M. Shadows On New Avenged Sevenfold Album: “It’s A Completely New Direction, And It Sounds Nothing Like Anything We’ve Done”

During a recent interview with Kerrang!, Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows offered an update on the band’s new album. The frontman said the group are still working on the effort and that “it sounds nothing like anything [they’ve] done.”

Shadows said the following about the progress that the band have made on the album:

“…We’ve been writing a record for a while, and most of it was already written. But then we kinda took a break on it, and then it would be like, ‘Hey, let’s get together two days this week,’ instead of five or six. It just started getting more casual. Then we recorded really casually, and – like I said – we’re still in the middle of it: we still have all these things that we can’t do. We’re still trying to get string sections together, and our mixer is older and I know that they don’t want him to travel right now because of COVID, so even if we got it done right now, we couldn’t get it mixed. So we’re just not worrying about it, you know? It’s like, ‘When we can, we can.’ But right now, we can’t (laughs).”

He continued when asked about their decision to delay the release until they can tour:

“…No-one wants to put out the record if we can’t tour it. The reality is – and no-one wants to hear this – in this day and age, rock’n’roll just takes too long to make: you know, it’s going to be a three-year record to make. And if we put that record out and then we’re locked down for another year, as much as people don’t want to believe this, they are not going to give a shit about a record that came out a year prior when it’s time to tour.

And so if it’s going to take us two or three years to write a record, we’re not going to put it out if we can’t go play it live. We know the anticipation won’t be there when the tours come around. You see it every day – if you look at iTunes or Spotify and see how quickly it all turns over, it’s just weekly onto the next thing and onto the next thing again. If you just imagine putting out a record in August, and then you’re not touring until next August, people don’t want to hear this but they’re not going to care; they’re going to be like, ‘What’s next?’

Once the Gojira record, or the new Metallica record, or the new Megadeth record comes out, they’re not going to care about what came out the year prior. Our whole thing is: if it’s going to take us three years to do a record, we’re going to make sure we can play it live and people are going to be excited about it.”

He then added the following when asked if the strings on the record will have it “going along the lines of ‘The Stage'”:

“Well, we’ve had strings on every record, but 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’s M. Shadows Voices His Support For The Black Lives Matter Movement In New Op-Ed

Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows has written a new op-ed for Revolver to voice his support for the Black Lives Matter movement. This news comes as protests continue to take place across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis.

Shadows said the following:

“For every human being on this planet, multiple crossroads will appear on the path of their short lives. Today, we are presented with a chance to change something that has festered for 400 years in this country: racism, both individual and institutional, against our African-American brothers and sisters. I hope we can be honest with ourselves; take a step back and choose between right and wrong and reject political hyperbole. I have no interest in sending a neutral message proclaiming “riots aren’t the answer” or “hurting innocent people doesn’t help the cause.” We all recognize that, and if that’s the only message you are focused on during this dire time then I ask you to dig deeper.

There is a massive rift in this country and our fellow Americans are hurting and have been hurting for a very long time. Peaceful protests have resulted in nil. Screams have fallen on deaf ears. Kaepernick takes a knee and half the country goes into a frenzy about it being “the wrong type of protest.” What exactly is the “right” type of protest? One where YOU don’t have to see or hear about ideas you don’t like? That take seems to defeat the purpose, in my view. Many claimed Kaepernick’s stance was “disrespectful to the ones who have served,” but I believe this is the sort of freedom that many have laid down their lives to protect. I respect and appreciate our veterans while also fully standing behind Kaepernick’s and others’ right to freedom of expression. If we had heeded the protests leading up to this with an open mind and open heart, we might be in a different boat than we find ourselves in now. Had we collectively demanded reform before so many hit the breaking point, then we might be sharing ideas rather than battling over differences. The reality is, this is not a “black problem” — it is an American problem. Until we address it as such, the tides will remain the same.”

