READ: Brand New Interview With M Shadows In Spanish Metal Hammer. - Avenged Sevenfold

READ: Brand New Interview With M Shadows In Spanish Metal Hammer.

Deathbat News reader Nickie was kind enough to translate a new interview with M Shadows featured in the new issue of Spanish Metal Hammer which touches on some old and new information. Check it out below (by clicking “more”):

20 minutes had almost passed since the end of the show when an exhaustive M. Shadows led us to his dressing room to do a quick interview on news of the band and their upcoming show in Spain in late October. The tickets are selling out almost everywhere while the organization reserves bigger and bigger venues. Shadows is slightly less than the perfect gentleman, even after the rush that represents facing a crowd of 8,000 people. The man is unfazed and his ego doesn’t seem to be slightly raised.

Why have you decided to participate in the Uproar Rockstar Tour instead of making your own American tour as headliners, which would take advantage of the fact that your album reached number one on the Billboard charts?
Having Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold on the same show means that people will pay more, because it’s a pack of several bands. The developer sees it as a better tour because there are two big headliners, and how the industry is right now, they want to make sure people will come. They want to ensure that there will be kids out there at the shows. But for us, the tour has nothing to do with money. We agreed to do the tour when we did, not knowing if we wanted to turn back due to the death of Jimmy. When we saw that the lineup included Hellyeah, Stone Sour and Disturbed we went for it, because all these bands are friends of ours and we knew that the tour would be like a healing process for us. The tour was closed long before we had a number one album. Nobody knew that this would happen. But anyway, this is a very good tour for us.

It’s a very hard feeling to get on stage and see that Jimmy is not there. How do you feel when you go out on stage now? Do you try to forget it?
We try to forget about it until we reach a particular point of the song and we realize we are singing about him. There are good days and bad days. I always try to remind myself what Jimmy meant to me when I sing songs for him. I’ll never forget, but things have changed. We all operated as friends and not having him around is devastating. Everything … from going to the bar together, or listening to him screaming in his hotel room and not letting anyone sleep… missing it all sucks. It sucks to be without him. Going on stage without him sucks. He was a dude who never lost a touch of energy in the eleven years that we played together. The only time he lost the rhythm in a concert was when the technicians that controlled the theatrical smoke went too far with it, and he fainted on his kit. We turned and he was half dead, because he had no oxygen (laughs). He was our best friend and all we had with him is never coming back.

I’m very sorry about his death.
Thanks. Really, thanks.

Did you guys know he had a drug problem?
Yes, since we were young, he tried everything. I still remember the first cigarette we smoked together when we were 12. I also remember the first beer we had together and from there on we never stopped drinking beer. But I also remember the first time he had acid. I remember all the first times. He wasn’t the kind of guy that had drugs because he was a rock star. He had been experimenting with drugs like any other high-school kid since ever. He always was the kind of guy that if I would’ve asked to be sober, he would accompany me and also be sober. But if someone entered the room and went “hey! want some drugs?” he always had fun with that person. But the time came when we had to send him to rehab twice. We thought we had him under control regarding illegal drugs, and as a results, he dies from a overdoses of a prescription medicine. He had an eye operation, he took his medication, then drank some beer and it ended there.

Well, look at Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. He had been the perfect example of sobriety for two decades, then had surgery on his leg, he began taking painkillers and derailed again..
Exactly. It’s crazy. Those drugs are more dangerous than many other things. It’s crazy. Sometimes I’m pissed off because many of my friends have died and returned to life after medical care. They’ve had a second chance and still continue taking drugs without remedy. But Jimmy only had one chance and that was it. Jimmy saved the life of one of our friends in a hotel room, because the dude had overdosed with drugs. Jimmy was the one who brought him back to life, called the ambulance and everything else. And now he is still alive and Jimmy is dead because of prescription medicine…

On these occasions is when I think about Ozzy Osbourne and how is he even still alive…
Surprising right? I know what you mean. It’s crazy ..

At first you thought about leaving the band?
We didn’t think about the band. We could not believe it. When I got home there were about 75 people. I was about two hours from my house when my wife gave me the news and when I got there I found a lot of people. I cried all the way home, because I was being taken home. And to arrive and find all these people .. it sucked.

We would not let go of each other for the next two weeks. We did not want to go anywhere, we wanted nothing. We just wanted to be together. Everyone knew what had happened, it was in the newspapers, on and elsewhere. But the last thing I wanted was to talk about it.

The album was recorded and the drum parts were also recorded by Jimmy, so we decided to go ahead and take little steps. We do not know whether we will or we will not do another album. For now we only want to promote this record and honor his legacy. Then, we’ll see ..

