Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Explains How Streaming Actually Saved the Music Industry
Avenged Sevenfold have often been ahead of the times with their approach to getting their music to fans, and while streaming is nothing new for a lot of acts these days, singer M. Shadows bemoaned some of the resistance he's seen from acts in heavier rock and metal toward adopting streaming as a way to connect with their fans.
While speaking with the Bob Lefsetz Podcast (as heard below), Shadows talked about the group's own experiences with streaming, explaining, "We did that surprise release [with 2016's The Stage], we had the pushback, and it kind of shocked us. I think every time you bring up streaming to people, and you get all these old bands that are bitter about it, and it's very weird."
"They're still in 2022 talking about how music doesn't make any money, no one's buying our CDs," adds the singer. "Maybe you're not relevant? Let's be relevant, let's put our hat in the ring so when they're listening to Bieber or The Weeknd, they can jump over to Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. We're playing in the same park here."
While the move seemed obvious for Shadows, he admits he still sees some reluctance to embrace streaming by certain acts."That has always made sense to me, but you still get these people that are there, 'Streaming's killed industry, and now we got to do this and we got to do that.' No, streaming kind of saved the industry, It saved the user, I call them the Web 2.0 user. The fan gets to listen to you at any point, so how are you going to get their attention? How are you going to be the best thing that's going to be going through their earholes that day?"
Shadows argues, "That's what we should be striving [for] and not having an argument if we should put it on CD or vinyl or streaming. The battle has already been won. I don't have a real good answer to it, I just think sometimes we get stuck in our ways, and metal has really dug their heels in on this, 'We're not gonna move along with the rest of the world. We kind of like it this way.'"
Elsewhere, while recently chatting with Lefsetz, Shadows further opened up how he thinks that the metal scene as a whole could improve its standing within the music world. While affirming that he feels that the metal music will always have a pulse and will always be around, he does share his concern at the lack of innovation. "I don't think the innovation is there, and I don't think the ability for fans to have an open mind for when something is innovative, something is different. I think the great songwriting has kind of been lost a little bit," he stated.
The singer feels there's too much regurgitation. "They're doing the same sort of vibe and I think that hurts metal in a way, because I think a lot of times it's just this regurgitated sound that people will praise, and then it goes away, because if you're not in the scene, you don't care and if it's something way outside the box it just gets the thumbs down right away and the gatekeepers kind of keep it behind closed doors and say, 'Well, we're going to forget about that. That's not metal,' and I think that hurts the scene," he explained, feeling there's not enough experimentation.
That said, he did cite bands such as System of a Down, Deftones and Ghost for providing "bright, shining moments" and have managed to do something uniquely their own.