M Shadows credits a "deep" exploration into psychedelic drugs as the reason for Avenged Sevenfold's "bold" new sound

Avenged Sevenfold's M Shadows
(Image credit: Ollie Millington/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Avenged Sevenfold returned with their first new single since 2016,  the expansive prog-metal epic Nobody.

The track was lifted from their forthcoming album Life Is But A Dream, which is set for release on June 2. When describing the forthcoming album via their official website, the band wrote that it's "a journey through an existential crisis; a very personal exploration into the meaning, purpose and value of human existence with the anxiety of death always looming."

Now, during an interview on their TRAX podcast, A7X reveal that the album's transcendental and experimental qualities are rooted in their new-found use of psychedelic drugs. 

Detailing how the drug use influenced them to enter into new sonic territories, frontman M Shadows explains: "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."

Speaking of the main takeaways from his psychedelic experiences and how this influenced the band's new direction, he continues: "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."

"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.'"

In previous social media posts, Avenged revealed that the follow-up to 2016's The Stage, was inspired by the work of French philosopher and writer Albert Camus (La Peste, L'Étranger), with its lyrics reflecting themes of existentialism and absurdism. 

Listen to the full podcast episode below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.