AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows was interviewed on a recent edition of Westwood One's "2 Hours With Matt Pinfield" radio show. You can now listen to the chat below.
Speaking about what it's been like to get an opportunity to meet and become friends with some of the musical icons that have inspired him, M. Shadows said: "It's surreal, man. It's very interesting. A band like… You know, there's been different opinions of a guy like Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES singer] and opinions on a band like METALLICA. METALLICA have taken us in like their younger brothers. They have no resentment or fear or anything that you might expect from a younger band coming up; they are the coolest dudes, and all they want is for us to be successful, which says a lot about their personality. And they've done everything they can to really be cool guys. And I've gotta say Axl Rose has been just as cool in his own way. I met him years ago at a KORN CD-release party, and he walked right up to me — I'd never met the guy in my life — and he said, 'Hey, I wanna thank you for all the cool things you said about me in the press. And he just started talking ot me. And then they took us on tour as well. I mean, Slash has been great. These guys have nothing to prove; they're great guys, especially METALLICA. These guys have been trying to help younger bands since day one; they take bands out like LAMB OF GOD or DEFTONES, or whatever it is, and they're trying to break other artists, which is really commendable and cool. And it's been an honor… It shows that they're confident and they're comfortable with themselves; they're not insecure, and they wanna help the genre, which is… they don't have to, and they do, so it's cool."
M. Shadows also talked about how he is still reeling from the death of founding AVENGED SEVENFOLD member James "The Rev" Sullivan (drums) in December 2009. The singer said: "Eighteen years of my life, he was literally at my house every single day, and when you lose someone that's that close and that you kind of click with that much, it's at times worse than losing a family member; that's what it seems like. Your whole world is ripped apart and everyone around you that knew him so well is a wreck emotionally, and it goes on for years and years and years. And you never really fully recover from it; it's just something you live with for the rest of your life. And there's all those moments where you're just, like, 'Man, this would be great if he was here for this,' or you wanna call him, or his phone number's still in your phone, or all these things that are just so… it's bizarre, but it's also part of life, and it's… It teaches you mortality, and we learned it at an age that I wish I didn't learn it at, but, you know, when you're a young kid, you think bad things can happen, but not that bad. And then when it happens, you just can't… you can't even fathom it, but it really makes you pull yourself back up and really appreciate the people around you even more, like the kids or your wife or your best friends, because you realize it's all fleeting, it all happens very quickly, and you can lose anyone at any time. So it's been really tough, especially musically and going on the road and not having him, but I think the band's done a good job of being able to put on a happy face and just kind of get out there and get back to business."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD's new album, "The Stage", sold 16,000 copies in its second week of release. While this is an impressive number by metal standards, it is also a 78 percent dip from the previos week, when the LP shifted 76,000 units. 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 11 years — less than half the tally of its previous two efforts.
The group made the album available at midnight on October 27 with almost no promotion beforehand, save for the arrival of a new song one week earlier.
Over the weekend, M. Shadows took to Facebook to blast the media for labeling "The Stage" a commercial disappointment. In an interview he said, "We also take a longer-term view. The average album following a three-month release model typically sees sales drop as much as 80 percent for the second week. We expect some drop-off, too… but we also expect our album sales to continue over a longer period of time."
For comparison's sake, AVENGED SEVENFOLD's previous album, 2013's "Hail To The King" sold 42,000 in week two, which was a 74 percent drop from its first-week sales of 159,000.