Avenged Sevenfold’s M Shadows has some advice for new bands everywhere

M Shadows Avenged Sevenfold
(Image credit: Kam Pollock)

Having spent more than two decades on music’s frontlines, M Shadows has a good handle on how the business works. Now the Avenged Sevenfold singer has taken to Twitter to share some sound advice on how new bands can thrive if they’re starting out now.

Shadows laid out his thoughts across a four-tweet thread, starting with the advice that artists should “never let your art become a commodity.” 

Shadows writes: “Attention all up and coming artists: never let your art become a commodity. Let the creation take you where it’s gonna take you and let the chips fall where they may…. always.”

He continues: “Learn where the boundaries are so you can go beyond them. Nothing will take you further away from what’s important than trying to create something that will appease everyone. Analytics show us were we have been… not where we are going.

Shadows also addresses music’s relationship with ‘web3’ technologies such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. “I have recently seen many people pull back from web3 and it’s been for 2 reasons…. Price dip in crypto or they don’t want blowback from the mob. What this says to me is that they were never here for the right reason anyway.

He concluded his advice by stressing that, post-Covid, bands and artists should “lead the way” and showcase their creativity. “Now that everything is recovering will they pop their heads back in? If you want to be a musician, painter, songwriter, novelist… whatever. Don’t become a commodity. People want to see YOUR creativity… lead the way.”

Later in the same thread, a Twitter user asks the singer for his thoughts on the shift towards NFTs, and whether they would be more beneficial for independent bands and artists.

“I’m not a believer in just selling music as NFT’s,” responds Shadows. “For the consumer I believe streaming is king. NFT’s are great for community around the band, ticketing, digital events, streaming authentication and fractionalization as well as accounting and IP distribution.

He continues: “I like the idea of fans buying an nft which gives them a stake ( defined by the band ) in a particular record… instead of signing w a major label and giving up much more. Meaning, fans buy nfts and band gives up 15% of future royalties to them.. instead of 80% to a label.”

Avenged Sevenfold have been working on the follow-up to 2016 album The Stage for some time now, with a release believed to be planned either near the end of this year or in early 2023. At the start of the year, Shadows revealed an unexpected influence on Avenged's current writing process: Kanye West.

"We’re very influenced by Kanye West," he explained. "The thing about Kanye is that he is pulling from such great soul music. I didn’t grow up with that stuff – my dad listened to Boston and Alice Cooper, I didn’t get that taste of black music and old soul. So, diving deep into jazz musicians… we’re not trying to do a jazz record, but the chord changes and progressions are so eye-opening to us.” 


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