Avenged Sevenfold: 'We Get S--t if We Stay Same, We Get S--t if We Change'

"I don't want to be that douchebag on Xbox Live shouting 'I've got your f--kin' IP address!" M. Shadows says about online haters.

Ultimate Guitar

Singer M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold admits that it's simply impossible to win when it comes to keeping everyone happy with the band's musical progression. The vocalist recently discussed band hate with Front Army, remembering all the bashing A7X withstood over the years. "Every record we get s--t," Shadows kicked off. "We get s--t if we stay the same and we get s--t if we change. When we put out 'City of Evil' after 'Waking the Fallen' there was a s--tstorm. We thought it was really great but people were going 'This f--kin' sucks!' They were calling us sellouts – probably eight of the eleven songs on that record are over eight minutes long, that's like the least sellout move ever. You can't really win." Asked on whether he ever though of getting involved in online arguments himself, the singer categorically refused the idea. "I've never made a comment on a message board in my life," he said. "Unless someone physically tries to attack me I don't care what anyone does. I don't want to be that douchebag on Xbox Live shouting 'I've got your f--kin' IP address, I'm coming to your f--kin' house!' It's not important to me." Apart from discussing label relationship, his son and the new record "Hail to the King," Shadows focused on the group's high aims, saying that the media questions about taking over the torch from metal greats such as Metallica and Iron Maiden once again put the band in somewhat of an awkward position. "Sometimes we get asked loaded questions, like 'Maiden and Metallica can't headline Download forever, so are you guys next?'" the vocalist said. "I'd be a pussy to say no, because I'd like to do that, yet I'm an egotistical d-ck if I say yes. The honest answer is, the fans are going to decide if they want to see us take up that mantle." Shadows explained further, "Somebody needs to do that, because you can't have Maiden headline every festival, and you can't have obscure metal bands headlining the second stage at a festival where the headliners are Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers. Metal needs to be exposed to more people, so it's good for rock if there's bigger bands. American radio rock bands aren't gonna cut it, it's got to be real, classically influenced metal that stays true to what metal is. If we're that band, I'm up for it." "Hail to the King" was released in late August via Warner Bros. as the band's sixth studio record, peaking at No. 1 in six countries around the globe, including both US and the UK. Avenged Sevenfold were recently also confirmed as the Friday headliner of the Download Festival 2014.

118 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I liked City of Evil. It was a change, a progression from the previous albums, and it was its own sound. Not like Hail To The King
    Retarded fan-base? I don't care whether they change or not, I like the old A7X, I like the new A7X and I listen to what sounds good to me.
    Von II
    Well, there is a difference between sounding different, and sounding somewhat like Metallica seemingly on purpose.
    good point.. to add to your point didnt they see or hear the backlash trivium got for the crusade sounding too much like metallica? that blew up real quick at download when heafy "sang" the screamed verse to pull harder.
    At this point, enjoying their music and watching them grow over the years....It's time to say, "Fuck the haters!" They've been a great committed band with no bullshit little girl drama for too long. Real fans don't ditch just because someone else say, "Oh they suck now, they're trying to sound like Metallica." Lesson of music 101, You will, repeating in text, "YOU WILL" sound a lot like your influences. Fact. I would have thought by now they would have already proved themselves to the rock community, shit they've done more than enough to prove that. A tribute song to Dimebag, putting in the tour time while they have family, putting in the tour of the last album one of their brothers died making, completed the tour for said album. Stop trying to make this a god damn popularity contest and acknowledged that they have put their work in. Respect is due people.
    This may be the most respectfull thing a muscician has said. I like how these haters just bash these guys down without a f****g reason. Just F****g admit that they are huge, has a huge fanbase and makes music that is great.
    You had me up until "makes music that is great." You should have cut it off there when you had a legitimate point untampered by opinion. Personally, I used to love them up until the self-titled album, which had a few songs that I just couldn't vibe with ("Dear God" I'm looking at you here). I wasn't crazy about Nightmare either. It just feels to me like they quit trying after Jimmy died.
    Why should I admit something I don't agree with? I don't think they make "music that is great", I actually think most of their songs are terrible, but at least I'm not telling people they need to agree with me...