As for Mike Portnoy becoming the new drummer for the band … Who called who?
Basically, Mike was in contact with us all the time when he knew about Jimmy. Before that, we had maintained a friendship for years and talked regularly. He was a fan of ours and we are fans of him and after Jimmy died he would always be in touch with us. A couple of weeks later I talked to the others to see if we could make the record with someone who Jimmy respected and honored. I automatically thought of Mike. We called him, we said yes right away, and said he would be delighted. We met at NAMM in Los Angeles, we gave him a demo and he called us and said he could not wait to play this material. Then we caught a studio and recorded it.

I think Mike respected the parts of the demo that Jimmy had recorded. Was it his or your decision?
No, we told him how it had to be. We wanted it to be like Jimmy had imagined. We love progressive music and we love Dream Theater, but we have a very clear vision of what we want. If Jimmy would’ve wanted to play more of the account in the songs, he would have done it, but we like the 1-2 tempo, we have been influenced a lot by Pantera. We told Mike to focus on what was in the demo and when he played it, he was super conscious and then he added something of his own.

I’ve never seen Mike more happy on stage than at today’s show. Two months ago I saw him playing with Dream Theather in Canada along with Iron Maiden and he looked bored. Today he was very motivated. Do you feel responsible for his departure from Dream Theater?
He told us that that was something we had been thinking since some time ago. It would have happened anyway. I know he likes to be on stage, he likes what is around us, we have a number one… he is enjoying all that. We will tour around the world and we are selling a lot of tickets.

I think what happened is that he realized that not everyone in a band is supposed to hate each-other. In his band he doesn’t get along very well with the rest, and they do what they do for business. We are good friends, we go out, we love each-other a lot … we don’t hide in our hotel rooms… Tomorrow we will be all day hanging around with our wives and friends. I think he saw it and thought “this is what I want and if I want to leave Dream Theater I’ll do it because I’ve found something that makes me happy.”

Is he going to be a permanent member of the band?
We are taking baby steps. At the moment all we will do is record and tour and nothing more. We’re not looking for our Jason Newsted. We have one of the best drummers in the world playing with us and we are grateful. But it is too early for us and we don’t want to capitalize the death of Jimmy. When the time comes to think about what we will do with the future of the band we will see. But we are not yet ready for a new member.

You have managed to get that all promoters in Spain to fight for you. I thought you would fill a small room for 1000 people, but you have scored for a room with capacity for 4000…
You know what’s happening? We’ve noticed that everywhere we do well, but in Europe we haven’t done enough tours. We’ve played everywhere as headliners in Europe and we opened for Metallica or Iron Maiden. That’s why we left from Jon Jackson’s agency, because we didn’t want to headline anymore. They wanted us to tour with Judas Priest and with Motley Crue.. and I said “we’re headlining around the world except in Europe.” So in the end we said “to hell “and started from scratch in Europe. We told the developers: “we’ll bring a lot of people, if you want to start advertising in small places, it’s okay, but keep reserves in bigger places” In Findandia went something like: we got a place for 1500 people and we have already sold 6500 tickets. Everywhere happens the same. And I think: See? I Told you! (Laughs). It ‘s cool because we’re taking a big production and we can take it everywhere because the enclosures are bigger and we have more money to move equipment. Now we can take everything we do in the United States to Europe. We want to go to Europe and show what we do!

With what agency you work now?
With CAA, as in the United States. We had Jon Jackson in Europe because they were doing all the great groups there, but then they did not fit too much with us.

When you have a big show on stage as you carry now.. does that distract you musically?
Today we were distracted because the sound was too low and these things infuriate me. The public’s response was very different when we started playing than when we finished. I heard and noticed that there wasn’t enough power coming out from the PA. I thought my mic was off until I realized what was happening. I noticed it because the explosions sounded much stronger than other nights, which means that the music is lower. It went well tonight, but tomorrow will be better.

So slowly we have been growing. Four or five years ago we started to bring video screens and then fire and such … Now we have reached a point where it is natural for us. It’s not that we’ve decided to spend a fortune on production spontaneously. When in 2000 we brought smoke machines people got shocked, but we wanted to be a theatrical band. And little by little we will be doing more things. We do not feel out of place with all this spectacle.

The good news is that you are not spoiled wimps. You give the feeling of being guys with their heads on their shoulders. Your ascension has been so slow that makes you really appreciate what you have.
Eleven years of growing up very slowly. Nobody buys you a house and gives you a check for ten million dollars for nothing. We have fans to play for and that’s what we’re going to continue doing. All that has been bittersweet. We achieved a number one but we lost our best friend. We are processing yet, because after all, Jimmy is not here.

But that made you guys come closer as a band.
You got that right. We’ve been good friends since forever, but when nothing goes wrong it’s easier to say “yes, we are best friends.” But when Jimmy died, we rubbed absurdity.