Speaking on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast, Shadows said that while the metal scene “was always going to be there”, it was overshadowed by pop and R&B in terms of experimentation and pushing things forward.
“It’s always got a pulse,” he said. “I don’’t think the innovation is there, and I don’t think the ability for fans to have an open mind for when something is innovative, something is different, is there. I think the great songwriting has been lost a little bit, as well as some of these eccentric pieces of music.”
Shadows went on to compare the music made by today’s bands with Metallica’s groundbreaking early records.
“When Metallica came out there was nothing like that,” he said. “It seems like a lot of bands in my generation are just treading the same waters that Metallica's already done, and I think when you see great artists, a lot of them aren't in the metal scene. There’s a lot of great art out there, and I would argue there are some amazing pop, some amazing hip hop, some amazing R&B, and some artists that are doing truly eccentric stuff.”
"Overall, as a scene, you don't see the experimentation that I would love to see,” he said.
Shadows appears to be putting his money where his mouth is. He recently told Metal Hammer that Avenged Sevenfold’s much-anticipated new album would feature a 70-piece orchestra and be full of “wacky ideas”. He added that the band were being influenced by Kanye West.
“The thing about Kanye is that he is pulling from such great soul music,” said Shadows. “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.”
Shadows also recently said that the band plan to record the album this month, with a view to releasing it later this year or in early 2023.