M Shadows has been speaking to the Current about life in Avenged Sevenfold and the fans' reaction to the new album. As Shadows notes, the band doesn't believe in writing records to suit a perceived fan need: "I'm a firm believer that people don't know what they want until they get it. There are very few bands that I still listen to that write the same record over and over, one being AC/DC, and one being NOFX, they always do the same and I love them, but most other bands I fall out of love with because they do the same things but they no longer move me or challenge me.
That's what we want to do with our band: to move you in ways you didn't necessarily think you wanted. You have to give people things that frighten them a little bit, throws them off but then they get into it. That's how things evolve." The singer also reflected on the band's near dissolution after the death of drummer Jimmy "the Rev" Sullivan in 2009: "It's a testament to our fans. They stayed with us all through that. When Jimmy died it was very, very difficult. The reason we thought of disbanding wasn't that we didn't want to play music with each other, but we weren't sure continuing with the name Avenged Sevenfold was right, considering how equal [Jimmy] was with us in creating it.
"Eventually we decided the best way to continue the legacy was to move forward. To me, it's just all about how much you can keep your head out of what anyone else thinks of you and writing the songs you want to write and produce the records you want to record and putting it out there."