Kanye West has heavily influenced Avenged Sevenfold’s new material, frontman M. Shadows has revealed.

Speaking with Metal Hammer about the follow-up to 2016’s The Stage, Shadows revealed there were “many influences” on the album, but Ye featured prominently.

“The thing about Kanye is that he is pulling from such great soul music. I didn’t grow up with that stuff — my dad listened to Boston and Alice Cooper, I didn’t get that taste of black music and old soul,” he said.

“So, diving deep into jazz musicians… We’re not trying to do a jazz record, but the chord changes and progressions are so eye-opening to us.”

Shadows told the mag the final touches on the band’s eighth studio album were held up by the pandemic.

“The record’s been recorded for a year, but we haven’t been able to put the real strings on it, because we couldn’t fly out to Prague,” he said.

“When an orchestra have to social distance and they aren’t sitting next to each other, they can get out of tune, and we have just finally got to a place where we can use this 70-piece orchestra as we intended.”

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They now expect to “finish the record in February, mix it in March.”

Back in February last year, A7x guitarist Zacky Vengeance told Detroit’s WRIF radio station that the band had been writing a lot during COVID, at a slower pace than usual.

“Now that we are a little bit older, we move around a little bit slower, but [we’ve done] tons of writing,” he said.

“We’ve gone to the studio. It was kind of a weird time to do anything in 2020, but that’s when we felt like it was a good time to go out there and start tracking all the stuff that we had in us.”

In December, Shadows told Kerrang! about the band’s new musical direction.

“The [new] record sounds nothing like The Stage — it’s a completely new direction, and it sounds nothing like anything we’ve done,” he said.

“That’s all I’ll say about it: it’s over the top, and it’s very eclectic and wild.”

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