A VENGED SEVENFOLD
IT’S BEEN A YEAR OF SURPRISES FOR M. – BUT THERE ARE SOME KERRISTMAS SURPRISES HE’S FINE GOING WITHOUT…
WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL 2016 HIGHLIGHTS?
“I have two boys, so my highlight has been watching them grow up and become really cool people. Showing up at lunchtime when my son’s at pre-school and reading kids’ books – that was the highlight for me this year.you’ve got to take advantage of that when your kids still think you’re cool, because very soon they’re not going to think you’re cool any more (laughs)!”
AND WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST THING ABOUT AVENGED SEVENFOLD’S YEAR?
“Musically, my highlight would have to be that we put out a very challenging record for our fans, and people just
got it.when you’re so deep into a record and you put it out, you never know how people are going to react, and I actually thought it would go over a lot of people’s heads. It’s been over some people’s heads, and that’s fine, but the overall reaction to it has been so positive; it was shocking to me, especially coming off a really simple record in [2013’s] Hail To The King, and then we go and throw a complete curveball. So, just being able to pull this whole thing off and that people like
it has been a total highlight.”
WHEN DID YOU START SETTING THIS ALL IN MOTION?
“We had written the album and then we were going into the studio, and our social media girl was like,‘ why don’t you send me a picture of you guys in the studio?’ We were probably six or seven months before release, and I was thinking about it like, ‘isn’t that kind of starting this too soon?’ Because if people see that we’re in the studio, they’re going to think it’s further along than it is.and they’re going to see an amp in there and they’re going to go,‘well, if they’re using that amp then that means it’s going to be like this!’ It just gets so overblown so quickly, and I was like,‘what’s the benefit of putting up a picture right now?’ And she was like,‘well, people will be engaged.’ So I said,‘but what’s the benefit?’ And that’s how it started.then we went for like a month in the studio and I was still like,‘i don’t want people to know that we’re in here.’ It kept becoming more and more secretive.and so we were like,‘let’s just do a surprise release!’”
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR KERRISTMAS?
“Oh, just snowboarding – I’m gonna get my kids learning how to snowboard! And then we’re gonna go and hang out in the desert after the snowboarding.and then, immediately after that, we go to Ireland to start production on the UK tour.we have a full week that we’re going to be doing preproduction because we have a whole new stage built for the record, and it’s a lot of moving parts, so we have to figure out how it’s gonna work. By the time we get to London it should be going good – we’ll be, like, 12 shows in. Everyone else is gonna get fucked-up shit (laughs)!”
WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST KERRISTMAS PRESENTS YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
“The worst is always clothes for guys – you know when your grandma tries to pick out clothes when you’re young? I don’t know about the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten – I think Christmas is better when you’re a parent. Last year we got our son one of those John Deere [ride-on mini] tractors. He thinks it’s like a full-size tractor and he drives it around the city. He’s got a little AM radio on it and he thinks he’s a farmer, which is hilarious. I love the whole thing of giving presents to our kids, because they just freak out. They think Santa’s the greatest!”
“CHRISTMAS IS BETTER AS A PARENT. MY KIDS THINK SANTA IS THE GREATEST!” M. SHADOWS
“Own up – who took the paper hat out of my cracker?”