Avenged Sevenfold: 'People Don't Know What They Want Until They Get It'

M Shadows talks approach to songwriting in new interview.

Ultimate Guitar

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."

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Like anal.
    This album was way more simplistic than their previous efforts but I still think it's solid. The guitar solos are emotional and beautiful and the vocals soar. People shouldn't be so hard on these guys; they're way better than most of the crap that's out there.
    Finally! i agree the album as a whole musically wasnt all that unique-but if i look at it as a showcase for syn's guitar work-its great! his solos on this album are probably his move diverse work yet with less technical super-fast scale runs and more phrasing and bending and just great melody! the band did great as a whole but for me its syn's guitar solos that do it
    Now, if the next album could just be a mix of Avenged Sevenfold (2007) and Nightmare that'd be cool. That'd be something new and back to the Avenged I like most! Hail To The King was a good album but it wasn't my favourite by them!
    Why do they always need to justify themselves? The album is out, it's a major step back but with their touch in it, some likes it, some don't, end of story.
    They put out an album that's relatively controversial to their previous sound and direction, and they're being interviewed about it. They're not "justifying," they're explaining it. I'd imagine that most bands like to talk about their new albums when they come out...
    If the movement you meant was one relating to the bowels, Hail to the King did a fine job of that.
    No...that would be your comment. Seems like I don't need my laxative today...
    You're never gunna keep everyone happy. Fair play to him/them. Why are they justifying themselves? Cos "lots" of people have said they didn't like it, although obviously not enough to keep them from having a number 1 album all over the world.
    He's right. I always unknowingly wanted to hear more of the old Metallica.
    Yes we hear this every time there is an A7X post. You aren't as clever as you think.