"You Can't Break The Rules And Expect The Same Result," Says M. Shadows To Inc. - Avenged Sevenfold

“You Can’t Break The Rules And Expect The Same Result,” Says M. Shadows To Inc.

M. Shadows spoke to Inc. about the marketing around “The Stage,” how tough it was to plan and pull off a surprise release, if it’s important to release a physical album, debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200, if album sales are important, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s cameo, learning about the music business, their decision to leave WBR, if it’s surreal that Avenged Sevenfold has sold over 8 million albums and more.

And that makes it easy for critics to say, “Their new album only sold…”
We knew that could happen, but we felt it was worth the risk.
We also take a longer-term view. The average album following a three-month release model typically sees sales drop as much as 80% for the second week. We expect some drop off, too… but we also expect our album sales to continue over a longer period of time.

It’s mixed feelings, but I’m very excited to be doing new things. I would be depressed if we had done the old buildup process. That feels very 2009.

Right now we have an album that sold less copies in its first week than the last one. And that’s okay: you can’t break the rules and expect the same result.


I asked Roger Penske if he still gets a kick out of seeing one of his yellow rental trucks drive by. Does it ever seem surreal to you that you guys have sold over 8 million albums and played for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people?
I’ve honestly never taken the time to let it sink in.

We try to stay grounded. We’re a bunch of guys with families and kids. Playing the shows is great, but when you get offstage and have 2 year olds or 4 year olds that just want to play ball at the park… that keeps you grounded.