    You know something, I hated the new album when I first heard it, but the damn thing grew on me! Very well produced album, sure, it may sound like "old" (Black Album) Metallica, but it's pretty damn good. Metallica wishes they sounded this good, Lars could never drum like Arin Ilejay even in his younger days and Kirk Hammett doesn't even come close to Synyster Gates skill level. I wouldn't call the new album shit at all, I mean it's selling like crazy, so someones thinking it's good? Just my view, will be interesting to see what the next A7X album sounds like. I mean really, what's Metallica come out with lately that has sold this well? Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of everything up to "and Justice for All", even some of the black album was pretty good, everything after that I never cared for. Bottom line, don't like the new album from A7X, don't buy it.
    I can't really remember any of Avenged's albums sounding like each other so maybe that's the main reason for all the shit they get from their fans. And the sellout comments were probably due to them getting progressively lighter in sound from Sounding the Seventh Trumpet to City of Evil
    Don't get shit from me. Self-Titled, City of Evil and Nightmare were great LP's
    I totally see where he's coming from. They could put out the greatest metal album of the decade and nobody would even know it because they're too busy jumping on the hate bandwagon. Listen to a band yourself and decide if they're good or not, don't hate a band because everybody else does. And so what if you hate them? I'm almost positive they're miles ahead of anybody here bashing them as far as talent goes. Chill out.
    I don't think A7X will get a chance to put out "the greatest metal album of the decade" while Mastodon are around.
    He is totally right about this. And it's sad, because all of those jumping in the bandwagon of hating Avenged Sevenfold are missing some truly good music. Yes, This Means War sounds like Sad But True. Get over it. I liked the song, I liked their new album as well as all of their albums. I don't think they deserve all the hate they've got.
    Totally understand everything he's trying to say, as he's made some very good comments (particularly as far as loaded comments go to explaining what can sometimes result in interviews that sound misrepresentedly arrogant from the band). BUT the main reason they've been criticised this album is because a couple of their songs on the album are FAR, FARRR too obviously "influenced" by a couple of big bands (hint hint Metallica, & G'N'R)so extremely lack in originality. but I've always thought that actual 'selling out' arguments are stupid as I personally think some people confuse selling out with a band either being bored of making the music they did in other albums or having running out of ideas for that 'style'/niche genre.
    I like the new sound, i like the old sound. To me they are one of the best and you may disagree. But I don't really care anymore. I know it's cool to hate the things that become popular. but it's getting really old now. oh and so no one has to say it here: "This means war is a ripoff!!!"
    "To me they are one of the best and you may disagree." More people need to realize this is the way to go...
    I really like A7X. Their albums have very much variety in it. Hail to the king tho, doesnt come up with my expectations.
    Metal fans are so dissapointing. Who cares if they sound like metallica or "ripping off". Do you people also realize that they were listening to all these bands listed to get inspiration for the album? Also every album sounds different because they dont like putting out the same record. They like change. Selling out to me is doin the same shit and not being happy with the music you are making. And if people are gonna say they are ripping off, then this whole generation is because this generation is mainly influenced from metallica, and the greats. All the people in the band are pretty good at what they play. Syn alone is better than most guitarists ive heard nowadays. I love all their albums, im a dedicated fan. Open your mind people and if you think you can play such better music than them and they suck, get a ****in band and prove it.
    My favorite album was Nightmare. I feel forever alone in this thread. Oh and by the way. I'll take "posers" over the stoner attitude some Indie bands have. That really get's on my nerve. Not saying i hate the music, but that staring into nothing with no expression... F*** that!
    I thought Waking the Fallen and City of Evil were both superb albums. Some of you guys really need to get laid!
    Good interview and I completely get what the guy is coming from. I'm not a fan of A7X myself, but I can imagine them taking up some sort of mantle in the metal world when the biggest bands (he mentioned Maiden and Metallica, but there's obviously a couple more) nowadays stop touring.
    Whether or not you are an A7X fan, this guy has always seemed to have a level headed opinion on just about everything. (imo)
    You know what, it's all opinion! some people like Bieber, some don't! Avenged Sevenfold is not a bad band.Is anyone else in the "mainstream" like them?? MAYBE IN THE 80's!! people think Metallica or Megadeth or Slayer is mainstream still...ARE YOU FUCKIN NUTS? Metal in general is NOT something i'd call "mainstream" these days regardless of past success. I'd rather hear A7X before: Papa Roach, Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Thirty seconds to Mars or any of the Indie bull on the charts. I respect Avenged Sevenfold for being something different in "mainstream" music and ya they sound like Metallica mixed with Pantera a bit SO WHAT.
    people are way to cynical these days with their musical opinions. it's music, you like it or you don't-grow up.
