The Reason Avenged Sevenfold Covered Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here
Avenged Sevenfold (A7x) is considered to be one of the most successful metal bands of the 21st century and they have contributed immensely to the popularization of the genre. They release their latest album ‘The Stage‘ in 2016 which was a great success and it debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200
Just some days ago, the band announced that they’ll be releasing their eighth album in 2022 and while waiting for their highly anticipated record, it might be a good idea to have a look at the music Avenged Sevenfold has released in the past years.
As you may recall, alongside a brand new album, in 2016 A7x also released some covers which were not featured on the record but were added to the deluxe edition which included a bonus disc. One of the songs they’d covered was Pink Floyd’s iconic track ‘Wish You Were Here’ which is clearly an unconventional choice for a metal band.
During an interview with the Revolver back in 2017, M. Shadows said that this is precisely why they chose Pink Floyd as a ‘metal band covering a bunch of metal songs is so boring‘ and expected. However, a metal band covering a rock classic is exciting and gives them more of a chance to add their twist.
Aside from ‘Wish You Were Here,’ Avenged Sevenfold also covered The Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows.’ The lead vocalist recalled the time he spent in the studio and said that he really enjoyed ‘transcribing those songs and listening to those beautiful chords’ while trying to understand how they have been created and what A7x can do differently ‘to bring the songs into 2017.’
M. Shadows recalled the experience of doing covers of rock songs during an interview with the Revolver in 2017:
“I just think that a metal band covering a bunch of metal songs is so boring, so ‘done before.’ In the past, we had no problem covering ‘Paranoid’ or ‘Walk’ – but now to me, the same type of band doing the same thing, it doesn’t necessarily get us excited to do that.
What I loved about doing Pink Floyd and The Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’ was doing our little twist on them. I loved transcribing those songs and listening to those beautiful chords, seeing what they’re doing, and trying to bring the songs into 2017 with our own modern twist on it, but still keeping the beautiful nuances of what they were doing.
I think that was really important to the writing process with ‘Stage’; felt like those type of bands really influenced us more this time around, so it made more sense to cover them than doing a Dio cover or something.”
He went on to say:
“When we were writing the album, we realized we’d never really done proper covers, where we were taking songs and making them our own and kind of playing around with them. I came up with the idea of doing a cover of ‘Wish You Were Here,’ but we didn’t really want it on the record. We’ve always kept our records really clean – we’ve never had guest performances, we’ve never done cover songs.
So the idea at the time was, let’s do a bunch of covers, and we’ll put these things out on streaming services, and one day people will wake up and have some new songs. So everybody picked a song they wanted to do and then in the studio we kind of pulled an audible and did the ‘Mr. Bungle’ cover, as well.”
You can have a listen to Avenged Sevenfold’s take on ‘Wish You Were Here’ below.