My best friend over the past decade is African American. My brother-in-law and nephew are African American. Our crew members, peers, associates … these are humans I love dearly that simply live a different experience than me because of their outward appearance. The off-handed comments I’ve heard behind their backs should make any decent person sick to their stomach. The dirty looks, the mumblings, the drive-by taunts. This is just part of their daily lives, and somehow, they take it on the chin and carry on. It’s normal to them. To my white friends, can you imagine living like that for a moment? It’s horrifying and unfair. Hell, I took my brother-in-law to a Slipknot show a couple years back (his fav band) and the tension of a black man being in that crowd was palpable. Which brings me to my point.

If you are white and have been sitting on the sidelines of this situation, we need you to stand up. Taking a stand for our fellow Americans does not mean you condone the riots. It simply means you are listening and want to help. If you posted in opposition of the riots yet were previously silent on the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among too many others, please ask yourself why. It’s time to show our fellow Americans that we hear them and feel their pain. This can’t be about your political alliances. This can’t be about what your friends or family are going to think of you. This is not a fight our fellow Americans should be going through alone. If someone says, “Black Lives Matter,” and your response is “All Lives Matter” then maybe take a look at the core of that reaction. Every life is valuable — that is a given — but right now the lives of the oppressed require our undivided attention. Yes, the police have an incredibly daunting job, and many uphold the integrity of their position, but if that is your point of contention, I say AGAIN: the lives of the oppressed require our undivided attention right now.

I understand that the Avenged Sevenfold fanbase is made up of very few black Americans. That is why I feel more compelled than ever to write this to you. We can be the ones — the rock and metal community — to reach out and show the compassion that I know is in us all to help raise up our fellow humans. I, for one, enjoy black American culture. The music, art, films, clothing, sports, food. All of it has made my life better. I have no doubt we are a better country because of the black American influence. Hell, Chuck Berry was the Father of Rock & Roll! Standing against inequality and systemic racism is the very least we can all do.

I am aware that in the past Avenged has antagonized with some of our lyrics and imagery. We have also used confederate flags in our artwork while paying tribute to artists we grew up listening to or simply trying to start controversy. I’m sure we will be called out, and rightfully so, by people reading this. No excuses. But everyone grows up at some point, and I feel grateful that we have an audience that has allowed us to evolve with them. I can only hope that the rock and metal community, and the white community at large, can move forward with an open mind and come together to help out our fellow Americans in this desperate time.

-M”

[via Revolver]

Atreyu Premiere New Video For “Super Hero” Feat. Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows & Underoath’s Aaron Gillespie

Atreyu have premiered a new video for their song “Super Hero.” The track, which features Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows and Underoath’s Aaron Gillespie, appears on the band’s 2018 album “In Our Wake.” Atreyu commented:

“Our song ‘Super Hero’ was written about what it’s like to be a parent and the vast amount of time, effort, energy, and hard work it takes to be a real-life superhero for your children. The song also has a broader meaning, especially given the current situation the entire world is dealing with. There are many superheroes out there who appear in many forms — namely the first responders, medical personnel, and health care workers who are putting others first as they work to fight COVID-19 and to save lives. We dedicate this song to them.”

System Of A Down Drummer John Dolmayan‘s These Grey Men Project Share Video For Cover Of Radiohead‘s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” Feat. M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) & Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine)

These Grey Men, the covers project featuring System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan, have shared an official video for their cover of Radiohead‘s “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” The track, which features Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, will appear on the band’s self-titled debut album, which is set to be released on February 28.

Dolmayan told Rolling Stone the following:

“This song in particular is a really touching and moving song. I love the morose, in-your-room-and-it’s-raining-outside, it’s cold and your girlfriend dumped you feeling that this song always gave me… But when I listened to it, I’d be like, ‘I kinda wish the drums came in earlier’, or, ‘How would [John] Bonham approach this song if this was a [Led] Zeppelin song?’ Because I’m such a fan of the song, I wanted to do a version of it in homage.”

