Avenged Sevenfold: Sneak release was worth the risk

Avenged Sevenfold
(Image credit: Getty)

M Shadows says Avenged Sevenfold are satisfied with their latest album having sold fewer first-week copies than their previous two titles.

The Stage was sneak-released on October 28 and notched up 76,000 sales during its first seven days – while 2013’s Hail To The King sold 159,000 units and 2010’s Nightmare shifted 163,000. Their newest title is the slowest-selling since 2005’s City Of Evil.

The band have moved to Capitol Records after their relationship with Warner Brothers broke down and led to legal action.

Shadows tells Inc.com: “What artists like Kanye, Radiohead and Beyonce had done intrigued us – their albums came out of the blue and there were no preconceived notions or reviews affecting the opinion of the record buyer before they got a chance to listen.

“This way, everyone listened to our album on the same day. It was a fresh experience that wasn’t affected by reviews, speculation and noise.”

He continues: “When I was growing up, you maybe saw one review – but now there are 150 reviews before an album even comes out. There are so many opinions out there, but the only one that really matters is your own.

“Even with The Stage there were reviews 15 minutes after it was released. I was thinking, ‘How did you manage to review 70 minutes of music in 15 minutes?’

“We’re in a position where we don’t have to do things the conventional way – so we don’t. And the response has been great.”

The Stage could be seen as a relative failure – and Shadows says: “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 and singles into your first week. The way we did it, our numbers are just for one week.

“We felt it was worth the risk. We also take a longer-term view. We expect our sales to continue over a longer period of time.

“I would have been depressed if we’d done the old buildup process – that feels very 2009.

“A lot of people will walk into a store and say, ‘What the heck, a new Avenged Sevenfold record?’ That’s cool.

“You try to create buzz but you don’t get to everyone, and the album will be a surprise to some people. This way we let a lot of people discover it.”

He adds: “Feedback has been very positive – people say, ‘Thanks for sparing us the breadcrumbs.’”

Avenged Sevenfold commence a European tour in January.

Avenged Sevenfold tour dates 2017

Jan 10: Glasgow SSE Hydro
Jan 12: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Jan 13: Birmingham Genting Arena
Jan 15: Sheffield Arena
Jan 16: Manchester Arena
Jan 18: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
Jan 19: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Jan 21: London O2 Arena
Jan 22: London O2 Arena
Feb 12: Frankfurt Festhalle, Germany
Feb 13: Hamburg Sporthalle, Germany
Feb 15: Berlin Arena, Germany
Feb 16: Dusseldorf Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Germany
Feb 18: Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Netherlands
Feb 20: Stuttgart Schleyerhalle, Germany
Feb 21: Milan Forum, Italy
Feb 23: Vienna Wiener Stadthalle, Austria
Feb 25: Munich Zenith, Germany
Feb 26: Zurich Halle 622, Austria
Feb 28: Lille Zenith Arena, France
Mar 01: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luxembourg
Mar 02: Paris AccorHotels Arena, France
Mar 04: Copenhagen Valby Hallen, Denmark
Mar 07: Helsinki Hartwall Arena, Finland
Mar 09: Stockholm Ericsson Globe, Sweden
Mar 10: Oslo Telenor, Norway

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Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.