Avenged Sevenfold’s new album is “very influenced by Kanye West” says M Shadows

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(Image credit: Will Ireland/Total Guitar Magazine/Future via Getty Images)

Avenged Sevenfold will complete the recording of their eighth studio album in February, and frontman M Shadows says that the Orange County quintet’s follow-up to 2016’s The Stage is “very influenced by Kanye West”.

“In January, we’re going in to finish the strings on the record,” Shadows reveals to Metal Hammer. “The record’s been recorded for a year, but we haven’t been able to put the real strings on it, because we couldn’t fly out to Prague. When an orchestra have to social distance and they aren’t sitting next to each other, they can get out of tune, and we have just finally got to a place where we can use this 70-piece orchestra as we intended. We finish the record in February, mix it in March.”

Asked by Hammer’s Stephen Hill for “any little pointers of where the sound of the record is taking you”, Shadows responds “There are so many influences…”

“We're very influenced by Kanye West,” the singer continues. “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.”

Asked what his band learned from the surprise release of The Stage, Shadows hails the album as “my favourite record of ours” and says “I’m so happy we did it that way; we don’t give a fuck about industry metrics.” 

“This next record, I don’t know exactly how it comes out, but the record after that, we have no label,” he reveals. “At that point we start implementing all the new ideas of going straight to the base of people that really care more. The new frontier excites us; expect very wacky ideas!”

You can tread more from M Shadows about what lies ahead for Avenged Sevenfold in the new issue of Metal Hammer (opens in new tab), which is out now. The issue features four brand new cover stars, the ultimate preview of 2022, and interviews with Rob Halford, Max Cavalera, Tom Morello, Halestorm and more.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.