Deathbat News

Kerrang! Magazine’s “Avenged Sevenfold – The Big Interview” With M Shadows.
November 28, 2012, 4:07 am
Filed under: Avenged Sevenfold, Interviews, Kerrang! Magazine, News

Kerrang! Magazine discussed the world of Avenged Sevenfold, writing and filming “Carry On” for Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2, the new Avenged Sevenfold album and the direction it’s taking, the challenge that lies ahead for Avenged Sevenfold and more with M Shadows for their “Bat In Black” piece published in last week’s issue. Cheryl, from DevilBearRock, was kind enough send in the scans and I previously typed up the article before those arrived so enjoy both versions!

K: So 2013 is shaping up as a pretty hectic year for Avenged, then?
M SHADOWS: “It really will be. But I’m incredibly proud of what we’re preparing. I know that in my heart of hearts what we’re working on is something special and we can stand tall behind this new music for the next year and however long. There’s no point in going out there on the road and putting all your energy into something if you don’t believe in it wholeheartedly. What’s inspiring is how into this everyone is and how fired up we all are about making a kick ass new record.”

Eagle-eyed fans believe that the band’s former drummer can be seen rocking out to his cohorts… Avenged’s appearance ‘performing’ Carry On comes as a special surprise to anyone who completes Call Of Duty: Black Ops II. But some fans think there’s an extra bonus tucked away, too… See this grainy figure hiding in the balcony of A7X’s in-game show? Reckon he looks like someone you know? Well, a number of fans seem to think so – and they reckon it’s Call Of Duty’s homage to The Rev, who died in 2009. Unfortunately, it’s not a view shared by M Shadows. “I’ve seen people saying this,” he tells us. “The possibility of adding The Rev in was mentioned, but it would have been too weird. Really, the last thing we would want to do is include him in something that he obviously has no say in. By this stage, we’re all about moving on,” he adds. “We love and miss The Rev, but it just wouldn’t feel right or appropriate to put him in a game.”

K: How is everything going in the world of Avenged Sevenfold?
M SHADOWS: “Everything is really good, man, we’ve been busy putting down some songs for this new album. We’re busy as can be with the Call of Duty stuff as of this minute, but really, our focus is now pretty much all on the album we’ve got coming up.”

K: What’s the story with Carry On? Did you have that song on reserve, or were you approached by the people at Treyarch to write it?
M SHADOWS: “That was something we wrote completely separately. It wasn’t part of this or any other record writing process. They approached us, told us their ideas for the game, and explained that we would have to write with some limitations in mind. It wasn’t anything major – just things like keeping the song under four minutes long and writing something pretty up-tempo and fast that would fit within the contest of the game’s end credits. So we had some fun with it and got to do what was essentially our version of old school thrash, I guess, it was an interesting approach because it was a lot different to what we’re used to.”

K: What was it like doing all the motion capture stuff?
M SHADOWS: “That was awesome. It was a lot of fun. But like anything, when you get right down to the worked involved in it, it’s pretty painstaking. Things like pretending you’re screaming, but you’re not allowed to move your head too much, takes some getting use to. And we had to perform parts of the song over and over again. That stuff wasn’t so much fun, but when you see how i’s all put together and how cool the end result comes out, it’s definitely still worth it.”

K: Aside from the Asian tour and the Orion Festival with Metallica, it’s been a quiet year for Avenged. Have you been busy behind the scenes?
M SHADOWS: “You know what, man? We’ve probably been busier than ever this year. We’ve been writing this new record, and that’s been a huge challenge for us. Maybe we haven’t been in people’s faces so much this year, but that’s not to say that we haven’t been hard at work. Away from the public, it’s been all about pouring our energies into getting this new record down. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that we’re working on, too, which I’m sorry to say we can’t really talk about yet. Not because we don’t want to, because we’re stoked with it, but just because if we talked about it now it would spoil the impact of how cool this stuff will be when we reveal it. Aside from that, when we’ve had a moment to spare, 2012 has been about recharging and getting ready to come back strong next year. We’re still writing, so the work isn’t done yet, either.”

K: How far along is the record?
M SHADOWS: “I would say we’re about 60 to 70 percent through with the writing now. The hardest part of it was writing without The Rev around to add in the three or four songs he could be relied upon to take to the plate. We’ve settled on a direction in which this album should go, and we now have a clear idea about what it will sound like. To have that clarity about it is liberating.”

