Interview by Ashley Decker

Avenged Sevenfold is:
M. Shadows—vocals
Zacky Vengeance—guitar
Synsyster Gates—guitar
Dameon Ash—bass
The Reverend Tholomew Plague—drums

   Avenged Sevenfold are far from your typical hardcore punk band. This five-piece, Orange County-based band cares little about what critics may say and are "writing and playing music to please themselves." The band is devoted to not only their music but also their fans, giving very enthusiastic and unforgettable live performances. Avenged Sevenfold fans have a new release to look forward to coming out in the summer of 2003.
Here's a short e-mail interview with M. Shadows.

SKRATCH: Where did the name "Avenged Sevenfold" come from?
M. SHADOWS: The name itself comes from the Bible. It's basically the first murder on Earth between Cain and Able. [The name is a] "what goes around, comes around" sort of thing. And just so there is no confusion, Avenged Sevenfold is not a religious band.

SKRATCH: What made you each decide to come up with pseudonyms?
M. SHADOWS: A few different reasons. We thought it was fun and knew it would piss people off for no reason, and that's always fun to see kids get upset for no reason. And don't get me wrong: this music is in our hearts, and we live and breathe this band. But when we play live we take on a whole new entity, and I think those names fit us better in that sense.

SKRATCH: How did you decide who would be who?
M. SHADOWS: Everyone basically had their names before the band was even serious. Then, when it came time for our first CD to be released, we decided that those were the names we wanted to be known by.

SKRATCH: What's it like being on the same label as Thrice?
M. SHADOWS: They aren't on the label anymore, but, it was nice because I think they were the band that was musically closer to our style then anyone else on the label. We definitely had stuff in common with them, and it helped both of us out. They are doing great right now, and we wish them the best.

SKRATCH: When did you get signed?
M. SHADOWS: We got signed by Good Life about two years ago, [which was] bought out by Hopeless about a year ago.

SKRATCH: How long had you been together before you got signed?
A little over a year-and-a-half, but we have all been in bands our whole life that never even got close to getting signed by anyone.

SKRATCH: There has been a lot of talk about your most recent release, SOUNDING THE SEVENTH TRUMPET. What would you like to say about it?
M. SHADOWS: Well, it's actually an old album now. We are getting ready to start recording in April for our next album, which will be out the summer of 2003. We are very excited about this. [We've gotten] a lot of good responses from kids at shows while playing the newer stuff.

SKRATCH: Compare your newest release with your past release, WARMNESS ON THE SOUL.
M. SHADOWS: It's basically the same thing, except different labels; same recording and all, except the EP has four songs and the full-length has 13.

SKRATCH: Who has influenced you besides Guns N' Roses and Bad Religion?
M. SHADOWS: A million bands have influenced us. A few are Pantera, Dream Theater, AFI, and Iron Maiden.

SKRATCH: Your bio states that you approach music on your own terms. What terms are those?
M. SHADOWS: We just do what we feel is best, and if people think it sucks or we are fags or talk shit, that's cool. We aren't doing this to impress anyone. We write and play music to please ourselves.

SKRATCH: What messages are you trying to send out (if any)?
M. SHADOWS: We are just trying to make music, and if people like it, then that's awesome. Be yourself and like what you like—fuck everyone else.

SKRATCH: How was the Vans Warped Tour last year?
M. SHADOWS: It was fun. This year will be even better because we get to play good ol' Cali. We can't wait to play near home.

SKRATCH: Was that the first time you have played the Vans Warped Tour?

SKRATCH: How do you feel about playing again this year?
M. SHADOWS: It will be amazing. So many friends are on the tour. The drives are hell, but it's worth it.

SKRATCH: Any other major touring going on before or after the Vans Warped Tour?
M. SHADOWS: We are just writing the album, doing Warped, then we will be announcing some big tours to support the album.

SKRATCH: What's something someone could expect to see during a live performance?
M. SHADOWS: Lots of energy, crowd participation, and just lots of fun. Kids get crazy at our shows, and we love it. We try to put on the best show we can every time we play.

SKRATCH: What has been the best show you have ever had?
M. SHADOWS: There have been so many, but Chain Reaction last year—I think it was September 29th—sticks out in my mind. [It was] one of the first shows we sold out on our own, and it felt so good to be home and shown so much support. It was truly amazing for us.

SKRATCH: Anyone in the band have any bad habits?
M. SHADOWS: We all do, but we shouldn't get into that.

SKRATCH: What's the funniest thing a fan has ever done?
M. SHADOWS: I'm not sure about the funniest, but by far the coolest is when fans show us their Avenged tattoos. That kind of shit makes us so excited. That's the ultimate sacrifice for a band, and I love it when I see Avenged ink.

SKRATCH: Where do you see yourself five years from now? 10 years from now?
M. SHADOWS: Hopefully playing music and doing what we love.

SKRATCH: What has been the most significant event in your life?
M. SHADOWS: I'm really not sure.For more information, visit www.hopelessrecords.com.


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