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Avenged Sevenfold Interview

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Avenged Sevenfold Interview
2005 was a big year for Avenged Sevenfold. They released their major label debut, made it to number one on MTV's TRL, and headlned on the summer Warped Tour. City Of Evil found the band moving away from metalcore and toward straight ahead heavy metal. That drew some criticism from some people and the band also attracted some controversy with stories of wild partying and some of the comments they made in various interviews. Avenged Sevenfold's members use the pseudonyms of Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates, Johnny Christ and The Reverend. I interviewed lead singer M. Shadows and asked him about several different topics including adjusting to fame, when their next album might be released, and his musical influences.

Chad Bowar: What did you do over the holidays?
M. Shadows: We all just took some time off and hung out with our family and friends. I started building a chopper from scratch.

With the success you had in 2005, how was it adjusting to the added media scrutiny and demands for your time?
Sometimes we tell everyone to f@&k off and sometimes we are cool with it. I guess we handle it the way that any normal person would. Somedays we are all for it and some days you want to kill everyone!

How does it feel to be praised by metal legends like Metallica and Pantera?
Better then anything in the world. When we met Metallica we all agreed it was the highlight of our career. Selling tons of records and playing huge shows will never compare to meeting your idols. It was great just to know both bands had even heard of us.

Do you consider yourselves trailblazers for a crop of young up and coming metal bands?
We never set out to do that. We originally just wanted to be a band that played the music we wanted and sound different than anyone else. That's happened, but along with that people are saying that we have been leading the comeback of metal. I don't know if that's good or bad. If other kids want to start metal or rock bands because of us then that's great, but we will just continue to do our thing and let the press blow it out of proportion.

When you recorded the album, could you have imagined being at the top of MTV's TRL countdown?
Yes and no. We never thought that this record would do that for us, but we are very ambitious and always have confidence that if you play the music you wanna play, then good things will happen.

With success of course comes criticism. How do you respond to the fans and critics that accuse the band of "selling out" or "not being metal enough?"
We've been criticized since day one. We love it. The more people talk, the more people get interested in the band. Selling out is a term kids use in high school. Anyone that calls us a sell out has never heard the record or they are basing it off of the fact that we dont scream anymore. A major label debut with every song over 6 minutes doesnt sound like a sellout record to me. And we play music for the sake of music, not so that we can be labeled a metal band. That's like telling us we aren't punk enough. Who cares?

What have been the pros and cons of being on a major label?
The pros are that we get more money for the recordings. We got to hire real strings and a boy's choir for the record. They also work hard at getting your record out to as many kids as possible. The cons are that it's a huge corporation. You have to deal with more politics, but we have had a great experience so far on Warner.

Do you have a timetable for the next album yet?
Sometime in 2007 possibly.

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