K: What can you tell us about this direction?
M SHADOWS: “I don’t know if I can say too much about it just now, but I can tell you what it’s not, which is almost as important. I look around now and I see a lot of heavy rock bands and metal bands getting into dustup and electronics and incorporating this new fashionable shit into their sound. That’s not us. We’re not interested in that. If anything, we’re going almost in the opposite direction by going even more old school. I mean, we’re going way back on this, to an album Black Sabbath-esque bluesy type thing, with some of the heaviest sounds we’ve ever made.”

K: Is this a reaction against that trend or just a result of what you’ve been listening to?
M SHADOWS: “I guess it’s both. We’re a little older, we love all that old school stuff. We grew up on bands such as Pantera and Sabbath. that’s just in our blood, and we’re not about to sell out on what we believe in and fall deep down to latch onto what may be trendy today.”

K: What have you been inspired by lyrically?
M SHADOWS: “To tell you the truth, man, I haven’t written a single fucking word yet. It’ll happen. I’ll just end up writing about skulls and death as usual!”

K: Sold! We’ll hold you to that. Presumably this will be out next year?
M SHADOWS: “We’re doing something very seriously wrong if the album isn’t out next year! I can’t say with any certainty right now when exactly it would be available, but we’re looking at finishing up the writing before the holidays, getting into the studio in January, and we’ll take it from there. Hopefully an early summer release at the latest, but you know how these things go.”

K: When will we be seeing you performing live over here in the UK again?
M SHADOWS: “Again, that’s all up in the air and offers of various things are starting to come through now. But what I will say is that I think we’re aiming to cover the UK and Europe first this time, so it shouldn’t be too long before we’re back over your way.”

K: Have you settled on a studio and producer yet?
M SHADOWS: “As far as the studio goes, nothing is decided. But right now, my number one choice for producer would be Mike Elizondo who did Nightmare with us. I was really happy with how that turned out, and would love to work with him again, but as with most stuff at this stage, it’s all subject to change.”

K: What do you see as the challenge that lies ahead for Avenged Sevenfold on this record?
M SHADOWS: “Well, I think we’ve always had backlash with every record we put out. Probably no more so than when we put out City Of Evil. We’re always interested in evolving our sound and challenging ourselves creatively, but not everyone has been so wiling to see us develop. I think with Nightmare, a lot of people almost gave us a free ride and we did’t have the same kind of backlash because of Jimmy and everything, so I expect that it will be back to the old pattern this time. For me it’s about just writing the best damn record we can. The challenge is doing it without an important part of the band being there to add his thoughts and ideas, not to mention songs. People are talking about doing this or that tour, playing this venue, talking to this station, getting the covers of that magazine, doing whatever with iTunes. For me, none of that matters if you don’t write good songs so it’s about getting the best material we have inside of us onto an album and all that other stuff will take care of itself. I have the utmost, absolute confidence that we will do that. We are doing it!”

K: What’s Arin’s [Ilejay, Drums] involvement been in the writing, has he been helping out?
M SHADOWS: “He has been writing little fills and adding some touches here and there. he’s done his part when he’s needed. It’s cool and a little strange, because he’s younger than us, so he comes at it from a different perspective. Instead of growing up on Vulgar Display Of Power or thrash metal, he’s been influenced by The Rev and metalcore, so it’s provided a little outsider insight almost. He’s cool, though; he’s doing his bit. He makes me feel old as shit, though!”

K: So 2013 is shaping up as a pretty hectic year for Avenged, then?
M SHADOWS: “It really will be. But I’m incredibly proud of what we’re preparing. I know that in my heart of hearts what we’re working on is something special and we can stand tall behind this new music for the next year and however long. There’s no point in going out there on the road and putting all your energy into something if you don’t believe in it wholeheartedly. What’s inspiring is how into this everyone is and how fired up we all are about making a kick ass new record.”


22 Comments so far
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I’m really happy with this interview and the fact they want to stay ”old school” make me even more happy. I’ve grown up with the same band than them so yeah I’m looking forward for this new record and I trust them they will give us a kick ass album :)

Comment by nilly

I cant wait OMG <3

Comment by melanie

Thank you so much for typing this all out for us!