    I don't listen to A7X anymore, but Hail To The King is good for what it is. Sure, they're probably the most progressive headlining metal band out there and this album digresses quite a bit from that, but for who they are and what their fans are like - a straightforward metal album is what people should've expected. They were too core, too weird, too rock, now they're too metal - you would've thought by now people wouldn't have real expectations of their sound for how much it's changed in the past. Stop complaining unless you want 6 "City of evil"s.
    I definitely think he has a point,people are extremely cynical. Big "mainstream" metal bands nowadays cant win. Did you guys forget that LED ZEPPELIN stole a majority of their music(and are proud to admit it)? Did you know ELVIS never wrote a song in his life? Rock and Roll has a tradition of stealing music from the very beginning when they stole songs from obscure black blues singers. I loved A7X's new album, and i never was really a fan before i heard it. Although it does have clear influences, they keep true to their very unique sound throughout the album. Best metal album since "unto the locusts" in my opinion, and i hope they continue doing what they are doing.
    Irwin Navarro
    This is just my 2 cents but to all those hating on A7X may I remind you that Mike Portnoy, yes, (THE MIKE PORTNOY, former drummer of one of the best prog bands in the world Dream Theater and one of the best drummers in the world) actually left Dream Theater cos he wanted to work with this band.. It only means Portnoy sees potential in them. If that doesnt validate A7X's status as a great metal band, I dont know what does/
    A7x have some well-earned success. The more successful-- and known--a band gets the more haters there will be. They probably haven't adjusted to that fact yet. Stay true to yourself, work hard, don't abandon friends and family, then the only opinion that matters is your own.
    but at the end of the day, how many people from this forum in a metal band are headlining Madison square garden.....exactly. don't lie to yourselves, if somebody offered you a position as the next a7x guitarist you would jump on it. and would be a fool not to, I really cant stand nickleback, but if somebody offerered me to be their next guitar player, id take it, cause they make a shit ton of money, and play the biggest arenas around the world. not wait for all the underground fanboys to rip me a new one, yeah, I hope you like living in a trailer when you are 50
    Which memeber of Avenged Sevenfold are you? What does accepting insane money to work what amounts to be contractor work have to do with someone's opinion about the quality of Avenged's music? No one's going to turn down the money to ultimately do what they want with music, but that says nothing about nothing. It doesn't mean the band is good, it means money and success = good. I hate people who make that same tired argument about being to do what you criticize. If you walked into a 5 star restaurant and got served a hundred dollar turd, you're not going to defer to the opinion of experts, you're going to trust your taste as a consumer. It works the same way for music. It's subjective, and people are going to have different tastes. Get over it. The trailer line is just flat out retarded, but I'll accept you were probably riled up.
    I don't think it would be all about money. I think it would be more like an experience. You may have a dream of being the guitarist of a successful band and playing in front of thousands of people in large arenas. Also, opinions change. I think if somebody else had written some of the songs I have written, I wouldn't listen to them. But I like the songs because I wrote them. And IMO playing whatever songs with a band is always fun. Even if their music wasn't my favorite, I could learn to like it. Also, I'm pretty sure all members in this kind of band are great musicians. It would be really cool to jam with them.
    gary holt interviewed for that recent metal documentary on vh1 classic, saying hes glad he didn't sellout, while litteraly on the steps to his trailer.....if selling out a little puts me in a mansion, where do I sign??
    im saying that they wanted a simpler sound, and everyone bashes them for "selling out" or sounding like metallica, metallica are awesome, but people have a problem when others copy them, but if somebody copies dream theater (almost every prog band out right now) then good for them! these guys are brootalz! just because you don't think its quality music doesn't mean millions of others don't, same goes for me hating DT, I don't like the, but that's just my opinion that they suck. but if I was offered to be in the band, id surely take it. catch my drift?
    My Last Words
    Actually, I used to think their music is crap, and I still like to think that their music is crap. However, the idea that this band will probably attract alot of people to the genre is a good thing, I guess, even if it's with a sell-out/mainstream record. I mean, I think there's a good deal of people who got into metal through bands that one could regard as sell-out and/or mainstream, like Metallica ((post)black album), linkin park, etcetera..
    i just decided to put some of their music on after reading this article. somehow, i'm enjoying it even more after reading some of these shitheaded comments.
