AVENGED SEVENFOLD frontman M. Shadows sat down with SiriusXM Octane host Jose Mangin last week to talk about the band's new album, "The Stage". You can now listen to the parts of the chat — which aired on SiriusXM's Octane channel on Friday, October 28 — below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On why AVENGED SEVENFOLD decided to "surprise-release" its new album, "The Stage":
M. Shadows: "There's a million reasons, but I guess the most prominent reason would be just the lack of originality in the way people release are releasing records these days. The Internet is so quick, things happen instantly… When your parents have iPhones, and they know everything that's going on, you know everyone's connected and you can do something like this and the word's gonna get out there. But a lot of it has to do with just our boredom of having to go through three to four singles before you get to the record release, and then three months later, it's finally out, and all the excitement's gone. We just wanted to give the fans the cherry on top right off the bat and just say, 'Here it is. You thought we were messing around for a year, but we've been working.'
"A lot of bands, you're hearing what people are saying, or they're reviewing this, and you're hearing the vibe of the record before you even get to hear the music, and that's just wrong to me. I want people to make their own decision. Listen to the music and figure it out for yourself instead of being fed the press release: you know, like, 'This is what it's gonna sound like,' and, 'It's our favorite, most melodic, heaviest thing ever.' It's so boring at this point."
On "The Stage" being made available as a physical CD:
M. Shadows: "Well, that's the craziest thing. Props to Capitol Records for being able to pull that off. This is the first surprise release that actually has a physical release with it. So when you talk about RADIOHEAD or Kanye [West] or Beyoncé, it was all digital. But we've been able to sneak records into the stores. So, yeah, you can go anywhere and pick it up now."
On fans embracing the new AVENGED SEVENFOLD music:
M. Shadows: "We found that people are smart; they get it. When we released 'The Stage' [title track] as a single, we were really surprised by how intuitive the fans were and how much they understood of what we were trying to say in the song and with the music video. So I don't think you need to spoonfeed people the concept of an album or this or that; just let 'em decide for themselves. Let it be in its purest form."
On whether there is a lyrical theme connecting all the songs on "The Stage":
M. Shadows: "Yeah, there is. I wouldn't call it a concept album, but it's very conceptual in terms of artificial intelligence, where we're going in the future, some of the big questions that are gonna be answered very soon — in the next ten to fifty years — with artificial intelligence. And then it also kind of goes into space exploration and how A.I. could help us with that and also how A.I. could be detrimental to the human race. So it explores all those things."
On how they managed to keep it a secret that they were releasing an album without a prior announcement:
M. Shadows: "We didn't really tell anyone, except very close people in the inner circle. Because people just like to talk. And even though they might not have bad intentions, you just don't want some person to accidentally tweet something or put an Instagram post up, 'cause that's all it takes and then the whole surprise is ruined. And then what are you doing? You're stuck. So this has been really good, and we're really proud of being able to keep this whole thing secret."
On the recording process for "The Stage":
M. Shadows: "We did in multiple studios up in L.A., or in Hollywood, with [producer] Joe Barresi. He mixed the new SLIPKNOT record. He's done a lot of stuff, but production-wise, he's just the guy you want. Everything's real; he doesn't mess around with all the junk that goes into these overcompressed, over-reverbed out records that are totally fake-sounding. So having Joe was awesome, 'cause he gave us the confidence. He said, 'You guys can all play. Why don't we just put a mic in the room and have you play?' And I was, like, 'Oh, yeah, okay.' So that's what we did. And I think it's a brilliant result. It's cool."
Photo credit: Rafa Alcantara of TWENTYFOURCORE