I really can’t wait to find out what all that “other stuff” is that they (or Matt, really) keeps talking about. something that “no other band has done before.” by the sounds of it, I think it’ll be worth the wait.

so excited for the new album and that they’re at it again already. still wondering when or if Arin will become a permanent member, but I know they know what they’re doing…

Comment by Lindsey

No electronic music?! YES! I am a happy camper :D Cannot wait for Summer 2013

Comment by Yo1

Nice interview. Still I’m a bit concerned how they speak about Arin. They told this writing process is going to define if he stays in the band or not, but they only ask him input “if he is needed”. That’s just not fair I think. I really hope they can sort this out though.

I am really stoked about the new album and no doubt it’ll be good, but I got the feeling the guys are losing touch with reality somewhat.

Comment by Anonymous

Maybe they changed their mind as to when they want to make that decision. Maybe he isnt ready to become a full-time member yet. They will decide when theyre ready to.

Comment by Cal

“with some of the heaviest sounds we’ve ever made.” Wow, I definitely can’t wait!

great interview the curiosity is almost killing me really can’t wait to hear the new record, looking forward to know what’s the “secret” stuff they’re working on

Also I think it’s a great idea to work with Mike Elizondo, he did a great job on the last album. I trust in Matt when he says “I have the utmost, absolute confidence that we will do that. We are doing it!”.

Comment by Jordan

Life has been hectic this past year and I haven’t been keeping up with what is going in Avenged, but I think this article summed up everything nicely and I am extremely excited to hear the new album.

Comment by Morgan

The only thing I’m worried about with that entire nterview is that he said he wants to work with Mike Elizondo again. If they’re going with an old school feel I think he’d be the wrong guy because Nightmare did sound a bit overproduced.

Comment by Jacob

I agree, there were so many different tones and moods on Nightmare that it felt unfocused. I heard it described as “schizophrenic” by a reviewer and I agreed completely. They should bring back Mudrock and Sexy Fred, I think they made their best material under those guys.

Comment by Anonymous

What do you expect when your best friend and drummer dies and then you dedicate an album to him?
There`s 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
This album had so many tones, because they were going through an obviously emotional time.

However i will agree that a few songs didn`t fit the album like Natural Born Killer, Welcome to the Family and first part of Danger Line.
But they needed those songs more mainstream friendly to gain more attention for the album.

Comment by Phil

By “tones” I was referring to the instrumentals, which were all written before the Rev’s death. The lyrics helped make it more cohesive since they were all about the Rev, which were of course written after his death.

In my opinion, the production (especially guitar tones) was not fit for the heavier songs on the album like Natural Born Killer and God Hates Us. Those songs would have been so much better if the guitars had more chunk on the lower end.

I also didn’t like how the vocals sat in the mix. They were a little too loud or something. In my opinion, Shadows sounds his best on the self-titled album. While he didn’t scream much, his singing had so much rasp and power His quieter stuff was also appropriate, whereas on Nightmare his quieter parts can be grating like on the verses of Victim.

However, everything came together for them on Save Me. I think that is one of their top 3 songs they’ve written.

I don’t know why I nit-pick Nightmare so much but its never felt quite right to me. This is of course all my opinion, I don’t expect everybody else to feel the same way. I just love discussing A7X and I have no friends who love them like I do.

Comment by Anonymous

I like that they want to stay old school. Papa Roach had a bit of dubstep/electonics on their new album and it fits their style, but I don’t think it’s something that A7X should do.

Comment by Indy (@neon1121)

Really liked what Papa Roach did. Three Days Grace did it too and it was…okay. However, I would be extremely disappointed if a7x adapted to this trend. I’m glad they are using influences that have withstood the test of time.

Comment by Matt

I’m so excited!! :)

Comment by Lindsey

great interview

Comment by Anonymous

I was actually worried they were gonna go to a more poppy industrial sound like today`s music, but they`re actually going in the complete opposite way?

FUCK YES! A7X never fails us!

Comment by Phil

“That’s not us. We’re not interested in that.”

That’s great to hear. Some bands have done a nice job but I wouldn’t want them to go down that road.

Comment by Loghen

I like Arin and all, but of course he would be less apart of the writting process and since Jimmy’s no longer around its alot harder to cope with someone who just entered your band not that long ago, just look at the self titled album, Jimmy wrote both Afterlife and A Little Piece of Heaven and they cant really expect something that big from Arin just yet

Comment by Anonymous

Great to have some mention of Arin :)

Comment by janet

I am really excited about the new album (well I’m always excited for their new album) and am glad that they again will be doing something new and fresh. I think it really is part of their magic to have every album sound different (though haters gonna hate)

Comment by Rad

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