SUNNY DIS­PO­SI­TION

THERE ARE SOME SIT­U­A­TIONS IN LIFE THAT ARE SO AB­SURD, IF YOU DON’T LAUGH, YOU’LL END UP IN TEARS. EN­TER: DON­ALD TRUMP…

Kerrang! (UK) - - News - WORDS: EMILY CARTER PHOTO: ANDY FORD

Avenged Sev­en­fold’s thought-pro­vok­ing, mind-bend­ing seventh al­bum didn’t start off in the man­ner you might ex­pect. In its ini­tial, um, stages, The Stage went through some rather un­usual steps to get to its fi­nal prod­uct. While the record you hear today is full to the brim with over-the-top mu­si­cal­ity and lyrics ad­dress­ing top­ics as deep as ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, space ex­plo­ration and quan­tum me­chan­ics, the five men from California who started chip­ping away at the fol­low-up to 2013’s Hail To The King had some­thing very dif­fer­ent on their minds while in the stu­dio: an en­tirely un­avoid­able yel­low-haired, orange-faced politi­cian and his col­leagues, dom­i­nat­ing the main­stream me­dia at the time.

And it was Sunny Dis­po­si­tion – the ex­plo­sive, horn-filled third track on The Stage – that un­der­went the big­gest shift in theme from its ear­li­est phase, thanks in no small part to Don­ald Trump. Not that you’d guess that from a song that opens with the lyrics, ‘We’ve been through Hell / Sewn up our eyes / Found fuel in meds / Viewed through the nar­row,’ and is ul­ti­mately based on ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and the ter­ri­fy­ing con­se­quences of nu­clear war.

“The work­ing ti­tle for the track was GOP – Grand Old Party,” gui­tarist Synys­ter Gates chuck­les to Ker­rang!, cast­ing his mind back to the be­gin­nings of a song that the group of­ten re­fer to as sim­ply ‘Sunny D’. “Ba­si­cally, it ran through the dif­fer­ent themes of the Repub­li­can nom­i­nees. Their cam­paign was pretty funny and pretty child­ish and pretty ado­les­cent. We based that song on dif­fer­ent themes of the Repub­li­can nom­i­nees, so you had Lion Ted and Lit­tle Marco, and the cho­rus was Trump com­ing in – the big bully – and the horns go­ing off form and stuff. We were in hysterics writ­ing this fuck­ing song – ev­ery time we heard it, we would have those three peo­ple fuck­ing with each other in our minds, and it was just hi­lar­i­ous to us.”

“This was all you’d see on CNN,” front­man M. Shad­ows re­called on Chris Jeri­cho’s Talk Is Jeri­cho pod­cast. “We just couldn’t be­lieve how much of a scene ev­ery­thing had turned out. And ev­ery­one’s tak­ing it se­ri­ously, so we had this piece with the horns and we’re just like, ‘This is so ridicu­lous and silly!’”

Adding to the pre­pos­ter­ous scenes the band were wit­ness­ing dur­ing election time, Avenged Sev­en­fold – as they’ve so of­ten done through­out their ca­reer – took things one step fur­ther while work­ing on ‘Grand Old Party’: they en­listed LA ska-punks Fish­bone to play on the brass sec­tion. Be­cause why not?

“We had writ­ten the part, and then Joe Bar­resi, who co-pro­duced the record with us, said, ‘Man, why don’t I just call Fish­bone and see if they’ll play on it?’ And we’re like, ‘Dude, we love Fish­bone!’” M. Shad­ows en­thused. “We made a cool blend where you’ve got the en­ergy, punk-rock and off-the-cuff feel of Fish­bone, but also keep­ing in line with the way the song was writ­ten.”

De­spite Avenged Sev­en­fold’s light-hearted ap­proach in the stu­dio, the band knuck­led down when the time came and en­sured that Sunny Dis­po­si­tion didn’t end up be­ing too ridicu­lous.

“I think we have a pretty good in­stinct when things feel a lit­tle goofy to us, but we love to put stuff on the record that makes us laugh,” Syn said. “So it’s a thin line… But that song, to some peo­ple it might be goofy, but to us it’s just fuck­ing funny and has this en­ergy to it, but it’s not goofy. But it def­i­nitely made us fuck­ing laugh dur­ing the process.”

So, is it a ‘goofy’ song? Sort of, yes. But it’s also a high­light on an ex­tra­or­di­nary record full of stand­out mo­ments. Which isn’t so goofy at all, re­ally.

“WE WERE IN HYSTERICS WRIT­ING THIS SONG!” SYNYS­TER GATES

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.