You asked, he an­swered. It’s The Peo­ple vs M SHAD­OWS.

And 12 other ques­tions you asked Avenged Seven­fold’s front­man, M Shad­ows


It’S been A year of ups and downs for Avenged Seven­fold. Their huge world tour for The Stage went fly­ing off the rails when the band had to can­cel all re­main­ing dates due to M Shad­ows’ vo­cal is­sues. While he was busy re­cu­per­at­ing and pre­par­ing for the re­lease of a new EP, we got Ham­mer’s fine read­ers to in­ter­view him for us.

Why did you de­cide to re­lease an­other sin­gle with Call Of Duty? Tammy (email)

“We love the peo­ple work­ing at Tre­yarch and we love their games. We also feel we can add some­thing to the game by writ­ing songs for them. It’s re­ally fun for us to knock out a song or two for things like this in­stead of go­ing through the whole process of writ­ing a full al­bum.”

Is there gonna be a se­quel to Hail To The King: Death­bat Game? Ash Ad­dis­son (email)

“I re­ally hope so. We un­der­stand the orig­i­nal game has been taken down, but we have some an­nounce­ments com­ing up soon. I have a ton of ideas for a se­quel, maybe even make it mul­ti­player. Games are hard to make, just ask [Call Of Duty de­vel­oper] David Von­der­haar. I com­pare mak­ing games to mak­ing al­bums: it’s very stress­ful! But if I ever de­cide to bring back Death­bat I wouldn’t want to give away any ideas…”

HAM­MER: How did you get into gam­ing any­way?

“My grandma bought me and my cousins the first NES. We got Mario and Duck Hunt, and I was ad­dicted af­ter that. At the mo­ment I just fin­ished the bril­liant Black Ops 4

Black­out beta and now I’m go­ing back to Play­erUn­known’s Bat­tle­ground. Both are ab­so­lutely stun­ning games.”

What the hell is Mad Hat­ter about and how did you write it? Becky Ped­dar (email)

“The song blends the nar­ra­tive of the game and the life of John B. McLe­more to­gether in an in­ter­est­ing way. He was a bril­liant man with an over­ac­tive brain and felt the strug­gle of so­ci­ety weigh­ing on him deeply. Peo­ple sus­pect that he had Mad Hat­ter’s dis­ease, which even­tu­ally led to his demise. Lis­ten to the

S-Town pod­cast and the song will make more sense.”

Who would win in a fight, Steve Buscemi or Wil­liam H. Macy? Nixon Vicci (Face­book)

“What a great ques­tion… I hon­estly don’t know, but I would pay top dol­lar to see it!”

What tips do you have for peo­ple who want to write songs but don’t know how/where to start? Toni Rear­don (Face­book)

“Just jam! Take your favourite bits and build off that. Writ­ing mu­sic is very tough. You start with a whole lot of noth­ing and are ex­pected to cre­ate. Just re­mem­ber that writ­ing songs is hard for ev­ery­body… just work harder than ev­ery­one else and you should be fine. But writ­ing an al­bum can feel very daunt­ing. I’m very hard to be around. My wife hates me and I be­come stressed out and in­sane. I’ve tried over the years to calm that down but I know at some point dur­ing the writ­ing process

I will have one or two break­downs. We set a high stan­dard for our­selves. With a one-off sin­gle it’s a lot eas­ier. You can see the light at the end of the tun­nel a lot sooner.” How is your voice do­ing at the mo­ment? Will you fully re­cover?

Ids Schiere (email) “Thanks for ask­ing. Yes, a full re­cov­ery is ex­pected. I’m still tak­ing it easy right now. Imag­ine bruis­ing your knee re­ally bad and you have to wait for all the swelling to go down be­fore you can walk again.

It’s not the type of in­jury that will af­fect you for­ever, it just takes a while to heal. That’s what I’m deal­ing with.”

Do you ever get writer’s block?

Shomi Jayna (email)

“I think be­fore we start any al­bum it’s al­ways the first songs that are in­cred­i­bly hard to write. Once you get in a groove, it makes things a lot eas­ier. Be­fore The Stage I knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t want over-the-top, cheesy cho­ruses and I was sick of generic mu­sic. So for a cou­ple months be­fore we started writ­ing I was just throw­ing out tons of riffs be­cause ev­ery­thing sounded too generic. We needed to get a weird one out of our sys­tem. I’m not sure what the fu­ture holds, but I know we still get ex­cited about ideas and al­bums. So with that,

I’m sure some sort of writer’s block will hap­pen as we search for the next an­swer.”

Since you’ve been on a break, have you had any sort of in­spi­ra­tion for the next al­bum yet?

Im Lit (email) “Yes, we have. But one thing I know for cer­tain about the in­ter­net, though, is that if I told you what’s in­spir­ing us, it would get blown out of pro­por­tion and we would have to see ar­ti­cles writ­ten about it for the next year. So, you can lis­ten for your­self when you hear it in the fu­ture.”

So does it re­ally an­noy you when us mu­sic press types might, um, blow things out of pro­por­tion?

“It an­noys me when some­thing cool or rel­e­vant hap­pens and it doesn’t get writ­ten about. Then other times they will take one line from some ran­dom in­ter­view and blow ev­ery­thing out of pro­por­tion. Blind fol­low the blind. If one web­site picks it up then they all have to. Why not write your own ar­ti­cles? I wish the press and fans cared more about the songs than the other bull­shit that comes along with it. A lot of records and bands are suc­cess­ful or fail based off of ini­tial sen­ti­ment. For in­stance, you will see one ar­ti­cle with a strong opin­ion on a band or al­bum and then you see fans plas­ter that same opin­ion all over the place and it dom­i­nates the nar­ra­tive. I wish peo­ple would think for them­selves. There’s not a lot of that go­ing on th­ese days.”

What’s your favourite Iron Maiden al­bum and sin­gle?

Lisa Marie Lord (Face­book)

“Piece of Mind and Wasted Years!”

Are there any new bands you re­ally dig at the mo­ment?

Jack­son Ray (email) “Not new bands, but I love the new Bring Me The Hori­zon sin­gle,

Mantra, and To­bias kills it on the new Ghost al­bum. It all comes down to song­writ­ing. Pe­riod. End of story. To­bias is bril­liant and has made so many great al­bums. Truly one of the best of our gen­er­a­tion. I feel Bring Me The Hori­zon are able to add modern el­e­ments to their mu­sic where I feel ev­ery­one else who’s tried has failed. I wouldn’t touch the EDM stuff with a 10-foot pole sim­ply be­cause I don’t know enough about it and it would sound cheesy. A band is a com­bined ef­fort, but the bot­tom line is a song like Mantra is a mon­ster and peo­ple can talk all day about that band, but they will con­tinue to be huge be­cause of their song­writ­ing and in­no­va­tion.”

Does on­line hate ever get to you? How do you guys deal with it?

Nate Ward (Face­book) “No, the in­ter­net lost its bite many years ago for me. You can go on any artist’s YouTube chan­nel or Face­book and copy and paste the com­ments. “New stuff sucks” or

“I’m dis­ap­pointed”, blah blah blah… Who cares? On the same to­ken, when peo­ple are prais­ing stuff, I don’t let that get to my head ei­ther. Do what makes you happy and ig­nore the rest. You live life once, and it’s a quick life. There is no need to stop and worry about what peo­ple think of you.”


the avenged photo stu­dio bud­get has gone ab­so­lutely tits up, lads

m shad­ows’ full nameis mas­sive shad­ows

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