M. Shadows spoke with Forbes about deciding to release “The Stage” as a surprise, keeping the release of both digital and physical formats under wraps, diving into virtual reality for their Capitol Records performance, the most exciting part or moment of the release, their first week sales, what 2017 looks like for the band, going with a streaming strategy to make “The Stage” an evolving album and more.
McIntyre: What’s been the most exciting moment or part of this entire surprise release?
M. Shadows: For me, it’s been the reaction. People have been surprised. I’m glad that it was able to be secret for so long. Also, the reviews have been great. I wasn’t worried about the music, because we wouldn’t put it out if we didn’t love it, but I know it’s a lot to unpack. A seventy-four minute record that’s conceptual and about artificial intelligence in a day and age when people want three minute pop songs because they’re doing other things in their life. For me, just the idea that our fans are understanding it, and that it’s been getting such great reviews and positive feedback, it just gives me faith in doing things artistically for artistic reasons. Not necessarily trying to put things into a little box, and force feed everybody what they think they want.
McIntyre: The album is out, it’s going to have a big first week. What does the rest of the year, and what does 2017 look like for the band?
M. Shadows: We’re also looking at how our record can evolve. We have about seven different cover songs we’ve done. We’ve got a couple of original things and also maybe an orchestral piece of one of the heavier songs on the record. We are going to continue to feed this record new material as the year goes on, sort of what Kanye’s been doing with The Life Of Pablo, but we want to have a lot of stuff to get people over the next 18 months.
For us, that’s really important, just looking at this whole record as a completely different living, breathing experience. Then, we have tours set up, tons of production that obviously goes back to what we were doing on top of Capitol, but in a contained environment, in arenas. Then, we are also going to be doing pop-up stores, and bunch of things that pop, R&B and hip-hop artists do. Different things that you wouldn’t expect from rock and metal bands. Show up to the pop-ups, do signings, different exclusive merch, et cetera. A lot of new cool ideas that we’re really going to try to incorporate in the next 18 months.