There is no way around this: the first week sales of the new Avenged Sevenfold album, The Stage, were a disappointment. The album sold half as many copies first week as their previous album, Hail to the King. Full breakdown here.
Now the question is why? We assume it's because the album was a "surprise" launch as opposed to the typical three month hype cycle metal albums usually see. In a new interview with Inc.com, vocalist M. Shadows tries to pin-point the reason, and says he has mixed feelings:
“We have mixed feelings right now. We know we could have done a boring lead up and taken the number one spot. When you do a three-month buildup you roll pre-orders, singles, etc. into your first week.
“The way we did it, our numbers are just for one week. Like Kanye: his first week numbers [for this year’s The Life of Pablo, which was released via non-traditional means] were low compared to what they could have been had he done the traditional release.” [..]
“…We felt it was worth the risk.
“We also take a longer-term view. The average album following a three-month release model typically sees sales drop as much as 80% for the second week. We expect some drop off, too… but we also expect our album sales to continue over a longer period of time.
“It’s mixed feelings, but I’m very excited to be doing new things. I would be depressed if we had done the old buildup process. That feels very 2009.
“Right now we have an album that sold less copies in its first week than the last one. And that’s okay: you can’t break the rules and expect the same result.”
That's a very optimistic viewpoint, and he brings up a good point that the real test will be how the album holds up in its second week and the weeks to come. If it stays steady, then maybe it was a success, but if it sees the typical 60-80% drop in week two, then the idea of a surprise release, at least in the rock and metal world, is a failure.
[via The PRP]