AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows spoke to Meltdown of the WRIF radio station about the December 15 release of the deluxe version of the band's critically acclaimed album "The Stage" (Capitol). This new edition features seven additional studio songs plus four previously unreleased live tracks recorded during the band's recent shows at The O2 arena in London. Among the seven bonus cuts is the band's stunning cover of the PINK FLOYD classic "Wish You Were Here", which was released last two weeks ago."We recorded all these songs a year ago, but I've gotta say releasing it right now just seems like a good time when the world kind of needs something like this, with all the terrible things that have been going on," M. Shadows said about tackling the PINK FLOYD track. Regarding AVENGED SEVENFOLD's decision to reissue "The Stage" fourteen months after the album's original release, M. Shadows said: "The record's been out a year. We haven't really been able to tour on it, because we did the METALLICA tour, which was amazing, but we weren't able to really get into the nuts and bolts, some of these deeper cuts, and really explore 'The Stage'. So we felt with all the B-sides we'd recorded and cover songs and live stuff we've done over in Europe, it would be a good time to re-release the record as one huge two-and-a-half-hour sum of music and kind of refresh people on it before we started this [upcoming headlining] tour, kicking off in January. So that's kind of the idea behind it, and we're pretty excited about it, and it came out pretty well." Among the bonus songs that are included on deluxe version of "The Stage" is "one B-side that we didn't finish in time for the record," said M. Shadows. "It wasn't really turning out to be a song that was gonna necessarily make it, but when we were able to finish it up, it came out as a B-side, called 'Dose'." As for the live recordings, the singer said: "We did that European tour [in early 2017] with DISTURBED, and our sound guy passed away in between that tour… kind of freakishly — just out of the blue he found out he had cancer and he was gone within a couple of weeks. And he was with us for years and years, and he was SLIPKNOT's guy and one of those guys that was just a legend. And he recorded all the songs, so we felt, as a tribute to him, we'd throw four live tracks on this deluxe version from his last recordings." M. Shadows said that AVENGED SEVENFOLD's cover choices for "The Stage" deluxe edition are "stuff we all grew up listening to. The covers are anywhere from BEACH BOYS to Del Shannon to Mexican folk songs," he explained. "So we did all sorts of left-field covers. We didn't really have an urge to go and record a bunch of metal songs that were things that were in our genre. So we wanted to kind of do our own thing with some of the classic rock stuff. So it's all over the place." "The Stage" was released at the end of October 2016 with almost no promotion beforehand. The surprise release of the disc, which was announced the night it went on sale, earned the lowest sales of an AVENGED SEVENFOLD album in eleven years. It sold seventy-six copies in its first week, seventy-three of which were physical. AVENGED SEVENFOLD's 2018 North American arena headlining tour will kick off January 12 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with special guests BREAKING BENJAMIN and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. The trek will be North America's introduction to the electrifying "Stage" spectacle that drew rave reviews in Europe.
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