Revolver interviewed M. Shadows and he talked about the Chester Bennington tribute concert, the classic songs Avenged Sevenfold covered, putting their own headlining tour to do the WorldWired Tour, what he’s currently listening to, Halloween and more.
WAS IT AT ALL INTIMIDATING TO HAVE TO STEP INTO MIKE PATTON OR BRIAN WILSON’S SHOES AS A VOCALIST?
Every single cover we did was intimidating, vocally. The thing about covers is that, the first thing you’re going to notice is the vocals, because it’s not the same person. If you listen to what Axl [Rose] did with Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” it’s completely different; but at the time, the first version I knew was the Axl version. I’m sure there were a bunch of Bob Dylan purists at the time that were like, “This Guns N’ Roses version sucks!” [Laughs] I think it just depends on what generation you’re from, which version you heard first and who’s voice you’re used to. I’m sitting there trying to sing Pink Floyd, trying to sing Brian Wilson, and trying to sing Patton, who is probably the greatest metal vocalist of all time. So for me, it was just about being me and doing what I do and trying to put our own twist on it. But as a vocalist, you’re going to be the first one that people come at; I have an instrument, it is what it is, and I can’t change that. But we’re just having fun with it; if people take it too seriously, then that’s on them.
“DOSE” IS THE ONLY UNRELEASED ORIGINAL SONG ON THE DELUXE VERSION OF STAGE, AND THAT WAS RECORDED DURING THE SESSIONS FOR THE ALBUM. ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY NEW MATERIAL YET?
There’s a little too much on our plate right now for that. We like to get a really solid premise of what we’re trying to do with each record, and I think that’s why they come out so different from each other. I think if we started writing right now, our heads would still be in the Stage space, and I think whatever we’d write would just be an extension of that. But if that’s where we’re still at two years from now, I would gladly follow that, because I love where that record went. But if the band and I are somewhere completely different in two years, I would fully embrace that, as well, because I love putting out records that are kind of polarizing.
YOU GUYS DECIDED TO PUT YOUR OWN TOUR ON HOLD TO JUMP ON METALLICA’S WORLDWIRED TOUR. IN RETROSPECT, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THAT DECISION?
I am, in retrospect. If you talked to me two weeks ago, I would have said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” But we put these tickets on sale for this tour with Breaking Benjamin, and we sold more tickets in the first weekend than we sold for our entire September tour last year. So I don’t know if it’s an accumulation of things, of all the press we got from the Metallica tour, the evolving record … but something definitely happened in the last year, and I think a lot of it had to do with how much publicity you get just by being on tour with Metallica.