Enlarge Photo Credit: Jeff Forney

Avenged Sevenfold Frontman Comments on School Walkouts in Favor of Gun Control


Are the members of Avenged Sevenfold’s political views shifting further towards the left?

In the band’s early days, its members — particularly vocalist M. Shadows — weren’t shy about sharing their Republican worldviews in the press and through lyrics. Lately they’ve kept those outlooks mostly under cover, and indeed, in a recent interview with Canton, Ohio-based radio station Rock 106.9, Shadows confirmed “I try to keep [politics] out of the music.”

But in that same interview Shadows was asked about his feelings on the recent walk-outs by American high school students pushing for stronger gun control legislation, and his answer wasn’t what you’d expect given the band’s well-known right leanings:

“They’re the future, and they’re the ones that are sitting targets in these schools. I think they have a right to protest. There’s a lot of logistics that go on, obviously. I think technology can solve a lot of our problems. No one’s talking about that. If my iPhone can open from just looking at my face, then we can get guns that work in a similar fashion. There has to be some give on both sides, and both sides right now are just not willing to give at all. Right now, it’s just so polarizing. No one wants to give up anything. It’s tough, but I respect these kids, and I love that they’re doing that. As youth, they have to care. They’re the ones that are getting shot in these school. I respect them. This is how the country works, and always has. There’s always the generation which, we kind of look back on these kids and we have to assess what we really feel about what they’re doing — if they’re doing it and it makes sense, or do they just want to skip school? And I feel this is how the country changes. This has always been the forward progress of America, and that’s why we live in a great country where you can do stuff like this and we can have this discussion, and there are going to be new ideas. There are a lot of ideas that people still aren’t talking about — right now, it’s black and white, and there is a compromise in the middle somewhere where no one really wants to budge. I get it, but this is how the country changes. It’s usually the kids.”

Shadows’ sentiments aren’t exactly “we need stronger gun control legislation now” — far from it — but at the very least he expresses a willingness to explore the gun control issue, and depending on how you read this he may even be saying he supports these kids’ stated goals. There’s lots of hedging, talk of “both sides” and “there is a compromise in the middle,” but still: if this interview were conducted five years ago I’d have expected a comment firmly in support of gun rights.

What’s more, I somehow didn’t realize the implications of this until now even though we reported on it, but Avenged Sevenfold are doing a massive tour with Prophets of Rage this summer. In case you need it spelled out for you, every member of Prophets of Rage is EXTREMELY liberal and so is their music.

So, what’s next? Pre-order bundles for Avenged Sevenfold’s next album that include bottles of patchouli oil and a hacky sack? I can’t wait!

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