    They perfected their "own sound" in City of Evil. Their albums before that were pretty much metalcore. Don't get me wrong, I love Waking the Fallen. And let's be honest, there's only one song in the new album that sounds like Metallica. But I wouldn't call even that one a ripoff. If you put A7X and Metallica side by side, you can tell that they are very different bands with their own style of playing. A lot of people love to hate A7X because they were first a metalcore band and now they make music that's somewhat radio friendly. These are the kind of people that make lists of bands they're allowed to listen to so that they can call themselves "true metal fans" or whatever. I'm not like that. This band is not afraid to do anything. They make music that sounds right to them. Fans or record labels don't tell them what to play.
    No matter what you think about their (fun and totally bad ass) records you gotta respect a band that really goes for it like these guys. Heavy, technically proficient, AND with critical acclaim (zing). You might as well enjoy it while it lasts, because if prog, hardcore, and stoner metal is the only thing you're willing to support prepare to leave metal in it's grave. The masses simply will not have it. They want "ear candy". I for one like seeing a metal band capable of this kind of success, so please don't fu*k it up for the rest of us.
    one of my favorite bands, in my opinion, avenged sevenfold is one of the few current bands that really could be compared to the classic bands
    I think what he said there was quite respectable. When I heard 'they were ready to take on the torch' I thought it sounded quite egotistical but they way he explained it makes more sense than the past misleading titles.
    I remember reading something once, unsure if it was a band or artist or whatever - "Once you find your sound, you don't change it, you tweak it"
    The one difference this time around is Hail to the King sounds unoriginal and like a black album ripoff, City of Evil was something different all together.
    It. Is. One. Song. Not an entire ****ing album.
    its not one song. its 1 song that is a lot like a POPULAIR metallica song.. other songs sound like some lesser known iron maiden/metallica songs. you just gotta look beyond the mainstream. That said, I liked Hail to the King because of that reason. different songs that sounded like the songs i used to listen to on repeat. City of evil was their best in my opinion though
    dont forget the Guns and Roses ripoff on Doin Time
    people saying this are starting to piss me off. shepherd of fire is kick ass sounds like slowed down A7X. hail to the king isnt ACDC its like the same sound as shepherd of fire. doing time sounds like gnr but no one pinpoints a song because it is just influenced by them! this means war i have to give you that it sounds like sad but true. then the rest of the ****ing album sounds like no one but A7X.
    Shephard of fire is structured almost exactly like enter sandman, even the mainriff is earily similar. Heretic sounds like symphony of destruction. When I say sound like, I don't mean remind me of, they flat out sound like the songs. That being said I still like most of the songs, especially the ones that aren't trying to emulate other bands, like planets and acid rain.
    This. It's one goddamn song... the entire ****ing album isn't "This Means War."
    The albums that I like by A7X, that I still listen to today: Waking The Fallen, City Of Evil, Avenged Self Titled (white album) Diamonds in the Rough, Nightmare, Hail to the king. (posted 2013)
    wtf is wrong with you ppl?!?!?! Hail to the king is a GREAT ****ing album in its own way. JUST LIKE EVERY GREAT ALBUM THAT EVERY ARTIST HAS PUT OUT.
    Nightmare is kinda s***ty. but the others are f****ng gold, man. respect
    Avenged Sevenfold was my favorite band back when City of Evil and the self-titled came out, but as their sound moved away from what I liked, I simply found other bands. They can do what they like, I'm just not going to buy any more records
    Y u no stop releasing s**t, so that you won't get s**t. fair enough, ha?
    they'll get shit from their millions of fans if they did that, so who's opinion do they care about more, their fans or a bunch of douchebags in a comment feed
    great now build a fanbase as expansive as a7x's (which is tens of millions worldwide), win 7 Golden God Awards, get gold certified on 4 of your albums, platinum on one, reach the charts on 15 of your singles, and get your music featured on 27 video games, and finally grow a pair of balls. then we'll ****in talk.
    wow, you got 40 down votes? that's a record. A7x fanboys are worse than Bieber fans.
    You get s--t, cuz you suck! It's simple as that.
    people like you is exactly why this article exists. instead of saying this comment, say something like, "I personally don't like them, but I respect other peoples opinions about them" don't act like a complete douchebag!