It should be one of the top early year tours of 2018. Avenged Sevenfold are taking out Breaking Benjamin and Bullet for My Valentine for one spectacular trek, but it’s more than just a great lineup to help sell tickets for the band, revealed Avenged’s Synyster Gates in our recent chat.

“We’ve been friends with these guys for a long time. Bullet for My Valentine, we’re bros. We’ve been in the trenches with those guys. My god, the fact that both bands are still around blows my fucking mind. They’re the coolest dudes and obviously we’re super fans of the music and the genres make sense. Breaking Benjamin, talk about songwriting, I mean, some of the greatest songwriters of the modern era. And, obviously it’s a little heavier. So to bring a pretty unique package you got super heavy, then there’s us and whatever the fuck that is and then really super strong songwriting through that hard rock filter.”

He continues, “It’s just a real cool package. We’re happier when we’re with friends on tour. Sometimes you make ‘business’ decisions based on your happiness and we’re stoked to just hang with those dudes.”

Even though The Stage is over a year old now, this upcoming trek really gives Avenged Sevenfold one of their first opportunities to really dig into the stage show on tour, as they’ve spent a good portion of 2017 supporting Metallica.

“We just want to tour,” Gates told us. “We spent a lot of time in the studio. I mean, we’ve spent a lot of time on tour too. Metallica was absolutely fucking fantastic but we’ve spent a lot of time in and around that recording. So now that it’s all done, and we have new artwork to show and new songs to show the kids, it’s just important to get out on the road and play and see familiar faces. That’s ultimately what I love doing the most. The studio is fun and post fact, you learn so much shit, but it’s really about getting on tour and seeing the reason why you’re there.”

Gates also opened up about his recent appearance at the Linkin Park + Friends tribute show for the late Chester Bennington, joining in the celebration of Bennington’s life and music by accompanying the band on “Faint.”

Gates stated, “I don’t have a multitude of different words to use, but I can only say the one that comes to mind. It was an absolute honor. I don’t even think we need to touch on what happened with us, it was just an honor to be there. To be asked to help them out in any small facet, it was an honor.”

He adds, “Personally, to see those guys doing so damn well … they had more time on the books with Chester and they have this brand new record out. I can’t imagine. In ways, I can imagine and in ways I can’t imagine. Those guys are doing so fucking well. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Look for Avenged Sevenfold back on tour starting Jan. 12 in Nashville, Tenn. And keep an eye out for the digital release of Avenged Sevenfold Live at the Grammy Museum coming this Friday (Dec. 8) and The Stage deluxe edition following on Dec. 15.

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