M. Shadows sat down with Steve Rennie for Renman Live and talked about how he get started with music, how the core group of Avenged Sevenfold came to be, how they got their first few shows, being signed to Hopeless Records and later moving on to Warner Bros, getting radio airplay, how it felt the first time he heard one of their songs on the radio, what his favorite song to play live is, memorable gifts he’s received, the connection between Avenged Sevenfold and their fans, the strangest idea that inspired a song, why Hail To The King’s touring cycle is so different than past cycles, meeting fans, if he could work with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why, the Deathbat logo and Avenged Sevenfold’s imagery, how Avenged Sevenfold’s song broke into video games, working on Call Of Duty, Hail To The King: Deathbat, how Hail To The King’s recording session and live show hinted towards Hail To The King: Deathbat, the hardest song to write and to record, his advice to young vocalists, how he deals with writers-block, future touring plans, future video games from Avenged Sevenfold, Avenged Sevenfold’s plans for 2015, the new album – from what they’ve been discussing – being ‘fresh and different’ than anything they’ve ever done before, how he got into golf and more.
M. Shadows spoke with Mike Hsu about Hail To The King: Deathbat, the Hail To The King: Deathbat soundtrack contest, what he thinks about fans recording & taking pictures on their phones at concerts, the new Avenged Sevenfold DVD (approx release date: February 2015), touring at the beginning of 2015 and when they plan to start writing new music.
“A band like Mumford & Sons or Imagine Dragons or Coldplay — there’s no game to be made there,” Shadows says. “They’d have to come up with something completely fresh. When you look at us, or Iron Maiden, someone with a logo and a strong personality in terms of what we do image-wise onstage, we felt that the game had already written itself, at least visually.”
“We funded this 100% ourselves,” Shadows says. “Nobody owns any of this other than the five members of the band. We put our money where our mouth is. Every single penny has come from us. We put a little money aside when we go on tour, and we were excited about this.”
“We’ve been a band for 15 years, and a lot of people have the Deathbat tattooed on them,” he says. “There’s a lot of responsibility when you’re saying, ‘Now we’re giving you the Deathbat back story.’ It’s one of those things where you can completely mess it up. We had to find a balance among incorporating things our fans know while also making a very cool intergalactic story with the typical battle between good and evil.”
M. Shadows was a guest on BJ Shea’s Geek Nation (21:57-34:45) and talked about how Hail To The King: Deathbat reflects Avenged Sevenfold’s live shows, developing the game’s storyline, Hail To The King: Deathbat, being a a serious gamer, having new songs in the game, what Deathbat needed to meet his approval and more.
Filed under: Interviews
Here are a few highlights from M. Shadows’ Reddit AMA. You can check out the entire thing here.
- Avenged Sevenfold would consider doing a tour where the main focus is on older albums. (x)
– There will be no album release in 2015. (x)
– The new live DVD, “This Is Bat Country,” is still in the works. They’re looking through 7 years worth of footage. (x)
– They would like to figure out a better way to make meet & greets happen. (x)
– Something about a “Flynn Troll” in Hail To The King: Deathbat. (x)
– If you’re good at games, don’t use the band characters in Hail To The King: Deathbat. If you need help, get them. (x)
– Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan’s family was very excited about him being in Hail To The King: Deathbat. (x)
– An announcement for Avenged Sevenfold’s short international tour, to take place next year, is set to be made next week. (x)
– The two songs he appreciates the most when looking back on his career so far are “Buried Alive” and “Hail To The King.” (x)
– Avenged Sevenfold will not go back to their older styles of music. (x)
– Hail To The King: Deathbat should be available on Steam before Halloween. (x)
Polygon has your fist look at the intro video to Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail To The King: Deathbat” mobile game which also shares some backstory. M. Shadows spoke to them about when the game idea was conceived, making the kind of game he would want to play, how a “video game really is the next music video,” and more.
“I think it feels fresh, it does feel fun. It’s nice to learn things. Now that I’ve made a game with these guys, I can go anywhere and talk to game developers and just talk games with them. And I like that, and I like the whole experience of that. But also I’m lucky that we have a story to tell, with the artwork and the discography, and the story we’ve built with 15 years of avenged sevenfold, it’s been nice to have that story to tell.”
“For us, a video game really is the next music video,” he said. “It’s not going to make us popular on the streets, it’s not going to do this or that. But our generation grew up on games, and people have short attention spans. This is a chance for us to tell our story — the game is the story of our Deathbat, and there’s visuals and artwork and there’s music that we put in the game. So this is another creative outlet for us, instead of making shitty music videos on a 40k budget and throwing them on YouTube and hoping that someone goes and finds it.”
M. Shadows was a guest on Nerdist’s The Indoor Kids podcast and talked about (10:40) Hail To The King: Deathbat and the backstory, writing his own AAA game, writing a game vs music, video games in general, the story behind his 10×10 tattoo, how his Call Of Duty clan began, the music industry and much more.
M. Shadows spoke to Full Metal Jackie about Hail To The King: Deathbat, the difference between writing music for a video game and album, if Hail To The King: Deathbat could become a franchise, new music, Gene Simmons’ recent statement that rock is dead, how it feels for Avenged Sevenfold to inspire kids the way classic bands did him, how he makes sure that their music never loses its mystique and more.
Gene Simmons’ recent statement that rock is dead really stirred up a lot of passionate reactions from other musicians. What’s your take on his statement? Especially since your band is at the forefront of keeping heavy music alive.
MS: Quotes like that are just click bait for people. People that are in bands that want to play music for the love of music are going to do it regardless of what his quote was. I read his quote, I think some of it is taken out of context. I understand what he’s saying, but rock music will never die. We all know that. It doesn’t mean it’s in the forefront of all entertainment and music right now, it’s obviously not. But I understand what he’s saying and I understand everybody and their responses to it. To me it’s just all drama online and I could care less.
