M. Shadows wants to set the record straight so there's no confusion: Avenged Sevenfold are a heavy metal band.
The platinum-grilled frontman said that although topping the "TRL" countdown drove sales of the band's 2005 album, City of Evil, past the 560,000-sold mark, he wants to make sure "the perception of Avenged Sevenfold doesn't get twisted in the wrong light."
"When you go to our live show, it's a full-on heavy metal show, and we don't need — I mean, no offense to 10-year-old and 11-year-old little girls, [but] they're not going to understand the experience," he said.
The clip for the first single, "Bat Country," spent more than a week as the "TRL" audience's top pick. "We want our shows to be respectable heavy metal shows. We're a rock and roll band, and we want kids to know that."
So when it came time to release the record's second single, the band went with the more acerbic "Beast and the Harlot" to separate the wheat from the chafe.
"With 'Beast and the Harlot,' we wanted kids to know that this record isn't driven towards 'TRL,' " Shadows said. "It's a rock record. This is what Avenged Sevenfold is about. It's not a radio-driven band. This next single's more for the fans, more for the kids that get the record, and get the whole record — not just the poppy chorus and the Hunter S. Thompson thing, and that's all we care about this band for. The quicker you can get rid of those people, the better. I think going with 'Beast' was more of us trying to solidify our career and not throw it down the drain by being in a bunch of teeny magazines. We don't belong there. That kind of scared us a bit, and I think it's smart to push back and deliver a real rock single next."
Avenged, who launched a 26-date co-headlining tour with Coheed and Cambria on Friday night in Poughkeepsie, New York (see "Avenged Sevenfold, Coheed And Cambria Team Up For U.S. Tour"), will look to augment their metal cred this summer with a little help from Metallica and Guns N' Roses.
"They're doing a bunch of festivals over in Europe [this June], so, we're doing all the off dates with GN'R and Metallica," Shadows said. "They asked that we do all the festivals with them as well. So we have, like, a full month of just GN'R/ Metallica dates coming up. We'd grown up listening to both of those bands, and they're like icons to us. It's good to go out there and get to meet those guys."
The Avenged dudes have met Metallica and Guns frontman Axl Rose before, and Shadows said the experience was "super cool." Metallica singer James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich made it out to an Avenged gig in San Francisco some months ago, and a connection was made.
"They're just the coolest dudes — nothing's better than meeting your idols and them being super cool to you," he said.
The band crossed paths with Rose during a party in mid-January, celebrating the announcement of Korn's U.S. tour (see "Korn Announce Tour Dates While Surrounded By Dead Celebrities").
"I'm not nervous at all [about opening for both bands]. I feel we're the ones that are going to come up and take those bands' place when they're not doing it anymore. I'm so confident with our live show that I think it's going to be great. I don't expect all those fans to be like, 'Oh my God! We love this.' I know what happens when you open for bands like this. If you open for a band like Slayer, everyone's going to chant 'Slayer, Slayer' during your set.
"We're just going to go out and do our thing, and the kids are probably just going to sit there, but, you know, at least we're giving them something to think about and maybe they'll want to buy our CD afterwards," he added. "We're going to do the best we can and play our live show, and I'm sure we'll pick up a lot of fans while we're at it."
As for those persistent rumors that Avenged are the yet-to-be-named "mystery band" at this summer's Ozzfest, Shadows isn't saying one word (see "System Of A Down, Disturbed To Headline Ozzfest"). The band will be revealed May 23.
"[The Ozzfest camp has] asked, and there's a lot of festivals going on during the summer," he said. "We haven't decided what we're going to do yet. We're going to Japan in August, and that runs into Ozzfest and the Warped Tour. If we were going to do one of those, we'd have to work it out somehow. It would be cool to be a traditional metal band on a tour that has, what, Disturbed on it? We'll just have to see what happens."
For a full-length feature on Avenged Sevenfold check out, "Avenged Sevenfold: Appetite For Destruction"