M. SHADOWS Offers Update On New AVENGED SEVENFOLD Album, Explains Band's Reluctance To Book Shows During Pandemic
December 24, 2021
In a brand new interview with Loudwire, AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows spoke about the band's seeming reluctance to return to playing live shows without having a new album and a new stage production to go along with it. "It's not that we don't want to [book dates]," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "It's just that we have to be very careful about getting everything going, building a whole new stage set, hiring everybody, renting buses and then having one person get sick and the tour gets canceled and we get to be on the hook for everything. And it's not that we don't wanna do it.
"People compare us to bands that are going and playing clubs," he continued. "It's not the same thing. Getting an arena tour going and playing these festivals, it's just not the same thing. And also we wanna be mentally ready.
"These are all gonna sound like crazy excuses, but these are real. We have a huge stage that we wanna get built. We can't get people to work. We can't get the supplies we need to build it, which there's a supply chain problem as well. Go look at the Long Beach, at the port right now, and these boats are just stuck out there. And so we have all these things going on where we're not gonna come back on stage and have the stage from 'The Stage' record and then just go, 'Well, same show four years later. Sorry, guys. The record's not done 'cause we couldn't finish it.'
"So, I would just say starting in January, we are gonna put our nose to the grind and we are gonna finish this [new AVENGED SEVENFOLD] record," M. Shadows added. "And then we're doing a couple of shows in Europe. And then I would love to — and I don't wanna step on [festival organizer] Danny Wimmer's toes here — but I would love to start at [the] Aftershock [festival in October 2022] and then book a tour out from there.
"So, we're gonna be doing stuff. But, yeah, it's just kind of making sure we're mentally there and we put our best foot forward when we do come out and make sure that it's all good."
Back in February, M. Shadows told the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X that "70 percent" of the follow-up to "The Stage" was "done." He said: "We're working on stuff. We have some things we can't finish right now 'cause of COVID — string players, et cetera. We know Andy [Wallace, AVENGED SEVENFOLD's longtime mixer] doesn't wanna travel, or his management doesn't want him to travel because of COVID. So there's just a lot of things going on."
Also in February, AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Zacky Vengeance told Detroit's WRIF radio station that he and his bandmates have done "lots and lots of writing — at a lot slower pacer than usual" — during the coronavirus pandemic. "Now that we are a little bit older, we move around a little bit slower, but [we've done] tons of writing," he said. "We've gone to the studio. It was kind of a weird time to do anything in 2020, but that's when we felt like it was a good time to go out there and start tracking all the stuff that we had in us.
"But, like I said, we're doing it at a slow pace, so we're still in the process of recording," he explained. "We're taking it really, really slow, making sure everything is the way we like it. We're not in a big rush to get anything out, mainly 'cause we wanna get on the road, and we wanna be able to bring it to life. We wanna tour, we wanna travel, we wanna play songs that people wanna hear; we wanna expose them to some new stuff. 'Cause I just feel like rushing to put something out right now and letting it dissipate because of the void, while people are worried about where their next meal is coming from or the paycheck, the last thing in the world on people's minds is, 'AVENGED SEVENFOLD's gonna put out a new album, and that's gonna be the saving grace for us all.' And I feel like we'll take it slow, let the world get a little bit back to normal, and when people are ready, we'll know — we have a good sense of that. We'll slowly finish it up, and then unleash it when the world's ready."
Last December, M. Shadows told Kerrang! magazine about the musical direction of the new AVENGED material: "The [new] record sounds nothing like 'The Stage' — it's a completely new direction, and it sounds nothing like anything we've done. That's all I'll say about it: it's over the top, and it's very eclectic and wild."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD kept a low profile during 2019. A blood blister on M. Shadows's vocal cords forced the band to cancel a summer 2018 tour with PROPHETS OF RAGE and THREE DAYS GRACE.
"The Stage" was surprise-released in October 2016. The release of the disc, which was announced the night it went on sale, earned the lowest sales of an AVENGED SEVENFOLD album in 11 years. It sold 76 thousand copies in its first week, 73 thousand of which were physical.
"The Stage", AVENGED's debut for Capitol, sold less than half as many copies in its first week as the group's two previous efforts, 2010's "Nightmare" and 2013's "Hail To The King".
AVENGED SEVENFOLD recently announced the Deathbats Club, a new level of connecting with fans based around non-fungible tokens, or NFTs — digital assets (free tickets for life, free meet-amd-greets for life, airdrops over the course of each year, drum lessons, guitar lessons, golf lessons, giveaways, skip the lines at shows, poker nights, movie nights, etc.) that can't be replicated. After an initial drop of 101 free NFTs to whet fans' appetites, they released 10,000 at the end of November via avengedsevenfold.io, with everyone who buys one becoming part of the community.