M. Shadows talked with Loudwire about what inspired Avenged Sevenfold’s new song “Mad Hatter” for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which track they’ve done for the Black Ops series has been the most challenging, their “Black Reign” EP, what he looks for in a video game, how he’s coming along with his vocal recovery, what his summer has been like, if he’s started thinking about ideas for Avenged Sevenfold’s next album and more.
One of the great thrills must be having an early look at the game. Can you talk about the inspiration for “Mad Hatter,” and what within the game itself inspired the song?
Yeah, I’ve been watching not only the zombies portion of the game grow, but also Blackout, so it’s been an amazing experience. When we checked out the theme for Black Ops 4 it blew me away just how far they were taking “Zombies.” The characters were inhaling this potion and hallucinating and it reminded me of the “S-Town” podcast and John B. McLemore. I decided to write a story interweaving John’s life and what I was playing on the screen.
I know you were looking forward to the summer tour with Prophets of Rage and Three Days Grace this summer, as well as getting a chance to promote The Stage album even further. How are you coming along with your recovery?
I got word today that my [vocal] cords are good to go and that I can start the recovery process. I did two months of no talking or singing and now I need to build it all back up. No damage was done so I’m grateful for that.
Did you have to follow a specific diet or routine to help in your vocal recovery and do you know when you’ll be back and able to play or record again?
I’m always on a diet for singing, also acid reflux pills and lots of water. I could probably start singing very soon but I’m going to take this recovery slow just to make sure everything is as strong as it can be. I’ll be ready to roll for the next record.
Have you started mulling ideas for the next album? Are there things that are inspiring you at the moment, either through reading, research or analysis of everyday life?
Oh yeah. Inspired every day. There’s a lot of good music out there in so many different genres. I love it all. We’ll get started soon but as our fans know, it takes us a while to write records. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long. For now, we have the Black Reign EP and “Mad Hatter” and we’re excited about that.