During the pandemic, many artists and bands grappled with the decision to release new albums with the knowledge they couldn’t tour in support of their latest efforts. While a number of notable acts did indeed unleash new music in 2020, Avenged Sevenfold singer M. Shadows believes fans “won’t give a shit” about those releases once concerts resume in earnest.
Despite the pandemic, we saw dozens of stellar LPs released over the past several months, as our recent list of the Top 30 Metal + Hard Rock Albums of 2020 attests. That said, Shadows told Kerrang! magazine in a new interview that Avenged Sevenfold are holding off on unveiling their long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s The Stage until they can tour again.
“No one wants to put out the record if we can’t tour it,” explained Shadows. “The reality is — and no one wants to hear this — in this day and age, rock ‘n’ roll just takes too long to make: you know, it’s going to be a three-year record to make. And if we put that record out and then we’re locked down for another year, as much as people don’t want to believe this, they are not going to give a shit about a record that came out a year prior when it’s time to tour.”
He continued, “And so if it’s going to take us two or three years to write a record, we’re not going to put it out if we can’t go play it live. We know the anticipation won’t be there when the tours come around.”
The vocalist went on to compare the situation to streaming services, saying, “If you look at iTunes or Spotify and see how quickly it all turns over, it’s just weekly onto the next thing and onto the next thing again. If you just imagine putting out a record in August, and then you’re not touring until next August, people don’t want to hear this but they’re not going to care; they’re going to be like, ‘What’s next?’”
Citing a few fellow metal bands who are also currently working on new albums, Shadows concluded, “Once the Gojira record, or the new Metallica record, or the new Megadeth record comes out, they’re not going to care about what came out the year prior. Our whole thing is: if it’s going to take us three years to do a record, we’re going to make sure we can play it live and people are going to be excited about it.”
Shadows is not alone in his thinking, as far as when to release new music. A number of artists, including Anthrax, have vowed to hold onto their new albums until it is safe to properly tour again.
Even so, the pandemic didn’t stop such acts as Deftones, Lamb of God, Marilyn Manson, and AC/DC from releasing new albums in 2020. We’re guessing fan interest will still be pretty high for those particular bands once touring resumes, but we’ll see how it all plays out.
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