretty much what happened.
MR: Alright, now I've
read your roots are in punk but you also have been described as hardcore metal with rock influences. On this record you bring
together a number of elements, do you feel that your music has changed since the beginning and if so how do you perceive your
fans are accepting you now?
Zacky: You know what, to be honest with you we really don't worry about any of that shit.
Our sound is definitely different now that just because we've progressed. We don't care how people perceive us, wether they
love it or hate it. So far we've been getting a lot of new fans and been getting a great response from our existing fans and
that's all we care about. For those kids that hate the fact that we've changed... then every album we put out there's always
going to be a handful of kids that don't like it. You know, we welcome them not liking us anymore because for every kid that
doesn't like us we're pretty confident that a lot more will.
MR: From the way you talk it sounds like you guys
are really appreciative of your fans.
Zacky: Oh yeah, they're the best. They're the most loyal fans, we're very appreciative
of them. They think so much of what we do, about the music, we couldn't do any better than them.
MR: Very cool,
it's cool to hear bands say that, because most bands once they get signed they pretty much assume the whole "rock star" persona.
Zacky: Yeah, we definitely know that if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be anything. So our fans are the most important
thing to us. Aside from the music.
MR: In this month's Guitar World you're listed as one of the Top 10 Metal
Bands everyone should know about, how does it make you feel receiving that notoriety from them?
(Zacky's cell phone
cuts out, and he calls back)
MR: Hello ?
MR: Your cell phone cut out there.
Zacky: Yeah we're out driving in the middle of no where.
MR: That's no problem man, but what the question
was was in this month's Guitar World you're listed as one of the Top 10 Metal Bands everyone should know about, how does it
make you feel receiving that notoriety from them?
Zacky: It's awesome, it's definitely weird, it's definitely weird.
Coming from reading it all the time to now actually being in it with the rest of my bandmates as one of the Top 10 Metal Bands,
it's amazing. I think what we're hoping for is to one day be on the cover.
MR: As far as Guitar World goes
most of the guitarists I know read them cover to cover, were you one of those people?
Zacky: Oh yeah you know, every
month I'd be hoping that they'd have a song I'd like so I could see the tablature and attempt to learn it back when I was
in middle school and I'd always try to read as much as I could. All the bands, they always seemed so big to me and now it's
kind of hard to imagine that somebody could open the magazine and almost feel the same way (about us).
It definitely has to be surreal for you.
Zacky: Oh it definitely is.
MR: Because of your rising status
in the metal scene, have you been able to quit your days jobs, if you had them?
Zacky: Yeah, surprisingly. We were
always so busy and we're on tour so much that none of us need any day jobs. This is our full time job. You know we eat breathe
and sleep this band, it doesn't give us any time for anything else.
MR: You recently had to cancel some shows
because you injured your hand, how did you injure it and are you still having any problems with it?
Zacky: It's fine
now. Just being drunk and goofing around I ended up fracturing my knuckle, but it's all better now.
do you like being on the road and have any majorly ridiculous things that have happened to you while being on tour?
You know, being on tour is great, it's a lot of fun you know? We have so many friends (inaudible) it's cool to see everyone,
to see how the progress is going and to see how all these areas are growing as far as our fans go. We're one of the few bands
that are left that have as much fun as possible on tour. We're always having girls backstage and just partying and having
fun. That's just how we have fun and how we always will be. It seems like a lot of bands now a days, are more reserved. There
is about a million good stories but we're probably just not saying them right now.
the most outrageous thing either you or your bandmates have done on stage?
Zacky: Most outrageous? We put a lot of
energy into when we play live, we try to. Sometimes accidents will happen because of that. You have five full size guys running
around, there's bound to be accidents. We've had some split heads. It's kind of a battle field on stage sometimes, but that's
not the most ridiculous thing.
MR: Have any real brutal, serious fights happened between you guys at all?
No, not at all, it's all accidents, But it's hard to believe you can get hit in the head and how much it bleeds after it happens.
(laughter) It all adds to show I guess.
MR: Aside from your hometown, what are your favorite places to play?
Zacky: Um, right now, you know besides our home, San Diego is amazing... anywhere in southern California for that
matter. Washington D.C. is really good, anywhere in the north east is getting a lot better, they're amazing. Texas, Arizona...
Denver, Colorado. It's amazing there's so many places that are definitely picking up, it's not so hard to go to an area and
see kids in it. We used to have like 10 kids who knew who we were and now there's definitely kids actually coming out to see
MR: That definitely has to be one of the best feelings for you guys, as growing from a local band to a
Zacky: Oh definitely.
MR: Ok now on the record you have the two part song "I Won't See
You Tonight". On the first part the subject matter kind of seems to be that the speaker is saying goodbye to the world, and
on the second seems to be the response to that happening or that the song is speaking from the perspective of how people have
been affected by loving someone who has committed suicide. Where did the inspiration for the song(s) come from?
You know, I'm not sure because I don't write any of the lyrics. I think mainly (inaudible) it's just tellin a story (inaudible).
(Zacky's cell phone cuts out again)
Even though we did not get to ask all the questions we had planned, we
sincerely want to thank Zacky for taking some time with us, and also Libby from MSO for setting this up! Be sure to
pick up their latest record "Waking The Fallen". Such amazing music from such a young band!