AVENGED SEVENFOLD's M. SHADOWS Says 'There's A Lot Of Left Turns' And 'A Lot Of Rules Broken' On Band's Upcoming Album

April 23, 2023

In an new interview with Jason Bailey of "The Bailey Show" on Sacramento's 98 Rock radio station, AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows spoke about the fan response to the band's latest single, "Nobody", an epic, heady tale of existentialism full of dark intensity and sprawling over six minutes. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I remember when we first wrote it, there was definitely [a feeling of], 'This is different.' Day one, when this thing released, watching some of the YouTube reacts sort of things, people were just, like, 'All right. Ready for this banger.' And they put it on, and you see their faces kind of drop, like, 'What is this? What's going on here?' And so we were actually sending those around to each other, just cracking up, like, 'Give it a couple of days. People are gonna understand it.' But it was really fun to kind of get smacked in the face with reality of how people were gonna take this right off the bat."

Asked if it's easier to deal with the negative feedback more than 20 years into AVENGED SEVENFOLD's career, M. Shadows said: "I don't care about the feedback. My worldview now is to make bold art and put it out there and let it exist. And it just is what it is. And if you feel it, there will always be somebody out there that feels it. It doesn't necessarily mean that the fan of the last record or the record from 2001 or [200]5 is gonna necessarily be the right audience for what you're doing now. So artists, or musicians, can go one of two ways: you can write for a certain sort of success and kind of chase the ambulance, as people would say, and just kind of say, 'Well, what's happening now?' and 'What are people gonna love?, or you write what you want, and if that happens to be what that is, then do that. But we're just trying to write things that we feel are unique, that we feel we haven't heard before, that we feel a weightiness to it and something that is meaningful [as it pertains to] what we're going through in our lives at 41. And then you put it out there, and at that point, who cares? It's, like, it's out there. This is how we feel. There will be people that react to it in positive ways and negative ways. It's okay."

The singer went on to elaborate on the mindset he and his bandmates had while working on their eighth studio album, "Life Is But A Dream...", which will arrive on June 2 via Warner. He said: "I think sometimes you get this audience capture sort of problem as well where… I mean, if you look at it… Let's take the political landscape, where there's people that have built their persona up on being one side or the other, and you get all these people that are kind of sycophants that will sit there and they're, like, 'Anything this guy says is right,' and it's very tribal. You get the same sort of thing with a band. People build you up and they love you and they want you to do more of the thing they really like. And it takes sometimes, we can call it balls, or whatever you wanna call it, to go, 'No. We're gonna go over here. And we know that even people that love us are gonna be mad at us. And even the people that never liked us 'cause of record X, Y and Z, they're still not gonna like us.' So that takes this sort of taking off the training wheels and just going out there and deciding what kind of road you're gonna take. And I think on this record we just took the road of just pure audio form of what we wanna hear, what excited us. There's a lot of left turns, a lot of rules broken. But anyone that knows our career of 20 years, we know the rules. But once you know the rules, you can break 'em a little better. So that's kind of what we did on this record. And I think people will react to it just fine. I think it will take a little bit of time and people will have to get used to it. And then we'll do another record, and they'll be mad that it's not more of this."

Earlier in the month, AVENGED SEVENFOLD announced the second leg of its extensive "Life is But A Dream…" North American tour featuring support from FALLING IN REVERSE. Produced by Live Nation, leg two includes stops in Nashville, Denver, Austin, and more before concluding at Fort Worth's Dickies Arena on October 15. Fans will have the opportunity to hear the group's first single in seven years, "Nobody", and their new album "Life Is But A Dream…" for the first time live during the 30-show outing.

The first leg with support from ALEXISONFIRE includes thirteen cities across the U.S. and Canada, such as Mansfield, Québec City, Tinley Park, Calgary, and more. The group kicks off their 2023 solo touring run with two unique one-night-only arena shows in New York and Los Angeles this June.

To date, AVENGED SEVENFOLD has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and earned two consecutive No. 1 albums on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart (2010's "Nightmare" and 2013's "Hail To The King") to go along with over a billion video views and a billion-plus Spotify streams, as well as multiple No. 1 singles on rock radio. The band is equally known for their spectacular live shows, selling out arenas and headlining the world's most prestigious rock festivals.

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