Why Avenged Sevenfold Originally Turned Down Metallica Tour

Michael Angulia | 04-18-2023

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M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold appeared on Audacy Check In with Jason Balley and he revealed why the band originally turned down the opportunity to open for Metallica.

The show sent over these highlights. His conversations with Lars Ulrich about joining them on tour, why they originally turned down the opportunity to open for Metallica: "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... I still walked away from that tour extremely grateful but extremely I think right about taking that tour. It did put us in that weird position of, 'You're second fiddle to this.'"

On opening for Metallica: "Well 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."

New song, "Nobody": "I remember when we first wrote it, there was definitely a, 'This is different (vibe).' But we were quickly reminded, day one when this thing released, watching some of the YouTube react (videos), people are just like, 'Alright, ready for this banger,' and you see their face drop, like, 'What is this?'... It was really fun to get smacked in the face with the reality of how people were going to take this right off the bat."

Song is very lyric-driven: "Because it really is this existential crisis with this sort of thing we all deal with, which is death looming. It goes into a lot of mindfulness, a lot of almost Buddhist teachings where, when death is always looming, there's two ways to go about it. If you find life is meaningless, then what purpose are you going to attach to your life to make it somewhat bearable? But to talk about that, you need the music to have tension, and you need the music to almost feel uncomfortable... The things we're talking about are uneasy, and they don't feel pleasurable or release-driven -- until we want you to get there. So, I think there's a method to the madness, but it takes a second to kind of readjust and go, 'OK this is what we're dealing with here.' It's not three and a half minutes, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus... it's just different." Stream the full interview below:

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