Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows: “When You See Great Artists, a Lot of Them Aren’t in the Metal Scene”


Hard rockers Avenged Sevenfold are wrapping up their new album, which comes complete with a string orchestra. The band have previously said that the record was heavily influenced by rapper Kanye West. Now, in a new interview, frontman M. Shadows has doubled down on this, saying that when he thinks of artistic innovation, he doesn’t think of metal.

During a recent appearance on the Bob Lefsetz Podcast, Shadows opened up about the state of the metal scene, saying (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):

“I think the purely metal scene is always going to be there. Like you said, it’s always got a pulse. I don’t think the innovation is there, and I don’t think the ability for fans to have an open mind for when something is innovative, something is different, is there. I think the great songwriting has been lost a little bit, as well as some of these eccentric pieces of music.”

A totally fair criticism, in a lot of ways.

“When Metallica came out there was nothing like that. It seems like a lot of bands in my generation are just treading the same waters that Metallica’s already done…”

HA, okay, gotta interject: really, dude? You’re in a band who are literally famous for biting off Metallica. You admitted it! You’re not going to take a moment to own this yourself? To say, Maybe we were the problem? ‘Cause it’d be a lot cooler if you did!

“…and I think when you see great artists, a lot of them aren’t in the metal scene. There’s a lot of great art out there, and I would argue there are some amazing pop, some amazing hip hop, some amazing R&B, and some artists that are doing truly eccentric stuff.”

What this is telling me is that we’re in a not-metal-is-more-metal-than-metal swing right now. We had this in the early 2000s with nu-metal — when you think about it, isn’t it MORE metal to be NOT loud? Don’t worry, the pendulum swings both ways. I know, because the last time it swung back resulted in Avenged fuckin’ Sevenfold!

Anyway, Shadows goes on to explain how he feels the metal scene has closed itself off to outside listeners.

“You don’t see it as much in metal, and there’ll be a bunch of metalheads that send me fifty things on Twitter after they hear this, and you’ll listen to it, and you’ll just roll your eyes. It’s the same stuff, they’re doing the same sort of vibe. I think that hurts metal in a way, because I think a lot of times it’s just this regurgitated sound that people will praise, and then it goes away, because if you’re not in the scene, you don’t care.

“And if it’s something way outside the box, it just gets the thumbs down right away and the gatekeepers keep it behind closed doors and say, ‘Well, we’re going to forget about that, that’s not metal.’ I think that hurts the scene. Nowadays though, there are bands like System of a Down – obviously, they’re not making music. They are truly a great band to me where they’re making a different sound. There’s bands like The Deftones, there’s Ghost, doing their own thing. There are these shining, bright moments. But overall, as a scene, you don’t see the experimentation that I would love to see.”

There you go: dude who made his bank on metal is dismissive of metal. Remember: it’s a pendulum. See you on the backswing.

You can listen to the interview here:

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