Avenged Sevenfold's new album The Stage came out as a surprise last night, and if you've checked it out then you'll know how damn good this album is. Though why do a surprise album like that and not build up hype?
Frontman M. Shadows tells Rolling Stone that it's mainly because the band is sick and tired of how other artists promote their upcoming releases now.
“Well, man, a lot of it has to do with boredom [laughs]. Everyone else is dropping the breadcrumbs, having four or five singles before their record comes out. It completely takes away the mystique of the record; by the time it actually comes out, you’ve already done 50 interviews about what the record’s about and is going to sound like. It’s 2016; people’s attention spans are so short at this point, who has time for three months of lead-up?
You’ve got five guys over here who are very bored of that; so for us, it was about keeping the hype very short and sweet, and then executing on all levels. Here’s the record – we spent a long time on it, and it’s available for you now.
And now we can all learn about the record together, after you hear it, instead of hearing all these things about it as we’re dribbling crumbs at you. We just said, “No BS this time – we’re just going to do everything that we want to do, from the live show to the merchandising, to how we present this thing and how we release it.”
The band also discusses the fake album title of Voltaic Oceans and the Chris Jericho "leak," which was all part of the plan! What wasn't part of the plan was Warner announcing a greatest hits for December, which didn't quite hit the mark in terms of denting album sales.
“I learned about the Warner album for the first time last Friday, the same as you. That was a surprise to us, but this whole thing was put into motion back in August. Chris Jericho did a fake [Instagram] post about this album coming out on December 9th, just to throw people off; he and I were laughing about it the other day, because everyone picked up on it like it was fact.
It has been very difficult to do it this way, because we understand that rock fans really want physical releases, as well as digital – they want to buy the CD, they want the vinyl. We originally said, “Just release it digitally. Everybody’s got Spotify; everybody’s got this streaming service or that.”
But we realized that it would really upset some fans, so we decided to pull off a release unlike Radiohead, or Beyoncé or Kanye, where there’s actually a physical product in stores on Day One. So, props to Capitol for even trying to undertake this thing, especially internationally. It’s just insane.”
Finally, Shadows discusses the final track from the album "Exist," which features a monologue from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
“The song came from the idea of wanting to replicate the Big Bang in a heavy-metal sort of way, like, “OK, this is what it would have sounded like when this happened!” It’s like a huge classical piece. We love Gustav Holst’s The Planets, but no one’s really hit the Big Bang, so we did it! I wanted it to be all instrumental, and then Brian [guitarist Synyster Gates] was like, “Well, I think there should be some vocals on it.”
So we ended up with a compromise where it’s like, “OK, when the vocals come in, that’s Earth – that’s the first time that life starts after the cooling-down period of the Big Bang.” Originally, we wanted to use a recording of Carl Sagan reading an excerpt from The Pale Blue Dot, but [his estate] isn’t really letting people use that. So we reached out to Neil.”
“…He was very cool. We explained to him that we wanted to educate our fans, and we wanted to a voice of science in another art form, and he was like, “Yep – if it’s for education, let’s do it!” He asked us to read through a bunch of essays that he’d used at the Hayden Planetarium, and find any portions that we wanted him to take and expand on. We found some stuff we liked, and went back and forth on the phone with him about it to the point where we were all happy with it, and then he laid it down for us.”
Seems like this whole release went extremely well, and took fans genuinely by surprise!
[via The PRP]