M. SHADOWS: AVENGED SEVENFOLD Was Able To 'Break All The Rules' Of Music On 'Life Is But A Dream…' Album

June 5, 2023

In a new interview with Lou Brutus of HardDrive Radio, AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows discussed the experimental nature of the band's latest album, "Life Is But A Dream…" Written and recorded over the span of four years, it was produced by Joe Barresi and AVENGED SEVENFOLD in Los Angeles and mixed by Andy Wallace in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. The album is a journey through an existential crisis; a very personal exploration into the meaning, purpose and value of human existence with the anxiety of death always looming.

"We were just looking for really bold moments — in life, in art, in film," M. Shadows explained. "Things that we could sort of wrap our minds around an audio representation of how we were feeling about certain things.

"At this point, playing around with melody, playing around with tones, playing around with left turns, curveballs was really appealing to us.

"I think we've proven to everyone, whether they like the band or not, that we kind of know the rules of music, and this record, we were able to just go break all the rules," he continued.

"Mike Shinoda [of LINKIN PARK] put it to me really perfectly — I love his insight on a lot of things — and he said, 'This record is like you guys throwing paint at the wall, but if a fourth-grader was doing it, you'd say that's just paint on the wall. But because of everything you've done before, we all know you know how to make a beautiful painting, so this record is actually really special because it's not just paint on the wall. You guys have broken all the rules and done things in an abstract way. But we wanna listen and pay attention because we know what you guys have done before.' And I thought it was an interesting way of putting it, 'cause those [LINKIN PARK] guys — Dave ['Phoenix' Farrell] and Mike — have been big fans of this record. And I think that was a cool way of putting it."

The singer, whose real name is Matt Sanders, added: "We kind of just really wanted to push the boundaries — the musical boundaries, the lyrical boundaries, the themes — and we didn't want anything on the record to sound generic or phoned in or not exciting. We wanted to redo everything we've ever done, where even the song lengths and the way we kind of put these little pieces of ear candy, but we get away from it quick. Or staying away from three choruses, or if there is three choruses, they're all vastly different. And really thinking about turning the traditional landscape of how you would normally put a song together on its head, but do it in an interesting way — not just to do it, but just to do it in a way that we think people will enjoy and give them sort of a reason to get to the end of songs or get to the next song on the record. And I think that was just a mindset this time, was just a little different — really looking at those things."

AVENGED SEVENFOLD made its first festival appearance in five years on May 19 at Welcome To Rockville at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The band's setlist included three songs from "Life Is But A Dream…": "Game Over", "We Love You" and "Nobody".

AVENGED SEVENFOLD's first concert since June 2018 took place on May 12 at AREA15 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In April, 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.

Find more on Avenged sevenfold
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).