Rolling Stone Middle East got in touch with M Shadows to find out how the front-man feels about heading the Middle East, screaming, Mike Portnoy, Arin Ilejay’s possible full-time member status, Dave Grohl’s Grammy speech and more.
What prompted you guys to schedule a show in the Middle East?
– There were a couple of places on the planet that we didn’t hit during the Nightmare tour. We got over to Iraq and Kuwait to play for the troops there, but we didn’t get to play for the people in the Middle East. So when we decided to do the Asian run, we decided it would be a good time to go over to the Middle East and play Abu Dhabi. It’s always great to go and play for people who’ve never seen you. That in itself is worth going over there for.
What kind of show can we expect?
– We’ll play all of the favorites. We won’t go too deep into the catalogue since a lot of people won’t have seen us before. I’m sure our production manager is trying to get all our little toys over there so that we can blow some stuff up. We’re going to put on a big, classic rock show.
So is new drummer Arin Ilejay a full-time band member?
– It’s ongoing because we haven’t written with him yet. When we write a new record, we need to know that he can contribute and bring his drumming ability and style to the table, and that it’s something that meshes well with us. And if he does that – which I really hope he does because we love the guy – then he’ll be a permanent member.
Do you agree with Dave Grohl’s comments at the Grammys about the importance of not digitally making everything perfect?
– I think it’s different for all types of music. I think this whole tirade to go on about how everything has to be real is a little silly. I think metal bands sound one way, rock bands sound one way, pop music sounds another way. I think there’s not very much good rock out there. Foo Fighters are a great band, there are bands like System of a Down and Metallica who are great bands. But the plethora of rock music that used to exist isn’t around right now. There’s no Led Zeppelin, no Pink Floyd, no Aerosmith. There are no up-and-coming bands doing that. I think if rock music and ‘un-digitalized’ music is going to earn respect, then people need to start writing better music, and stop writing for the radio. For a band like us, I agree with what he said, but I don’t think it’s for everybody.