Excerpts From Kerrang!'s Interview With M. Shadows. - Avenged Sevenfold

Excerpts From Kerrang!’s Interview With M. Shadows.

M. Shadows is interviewed in Kerrang issue 1739 and talks about the process of his vocal recovery, what time off on vocal rest has been like, the fan response to the “End Of The World Tour” cancellation, the “Black Reign” EP, how the idea to do a song for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 came to be, how he feels now about the surprise release of “The Stage,” finding a solution to the low numbers rock and metal fans bring to streaming, his plans for the rest of the year and more. Excerpts from the interview can be found below. Get Kerrang! here or digitally through iTunes and Google Play. This issue was released on Wed, Sept 12th.

You could tell from your note how gutted you were to have to cancel a tour. Did the fan response help make you feel better? There were a lot of positive and thoughtful comments, rather than just people whining…
MS: “I promised myself not to look at the internet and just move on with the healing process, but I got a lot of notes from people saying how cool our fans were reacting to the news. I decided to check that out and was blown away by the amount of empathy we were receiving. It was nice, because the reality is I would rather be onstage than cancel a tour. It was gutting to me and the band, so to know that people understood, that was very comforting.”

How did [“Mad Hatter”] come about? Was it written with Call of Duty in mind, or is it an offcut from “The Stage,” or is there a different story entirely behind it?
MS: “I did a Twitter takeover where a fan asked me about doing music for Black Ops IIII. The team at Treyarch saw it and asked us to participate. I went into the studio and saw what they were working on. We only had a month to get them a finished product, because of our European tour. We wrote what we felt would be a departure for not only us, but Treyarch as well.

At the end of October it’ll be the two-year anniversary of “The Stage.” With the benefit of hindsight, how do you feel about the way in which it was surprise-released digitally?
MS: “I love it. I love the album, and I’m proud that it’s part of our discography. I understand people in the rock and metal community have been a little slow to the streaming services, so next time we will just offer both – we’re not going to force anyone to do anything they aren’t comfortable with. I, however, cannot see CDs surviving another two years. For now, though, we will service both.

You’ve been very vocal in expressing your thoughts on streaming and how numbers in rock and metal are so low. Are you any closer to finding a solution to the problem?
MS: “There is a little bit of tribalism going on within the music industry. We talk to fans all the time that simply want a physical project and don’t see the need to move on to more contemporary ways of listening. I respect that more than I did a few years ago. It’s not how I see the world, though, and I feel it’s one of the reasons rock and metal don’t have a spot at the table. But, again, I respect it. As for me, I want rock music to have a voice. I want metal music to be taken seriously in our modern culture, and to do that you have to show the world that there are rock and metal fans that can make a significant dent. As of now, that’s been a problem for the genre as a whole. There is a nuanced discussion in there, but that’s very hard to articulate in a one-way interview!”

Finally, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
MS: “For me, I want to spend a lot of time writing the next album and planning for the future release. It’s all that’s on my mind at the moment…”