“I have a clear vision of what I’m going to do before I go in there,” says Avenged Sevenfold’s speedy stickman, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. After recording an album as diverse and detailed as the band’s latest self-titled affair, he better have a pretty strong understanding of what he’s going to do before sliding on the headphones.
Four albums into its career, Avenged Sevenfold have amassed a solid catalog of metal-core anthems. But this time The Rev and his bandmates opted to step outside the genre’s boundaries, infusing orchestral, R&B, and country influences into their solid rock foundation, while self-producing the ten-song collection. And for The Rev, that meant turning to his vocalist or guitarists for their opinions on all things drum-wise.
“I always bounce certain fills off of them,” he says. “But I like to watch them freak out when I nail something really tasty. They’re involved more in the standpoint of tonality. We switched the drumkit up every two songs or so, and we were really meticulous with the actual tones of the drums. We didn’t sample anything or throw any samples on top of anything. We got a really good, organic sound out of it. That was a new thing for me, but that’s what we wanted to do. I doubt that most producers would want to switch up their drumkits for every song.”
We’ve posted the complete interview with James “The Rev” Sullivan from the October 2006 issue. You can see it here.