“I’m a 42-year-old man”: M. Shadows slams old record label for trying to create Avenged Sevenfold “viral Tiktok moment”

Avenged Sevenfold singer M Shadows onstage in 2024
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows has eviscerated Warner Bros Music for trying to force a “viral Tiktok moment” out of the band.

The California metal quintet were previously embroiled in a legal battle with the major label, but released 2023 album Life Is But A Dream… with them. The band plan to proceed independently from this point on.

Talking about the strategy of modern majors in general, Shadows tells Kerrang!: “So now what they do is they go to TikTok and they take someone who’s already gone viral, but who doesn’t have a label and they wrap ’em up into a shitty deal. But they can’t do anything for them.”

The vocalist then zeroes in on Warner Bros in particular, adding: “When Avenged Sevenfold were on Warner Bros, they were trying to figure out how to create a viral Tiktok moment. What?

He continues: “I’m a fucking 42-year-old man, I’m not trying to figure out how to do a viral Tiktok moment. I’m sorry.

“You’re going to take 24 cents on our dollar and that’s all you can do, come up with a fucking fake viral Tiktok moment?”

Elsewhere in the interview, Shadows talks about how the band “survived” releasing multiple albums with a major label, and expresses his fascination with the business side of the music industry.

“We’re one of those bands who [have] actually survived releasing eight records for a major record label,” he says.

“And so we’ve seen a lot. And we’ve seen the numbers, and we’ve seen the ways that corporations pretty much control art. And it’s an interesting, weird sort of dynamic, but you’re going to get people involved who… take money off the back of art.

“And one of the things that happens is that the artists say, ‘Leave me alone, I want to create.’ And that’s fair enough. I get that. But my own brain works a little differently. I like getting into the technology and the weeds of the contracts that we sign.

“I like seeing the deals and I like seeing how much somebody is making off me or our band – where it’s fair and where it’s a little egregious.”

Avenged Sevenfold headline Download Festival in Donington, UK, on Sunday (June 16).

Download 2024 lineup

(Image credit: Download Festival)
Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.