Avenged Sevenfold Singer Talks Bands Needing To Be “Relevant” And Understand That Streaming Is Here To Stay

Avenged Sevenfold singer
M. Shadows: Avenged Sevenfold Facebook/ Spotify icon: Wadzifox (Wikimedia Commons)
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While some folks believe that streaming hurts musicians, Avenged Sevenfold singer M. Shadows is someone who believes such platforms have saved the industry.

The topic of streaming services can be quite polarizing when discussing whether they are a “good” or “bad” thing. On one hand, many artists have a chance to now share their music with the world (and that is great in particular for those artists who may have a more difficult time getting their music out). On the other hand, streaming services end up paying out a dismally low amount to artists – unless you are someone like a Metallica.

One prominent metal artist who supports streaming services is that of Disturbed singer David Draiman. Similar to that of M. Shadows, he believes that streaming services like Spotify have helped to save the music industry.

During a recent interview with the Bob Lefsetz podcast, Avenged Sevenfold singer M. Shadows was asked why he believes that metal fans have been resistant to the idea of streaming. Via his response on the show, Shadows spoke to growing up with platforms like Napster, the convenience of streaming services, and how streaming services saved the music industry.

Avenged Sevenfold singer talks streaming

“It’s interesting. I mean, at this point, I would take any take, because I don’t know. I understand that I live in a bubble, in Southern California. I understand that we might be a little more privy or we’re around people that are more getting into the techie side of things, right? When we were a band coming up, we were burning CDs on our CD player, we’re going to Chain Reaction handing them out. As soon as Napster came out and Limewire and all those things, we quickly jumped on that and we were listening to all this music.

“It’s not to say that same kid, my age, in the middle of the country maybe didn’t have the same friends or the same sort of ecosystem where they were being privy to that. As soon as I was able to get rid of CDs and get a streaming service, I jumped on it. It made sense to me, I’d go on an airplane, I’d go to the gym, I didn’t want to have a Discman, I didn’t like the skipping. I mean, we all know why streaming is superior.”

The Avenged Sevenfold singer continues:

“Years after that, we did that surprise release [the band’s 2016 album 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, and no one is doing this. Maybe you’re not relevant? Let’s be relevant, let’s put our hat in the ring – when [audiences are] listening to [Justin] Bieber or The Weeknd, they can jump over to Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. We’re playing in the same park here.

“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?

“That’s what we should be striving 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.'”

What are your thoughts on what the Avenged Sevenfold singer had to say about streaming services? This excerpt comes from M. Shadows’ interview with Bob Lefsetz – you can find the full interview below.


Words by: Michael Pementel