Exclusive Interview: Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Talks the Revolver Golden Gods
Avenged Sevenfold dominated the 2011 Revolver Golden Gods last month, both onstage and in the fan-voted awards, so it makes sense that they should grace the cover of the new Golden Gods issue of the magazine, which is currently on newsstands and available online here. The band members took home the Best Vocalist, Best Guitarists, and Album of the Year trophies, and their six-song headlining set was the talk of the evening, climaxing in collaborations with Duff McKagan, of Loaded, Velvet Revolver, and Guns N’ Roses fame, on GN’R's “It’s So Easy,” and Vinnie Paul, of Hellyeah and Pantera, on the latter band’s “Mouth for War.” That crushing performance will be broadcast as part of VH1 Classic’s hour-long Revolver Golden Gods special, which features highlights from the three-hour show and premieres on Saturday, May 28 at 10 P.M. ET (watch the trailer here). Here, A7X frontman M. Shadows looks back at the momentous night.
REVOLVER What did you think of the Golden Gods?
M. SHADOWS Oh, great. It was really nice seeing all our friends. We didn’t get to necessarily hang out and enjoy it as much as I wanted to because we were in between tours. I would’ve liked to go and relax and hang out and watch the show and not have to leave at 6 in the morning [the next day] for tour. But it was really a blast. We had a great time. It was really nice to see a lot of our fans there, and we saw friends from other bands. We had a really great time.
Vinnie told us he had second thoughts about playing “Mouth for War.” Did he mention that to you guys?
Yeah, you know, he hit me up and said, “Hey, man, maybe we should just play ‘Walk.’” He was like, “I don’t know, I haven’t played ‘Mouth for War’ in a long time.” And I was like, “Really? Let’s just try it. Let’s do it.” And he was like, “Man, I don’t know.” So we kind of let him get up there [at sound check] and feel it out, and I think he felt a little uncomfortable jumping on Arin’s drum set not knowing what it was all going to be about. But he worked it out, and he started playing through it, and we jumped in with him and played it. And we ran it after, again, after rehearsals, and it was all great. But I think he was just a little nervous about going up there and playing a song he hasn’t played since, like Ozzfest, the Ozzfest they did out in Dallas. But it was all good.
What did you think of the performance of the song?
I thought it was great. I thought it was fun, you know. We go out there every night, and we expect to be on point, on top of our game. I think the only thing was, it was a little weird not playing on our gear because everything was on tour. It was out in Louisiana [where the first date of the Welcome to the Family tour kicked off]. So that’s always scary, coming into a situation where you’re dealing with a new guitar rack and new guitars and weird drums, and all sorts of stuff, this and that. It turned out great, it was a fun time, and hopefully it translates when it’s on VH1 Classic.
Were there any musicians you got to hang out with at the show that stand out?
I wasn’t there for very long because I always warm up before singing. And I was in our hotel room making sure my vocals were going to be OK. So when I got there, the one thing that shocked me was that Robert Trujillo and Lars [Ulrich of Metallica], they came into our room and started watching the Lakers game with us. They popped open a beer, and that was one of the coolest things ever. Just to be able to chill with the guys, Metallica, being like, “Hey, what’s up? What are you guys doing?” and being all buddy-buddy. We could just chill, watch the Lakers game. It was a really surreal and cool experience because we just love those guys and it was really nice to do that.
You guys didn’t get to soundcheck with Duff. How do you think the performance went?
It was great. I think we were more nervous than him. Because we were like, “We haven’t tried it with you yet.” And it was bizarre that we didn’t put anything together. And we kept asking him, and he was like, “Yeah, I know how to play it.” And we were like, “Yeah, we know how to play it, too, but it’d be good if we could at least run through it once.” And then he’s like, “Oh, I’ll sing the vocals with you, too.” And we were like, “All right.” So all that stuff was on the fly. And I thought it went great. I was really surprised as well. Obviously, he knew how to play the song perfectly, but I was more worried about us, not him, playing it with him. But I thought it was great, he’s a great guy, and it went really smoothly. I wish everything could go that easily.