A VENGED SEV­EN­FOLD

IT’S BEEN A YEAR OF SUR­PRISES FOR M. – BUT THERE ARE SOME KERRISTMAS SUR­PRISES HE’S FINE GO­ING WITH­OUT…

Kerrang! (UK) - - My 2016 - M. SHAD­OWS

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?”

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