“VR concerts are here to stay but people will always complain”: Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows

“It’s a medium where there’s so much to explore. It’s a video game, a movie, a play, it’s live, it’s interactive – it’s everything.”

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M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold performing onstage

Credit: Dangit Bee!

Avenged Sevenfold are revered for their avant-garde approach to metal. From soaring prog to blistering heavy metal, the Californians have always embraced experimentation — as shown in 2023’s album,  Life Is But A Dream…. 

Unsurprisingly, the band’s creative approach means that they’re rather fond of how modern technology is impacting the concert-going experience. The group’s vocalist, M. Shadows thinks that such tech — namely VR concerts — isn’t going anywhere and should be embraced.

In a recent interview with M. Shadows, the frontman says, “It blows my mind that there’s any sort of pushback on VR concerts — they are here to stay.”

To M. Shadows, the age of live show DVDs is long gone. It’s a “played out” art form, while he sees VR as a revolution of how fans can experience a live performance. “VR is amazing because it checks the box of ‘people get to see us live,’ but they get to do it in a way that has never been experienced before – you are in the production. You are a part of the show.”

“To all the people saying, ’just make a DVD!’ or ‘just put yourselves in the videos!’ – that’s what this is, but this is the next iteration of it,” he continues. “This is the cool version of what you’re asking for… It’s an experience unlike any other.”

A7X has reportedly seen pushback from a number of its fanbase, though. “You can put out a new record and people are gonna complain; you can do a VR concert, people are gonna complain,” M. Shadows says, adding that he’s eager to see the future of VR gigs. “I cannot wait until more artists that I enjoy do them.”

Last month, the group dropped their own AmazeVR Concert, Looking Inside. The 27-minute show features performances of Mattel, Hail to the King, Interlude – (D)eath, Nightmare and Nobody. The group have also created an immersive VR experience for the We Love You music video.

The art of the VR show is an entirely new creative realm for A7X to toy with. “It’s a video game, a movie, a play, it’s live, it’s interactive – it’s everything,” M. Shadows explains. “And it’s just gonna get better and better. It takes all of those things that people are wishing for and just wraps it up into a new thing.”

Elsewhere in the interview, M.Shadows discusses the impact of Spotify and why he thinks that “not every artist deserves to be rich,” and why he believes in Web3 as a means of connecting with his fans.


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