Lead vocalist, M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold gave the Metal news community a good scolding this morning on A7’s Official Facebook page regarding coverage of sales reports on their latest release, The Stage:
“One thing I have noticed in the last couple of years is that websites that depend on clicks for revenue tend to love weaving narratives that benefit their bottom line.
You see it largely in politics and now you see it in metal.
I admit that I think these websites are entertaining and don’t hate or even dislike the people that run them or their visitors. None of this is to be taken too seriously but when I am sent the same articles over and over that are meant to sell their false narrative about A7X then I think it’s time for the band to speak up.”
This is in no way aimed at our fans.
By the looks of the comments on these sites you have already figured this out. This will undoubtedly be seen as justification for the album from the people that just hate A7X. Thats ok, we don’t play music for them. So lets break this down.
M proceeds to give the skinny on the real numbers, in spite of public reports, then dishes a reality check:
76k records sold in the first week by a heavy metal band in 2016 is supposedly a failure (USA only). Actually, 76k records on a surprise release with zero promotion and a single that had been out for 13 days with a running time of 8:30 is a failure.
This kind of talk is insane and is the exact sort of narrative that plagues the failing music industry.
This is the sort of talk that pressures artist to write their songs around ” what works financially” and not “what they really want to create.’ People want different. People want innovation. People want art. If this wasn’t a huge risk then everybody would be doing it. I haven’t seen the hip hop community or country music community questioning Jeezy or Kenny Chesney about why they didn’t sell more albums and crush a heavy metal band with a surprise release by more then 3k records.
Sure, we sold WAY less than “Hail to the King.” But we feel this is a different circumstance.
At one point, he clarifies his own statements:
When I said I had “mixed feelings” about the results I simply meant that there is a part of me that knows a traditional release would have been easier and we could all parade around with another meaningless number 1. But “mixed feelings” in no way indicates that I think this was the wrong approach.
I love that we did this for the fans. I love that we did this for our sanity and regardless of how you feel about the music, there is no doubt that this has been exciting.
… We have never felt so much love on a release and we truly do appreciate it. We will see you on the road!
P.S. What will the title of the click bait read this time? Lets take bets!
[Editor’s note: For the record, The Black Siren hopes to be the underdog in that contest!] The Stage, in spite of sales records, has been acclaimed to be one of A7’s best releases since their self-titled album containing their controversial, chart-hitting track, “Almost Easy.”