MTV.com recently conducted an interview with AVENGED SEVENFOLD frontman M. Shadows. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

MTV: It's interesting that you cull your musical influences from the kind of bands many young people are probably not even aware of.

Shadows: I think classic metal just had a sound to it that had a crossover appeal to young people. Metal nowadays, I think there's a lot of great bands, but those bands don't have crossover appeal. Metalheads are so bitter, they're like, "Why doesn't a super-extreme band have all the success that AVENGED SEVENFOLD is having?" It's 'cause we have that traditional classic sound that bands like METALLICA and MEGADETH paved the way for a while ago. That sound crosses over and the extreme metal doesn't. When we wrote this record it was because we love classic traditional metal and we just wanted to write a record that came straight from our influences.

MTV: And just as those bands paved the way for you, you guys are doing the same for other bands.

Shadows: Totally. We recently met METALLICA, and Rex [Brown] from PANTERA came to our shows, and they're just like, "You guys are waving the flag now. Run with it and be proud." And those are the biggest compliments in the world, hearing stuff from METALLICA and PANTERA. Those are our idols, gods among men, and they've all been so supportive. ... When we hear people talking down to us in our own scene, that's just jealousy. But when you hear the big dogs talking to you, it's very, very inspiring.

MTV: Is it safe to call GUNS N' ROSES your biggest influence?

Shadows: GUNS N' ROSES is my favorite band of all time. It's funny 'cause we just did a thing for the [Los Angeles Times] and the guy's like, "People compare 'em to GUNS N' ROSES and Shadows walked out with a GN'R shirt," and he thought that was weird that I would, but the thing is, I'm not ashamed of the bands I love. I love that band. You can compare us all you want — they're a huge reason why I'm even in a band and even write music. My dad gave me "Appetite for Destruction" when it first came out; he saw [GUNS N' ROSES] on "Headbanger's Ball", and they're a huge inspiration. METALLICA and MEGADETH and GN'R, those are bands that I'll never deny loving ... those are bands that kind of made me and made this band kind of what it is. We don't try to be like, "Oh we're becoming a big band, so we're gonna pretend like we don't have any influences."

MTV: AVENGED SEVENFOLD are known for killing it onstage. Was that important to you from the beginning?

Shadows: I think everyone can really play their instruments, so it just comes across like these guys practice all day. Ever since I knew [AVENGED drummer] the Rev — which is when we were little kids — he was playing every SLAYER song and every PANTERA song in his room on the drums. And when you get a band [consisting of people who have] been trained as musicians or just practice their butts off, you're gonna get a band that can play. We wanna go out there and — call us image whores or whatever, but we like to put on a show, we want people to see a big show. We don't wanna go out there and just be like the normal dudes that just walked off the street and just played the show. You're there and you're paying money and that's what we love to do. We love to entertain.

Read the entire interview at MTV.com.


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