Not surprisingly, considering his band's free-wheeling, kaleidoscopic sound, Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows has been shaped by all kinds of music over his lifetime and career — from Pantera to Elton John. Count among that list Megadeth, and particularly their politically charged anthem "Sweating Bullets" off their unfuckwithable 1992 full-length Countdown to Extinction. When we talked to Shadows about the 10 songs that have shaped him as a person and an artist, he included that iconic single among his picks. Below are his thoughts on its profound impact on him.
"This was, like, the most shocking thing I'd ever heard on the radio. I remember I was playing basketball in my front yard — I had the hoop on the roof — and KNAC playing was playing 'Sweating Bullets' by Megadeth. I was like, 'What the fuck is this?' The guy is talking the lyrics like he's psychotic. When I saw the album artwork the next day, with Vic Rattlehead, I was like, 'That's exactly what I pictured the person talking on that song to look like!' It was so crazy, and it opened me up to Megadeth. Metallica was on KROQ all the time, but Megadeth wasn't on KROQ — you just didn't hear it. You had to dig a little bit below the surface to get to the Megadeth stuff. And at the time, not knowing anything of the history between the two bands, it just seemed out of this world in terms of metal. So that's another song that really stuck out to me, another really weird song that people took chances on."