When you first discover music, it’s such a powerful presence in your life. It’s pure passion. But, once it becomes a career there’s a real danger that your love of music can change. How do you make sure that music never loses the mystique that captured you in the first place?
MS: We do a lot of things that kind of annoy people and our fan base. We try not to get overloaded on it. For us, that means we don’t do social media stuff — we have an Avenged Sevenfold social media but none of the band members have Facebook’s or any sort of Twitter. It’s not because we don’t want to be around the fans, but it’s a constant hounding of this is your job, this is what you do, this is what you’re known for, talk to us all day about music. It gets away from the music and starts getting into other things like we were talking about earlier. It has no interest to me.
For what we do, we take time off, we re-calibrate. People go surfing, I like to golf. We like to do other things, just get away from it. We don’t completely immerse our life in it so much to where the things that aren’t important become important to us. We try to keep it – when we’re going to write a record, we get into the studio together, we have a great time and we try to write the best songs we possibly can without any other outside influence. Whether it be what fans want or what the label wants, this or that. That’s the way you keep it fresh because as soon as you get bored with what you’re doing or not proud of what you’re doing or you put out a record or go on tour when you didn’t want to, that’s when it becomes a job. Our mission since day one was to make sure this never felt like a job. We just keep ourselves sane before we try to please anybody else.
While on Mayhem Festival 2014, Arin Ilejay spoke with Zildjian about choosing the cymbal manufacturer and his current setup. Songs played in the video include Shepherd Of Fire and Nightmare. Arin’s setup includes the following: 14″ A Custom Mastersound HiHat Bottom x2 (HiHat setup), 10″ FX Trashformer, 12″ FX Oriental China “Trash,” 19″ A Custom Projection Crash x2, 20″ A Custom Crash x2, 19″ A Ultra Hammered China, 20″ A Custom China, 20″ A Custom EFX + 18″ A Custom Crash (stack) and 22″ A Custom Ride x2.
Clo from 97.1 The Eagle sat down backstage with Johnny Christ at the Dallas, TX stop of Mayhem Festival 2014 and he talked about what he likes to do on his off time, Mayhem Festival 2014 coming to an end, fans wearing Avenged Sevenfold t-shirts to their concerts, how Avenged Sevenfold put together their stage production, how they determine their set list, what’s next for Avenged Sevenfold, hanging out with Korn and more.
Filed under: Arin Ilejay, Hail To The King: Deathbat, Interviews, M Shadows
While on Mayhem Festival 2014 with Korn, Scottsquatch of Video Game Sellers caught up with Arin Ilejay (2:23-3:18) and M Shadows (14:28-16:36) and asked about video games Arin’s currently playing, Hail To The King: Deathbat and what some of Matt’s favorite video games are.
Submitted by Thomas.
Full Metal Jackie spoke with Johnny Christ and he touched on Waking The Fallen: Resurrected, reviewing old footage for the DVD portion of the re-issue, how Avenged Sevenfold begin the ‘writing-new-material’ process and what non-musical aspect of touring makes him most appreciative to be on the road.
An anniversary edition is a great opportunity to do something really special for fans. What special edition albums from other bands are your favorites and what other ideas did they give you for ‘Waking the Fallen: Resurrected’?
JC: Usually I don’t really go back and listen to a lot of special edition ones. The Iron Maiden stuff they have done before, and I think that they have done it a couple of other times, where they do special edition stuff which is cool because they give you a little extra, you know and they are not trying to remaster it. I think those are some of the ideas that we went with.
You can definitely tell the record was made for the time that it was and on the budget that it was. ‘Waking the Fallen,’ I mean. We think that it is cool. It serves its purpose. It serves its time. We don’t want to remaster it or anything like that. To give extra stuff we have put on a few extra tracks of songs that were just a bunch of demoed out songs that eventually became ‘Waking the Fallen’ songs but there are parts in there where you hear four or five different songs in one song because we were just writing like crazy. Then we just had to go in and listen to them. We started to take apart those songs and make them into more concise songs to create ‘Waking the Fallen.’ There are even some riffs on there that we didn’t even use on ‘Waking the Fallen’ but we did use on ‘City of Evil.’ It is kind of wild.
Johnny, was it bittersweet reviewing old footage for the DVD portion of ‘Waking the Fallen: Resurrected’ and seeing The Rev?
JC: Yeah, you know, we all — it was a different time, so it was just fun to see everyone in that aspect and obviously anytime we see stuff with Jimmy it is just bittersweet. You know, little by little we get by a little better each time. It has been a while and things start to get a little easier as anyone who has lost someone very close to them knows that you still feel that way. But you find out that you can just celebrate it than let it hurt you, so it’s actually kind of nice to see The Rev all in black and still wearing makeup and everything like that because that was a time when we were still putting on the makeup and making sure that we were very serious and all in black and everything like that. Now, that just isn’t the case anymore. It is fun to look back and see that youthful time.
Filed under: Hail To The King: Deathbat, Interviews, M Shadows, Mayhem Festival 2014
M Shadows was interviewed by 93.3 WMMR’s Markus and he spoke about what bands on Mayhem he was excited to see live, what band(s) Avenged Sevenfold wanted on Mayhem Festival’s lineup, the biggest prankster in Avenged Sevenfold, what book he’s currently reading, Hail To The King: Deathbat, what he did on his time off before writing & recording Hail To The King, playing golf and his current handicap, show day routines, heading overseas in early-2015, Avenged Sevenfold’s stage production, giving back to their fans with a great live show, being excited about writing new music, writing ‘music’ on the road and more.