M. Shadows added:

“When John told me he wanted to reimagine some of his favorite songs for an album I was very intrigued. I’ve always respected Radiohead but wasn’t familiar with their full catalog. When John sent ‘Street Spirit’ I instantly was blow away by the sounds. Since then I have been on a huge Radiohead kick. Adding Tom Morello to our version was the icing on the cake. I feel this recording stays true to the original while adding John’s overall vision.”

Here’s the full track listing for These Grey Men’s debut album:

01. “Hung Up” (Madonna cover)
02. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” (Radiohead cover) (feat. M. Shadows & Tom Morello)
03. “Beautiful Thieves” (AFI cover)
04. “Road to Nowhere” (Talking Heads cover) (feat. Serj Tankian)
05. “Rock Bottom” (Eminem cover)
06. “Runaway” (Del Shannon cover)
07. “Starman” (David Bowie cover) (feat. Serj Tankian)
08. “What You Know” (Two Door Cinema Club cover)

System Of A Down’s John Dolmayan Filming New Video With Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows For His These Grey Men Project

It looks like we may finally get to hear some music from System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan’s These Grey Men covers project. Dolmayan recently took to social media to reveal that he was filming a music video for the first single, which will feature Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows.

Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Talks About Being A Playable Character In “Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4”

As previously reported, Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows is featured as a playable charter in the new “Operation Apocalypse Z Blackout” DLC for “Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4.” You can check out a new video in which the frontman discusses that below. Avenged Sevenfold previously recorded music for all four games in the “Black Ops” series and have also appeared in “Black Ops 2.”

Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Featured As A Playable Character In New “Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4” DLC

Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows is featured as a playable charter in the new “Operation Apocalypse Z Blackout” DLC for “Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4.” The DLC is already available on PlayStation and it is expected to hit Xbox and PC on July 16. Avenged Sevenfold previously recorded music for all four games in the “Black Ops” series and have also appeared in “Black Ops 2.”

M. Shadows, Serj Tankian, & Tom Morello To Guest On John Dolmayan’s These Grey Men Project

John Dolmayan has confirmed that his System Of A Down bandmate Serj Tankian, Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows, and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello will all guest on his These Grey Men project. Dolmayan and his collaborator James Hazley originally announced that project in 2014 and it is expected to feature Radiohead, Outkast, David Bowie, etc. covers. Dolmayan told SOAD Mexico the following:

“I’m still working on it. It will be released within the next four months. All the songs are finished, but we’re in the process of adding strings… And then, we’re actually starting to mix some of the songs that have already been done. And there’s some cool artists on it. Serj sang two songs, and the AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer, Matt, he sang a song. And then I have a bunch of other friends that came. Tom Morello played guitar on a song. So, I know it’s been forever, but it will be released. I also had two kids between it, so when I had my kids, I stopped doing everything else and just concentrated on being a father. So, it takes time, but hopefully people will enjoy it.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Says He’s “Been Cleared To Start Humming And Doing Light Warm-Ups” Following Vocal Issues

Avenged Sevenfold previously cancelled their summer tour with Prophets Of Rage, etc. due to M. Shadows suffering from vocal issues. Now, during a recent interview with Revolver, he revealed that he has now “been cleared to start humming and doing light warm-ups.” He said the following about his condition:

“It’s been fine … just a lot of rest. Luckily, I didn’t have surgery. I was just put on a long vocal rest until the swelling went down. A lot of singers get this at some point, so it’s nothing to worry about. I’ve already been cleared to start humming and doing light warm-ups.”

He also added that the hardest part was “not speaking when you are out in public is tough. People don’t understand and think you’re full of shit.”

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Watch Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Stop Graspop Metal Meeting Show After A Fan Gets Injured

Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows stopped the band’s June 22 set at the 2018 Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Dessel, Belgium after a fan was knocked unconscious. You can see footage of that below: