Avenged Sevenfold's M Shadows says opening for Metallica feels "like you're going to war"

Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica
(Image credit: Jeff Yeager/Metallica/Getty Images, Brian Rasic/WireImage)

Following the release of their eleventh studio album 72 Seasons, Metallica are very much in the limelight again, and a topic of conversation for both fans and fellow musicians alike. 

Avenged Sevenfold's M Shadows for example, has reflected on the time his band supported Metallica on their 2017 WorldWired tour. He also revealed how his band initially weren't super keen on performing as Metallica's special guests, worried that Avenged would be seen as playing "second fiddle" to the San Franciscan metal kings: A7X had previously supported Metallica on tour in Europe in 2006, and were fully aware how partisan Metallica fans could be. 

After finally agreeing to hit the road with the metal heavyweights, M Shadows recalls how going up on stage before them felt like "going to war".

In conversation with Jason Bailey of Audacy Check In, the frontman explains, "That was definitely a little bit more uncomfortable, because you’re not in your setting and you’re in the daylight and you don’t have your toys with you and you’re playing a quick set. And you’re the opening band, right? It’s a different thing because when you’re headlining, everybody’s in the palm of your hand before it even happens. 

"When you’re opening for Metallica, and the place is slowly filling up, half the venue’s full, you’re in the daylight getting hit by the sun. So you almost have to go to war. You might have some people in the pit that are into this, but there’s a lot of skeptical arms crossed, like, ‘I don’t like these new bands. I don’t want anything to do with this. I’m waiting for the real metal gods to show up.’ It’s really a lot more feeling like you’re going to war.”

Speaking of why Avenged Sevenfold originally turned down Metallica's support slot, he continues, "We have only headlined for so long. One of the things we heard early in our career, and one thing we respected immensely about certain bands is, if you headline, people think of you as a headliner -- and if you go and open for people constantly, they'll always think of you as second fiddle. 

"The idea of opening and taking all the toys away, everything everyone had ever seen - my question to [Metallica's Lars Ulrich] was, 'I don't think this is the right look for new people getting into Avenged Sevenfold. This isn't where we're at.' But to a lot of mainstream people, it was 'Oh, you're the band that opened for Metallica,' which put us on a higher pedestal, which was weird to me…

"The conversation just went, We're not going to do that [the tour], then they would call [booking agency] CAA and offer more money, and we'd say, We're not going to do that, and eventually it became, Okay, we're going to do that, because we'd be idiots not to!"

Listen to the full interview below:

Metallica are on the cover of the new issue of Metal Hammer, and also on the cover of Classic Rock, both available now.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.