UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Would you have fallen over a year ago if someone told you Avenged Sevenfold would have the #1 video on "TRL"? If so, you're not alone.
"I would've fallen over too," said M. Shadows, the Orange County metal band's lead singer. "It's really crazy."
"TRL," like popular culture in general, has embraced heavy music before, but Avenged Sevenfold might be the first band that lists Iron Maiden and Guns N' Roses as influences to preside over Madonna and Kelly Clarkson.
The question now is, is it for real? The true test will come early next year when Avenged Sevenfold release their next single, "Beast and the Harlot," which Shadows called "old-school metal" (see "Avenged Sevenfold Summon Deranged Fiends, Sexy Beauties For 'Beast' Video").
"I don't think you'll be seeing [the video] on 'TRL,' but who knows," Shadows said. "It's very dark. We're basically running around the city with a harlot corrupting kids."
The song — which is the opening track on City of Evil (see "Avenged Sevenfold Salute Dimebag, Shun Metalcore On Evil") — is based on the fall of Babylon. "It was written about the whores and the thieves and the sailors and everyone coming to the city and just corrupting it," Shadows said. "And basically the song's about God coming and swiping 'em all down and saying, 'If you're not on my side you're all gonna be toast.' So this is a song kind of mocking the words straight from the Bible and kind of saying, 'Is that really gonna happen?' Whatever. It's a metaphor for modern-day Vegas or modern-day Los Angeles or New York, [where] all the same crazy stuff happens."
Regardless of the song's success, Avenged plan on going into the new year full steam ahead, beginning January 19 with a monthlong trek with CKY.
"Then we're going to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, coming back doing some more tours that we're not allowed to talk about, and then maybe do Ozzfest or something in the summer, who knows," Shadows said. "Then Japan at the end of summer and keep touring. That's all we can do."
Avenged Sevenfold passed on Ozzfest a few years ago but are more open to the possibility this time around.
"It was one of those things where we had a lot of loyalty towards Warped Tour, and everyone knows [with] Ozzfest some bands have to pay to get on and stuff and we just weren't into that at the time," Shadows explained. "Now we're done with Warped Tour, we just did a headlining run, so we're gonna see [what] our options [are].
"It would've been awesome to be on last year on the main stage, I mean [with] Iron Maiden and Ozzy," he continued. "But I don't think Ozzy's doing it anymore, so that's why we haven't confirmed anything, it's like who knows who's headlining and who knows if it's gonna be the right tour for us."