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Watch Avenged Sevenfold Members Detail “Mad Hatter” Writing and Recording Process

Avenged Sevenfold singer M. Shadows and guitarist Synyster Gates recently filmed a new “Breakdown Episode,” in which they discussed the writing and recording of their song "Mad Hatter." You can watch the full video above.

“We really wanted to do something that wasn’t what we’d already done,” explains Shadows at the beginning of the clip. ”We wanted to kind of indulge a little bit on a darker, more cerebral alternative vibe.”

Regarding Gates’ lead guitar part, Shadows says, “The solo is probably the most unique solo I’ve ever heard you do. Part of it sounds like a saxophone.”

“I’ve got the whammy bar in my pinkie and I’m just pulling it and doing weird shit,” Gates explains as they listen to the solo.

Shadows also sums up the song by saying: “This is a great example of, you don’t overthink this stuff. You don’t write it out before.

“You want to write a great song but then when you get in the studio, see what happens. Cause you’re gonna get cool moments. That’s one of the things we do so much better than we used to.”

“Mad Hatter” comes off Avenged Sevenfold’s 2018 EP, Black Reign.

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.