M. Shadows was interviewed by Revolver and talked about Avenged Sevenfold’s first Grammy nomination and it feeling surreal, why he thinks “The Stage” caught the Grammy committee’s attention, what’s on the frontier for the band, his favorite game/album(s) of the year and more.
WALK US THROUGH YOUR MINDSET WHEN YOU FOUND OUT AVENGED SEVENFOLD WERE UP FOR THEIR FIRST GRAMMY.
M. SHADOWS I was just shocked and really proud of the band and really excited. You know, it’s one of these things — you can have small victories as a band, and the mainstream media or your parents … there are certain things you’re proud to show your parents, things that your grandparents would understand, and this is one of them. We’re up for a Grammy, and they’re like, “Oh wow, you guys are a real band!” [Laughs] It’s kind of fun. I was just really excited and honored. I called the guys and sent them an email congratulating them, and everyone was really stoked.
BETWEEN THE GRAMMY NOMINATION, THE NEW ACOUSTIC ALBUM LIVE AT THE GRAMMY MUSEUM AND THE ADVENTUROUS EXPANDED EDITION OF THE STAGE — WHICH INCLUDES A SITAR-FEATURING ROLLING STONES COVER — AVENGED SEVENFOLD’S SPENT THE WHOLE YEAR BREAKING BOUNDARIES AND CHALLENGING PEOPLE’S PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS OF THE BAND AND WHAT IT REPRESENTS. LOOKING FORWARD, WHAT’S THE NEXT FRONTIER FOR YOU GUYS?
I feel like our whole discography up through Hail to the King was young, fun and exciting. It was aggressively driven. The Stage was the first step in the band becoming a more mature musical entity. I feel like The Stage was the first time that we were able to put something out that had that maturity, that vision to it.
The next step is to continue down that path, and to continue to put out records that are in line with what this new vision is — and our age. We don’t want to sound like 18-year-old kids playing. We’re 36 years old and Brooks [Wackerman, drummer] is 40. We want to make great rock music that hearkens back to classic rock, progressive metal and keep doing what we love.
As for the sitar — we love Sgt. Pepper’s. They have the sitar in a lot of Rolling Stones songs. Those are our influences, so to us, it’s not that big of a barrier. It’s just another piece of the puzzle to get more musical and expand ourselves more.
WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE LANA DEL REY THAT STOOD OUT TO YOU? THE CRITICS SEEMED TO LIKE IT A LOT WHEN IT CAME OUT, BUT IT SORT OF GOT LOST IN THE WIND…
Oh, man. I think her melodies are brilliant. I love her voice. I think the songwriting is brilliant. I think the world moves really quick nowadays. If you don’t have a bunch of hits all over the radio, people move on, even if it’s really great. I think that record, it definitely made an impact on me. The video for its single [“Lust for Life”] is brilliant. I think she’s a great songwriter. It’s just really good.
WOULD YOU EVER COLLABORATE WITH HER IF SHE REACHED OUT?
If she approached us, there’d be no question about it. It’d be a no-brainer for sure.