To release music or not to release music? That is the question that many bands have faced during the pandemic and in a new interview with Kerrang!, Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows explains his band's decision not to rush a new album out, especially with touring on hold.
“No one wants to put out the record if we can’t tour it," explained the vocalist. "The reality is – and no one wants to hear this – in this day and age, rock 'n' roll just takes too long to make: you know, it’s going to be a three-year record to make. And if we put that record out and then we’re locked down for another year, as much as people don’t want to believe this, they are not going to give a shit about a record that came out a year prior when it’s time to tour."
Shadows says he knows the anticipation won't be the same for fans if the record is available for a full year before the band can play live. "You see it everyday – if you look at iTunes or Spotify and see how quickly it all turns over, it’s just weekly onto the next thing and onto the next thing again. If you just imagine putting out a record in August, and then you’re not touring until next August, people don’t want to hear this but they’re not going to care; they’re going to be like, ‘What’s next?,'" says the singer. "Once the Gojira record, or the new Metallica record or the new Megadeth record comes out, they’re not going to care about what came out the year prior. Our whole thing is: if it’s going to take us three years to do a record, we’re going to make sure we can play it live and people are going to be excited about it.”
That said, Shadows reveals that the next Avenged Sevenfold record, while still in the works, is not complete. He adds that the group had no major plans for 2020 before the pandemic, and have taken a more casual approach to working on the record since the pandemic started.
"At this point the record’s still not done, so there’s really not that much going on in our world! We hang out a lot and we’re working on stuff, and when that gets done we’ll call some people and say, ‘Hey, let’s do some shows,’” says the vocalist.
Even with work continuing, Shadows says there's still things they want to do for their album that will need to wait until the pandemic restrictions lift. "We’re still trying to get string sections together, and our mixer is older and I know that they don’t want him to travel right now because of COVID, so even if we got it done right now, we couldn’t get it mixed. So we’re just not worrying about it, you know? It’s like, ‘When we can, we can.’ But right now, we can’t," says the singer.
As for the sound of what's coming, Shadows teases, “The [new] record sounds nothing like The Stage – it’s a completely new direction, and it sounds nothing like anything we’ve done. That’s all I’ll say about it: it’s over the top, and it’s very eclectic and wild!”