Among his thoughts, the Avenged Sevenfold singer said, regarding the current state of the metal scene:
“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, [is there].”
Takes like this always catch us by surprise. Given the oceans worth of technical and creative value that exists in metal (a lot of that found in the more underground scene), it’s surreal to hear a prominent metal artist talking about the scene “lacking innovation.”
However, unlike previous opinions about the state of metal and rock made by Kiss bassist Gene Simmons and Arch Enemy singer Alissa White-Gluz, the Avenged Sevenfold singer does make a couple interesting points. The following comes from M. Shadows’ interview on the Bob Lefsetz podcast.
Avenged Sevenfold singer talks state of metal scene
“I think the purely metal scene is always going to be there. Like you said, it’s always got a pulse. 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, [is there]. I think the great songwriting has been lost a little bit [and] eccentric pieces of music. When Metallica came out there was nothing like that. It seems like a lot of bands in my generation are just treading the same waters that Metallica’s already done, and I think when you see great artists, a lot of them aren’t in the metal scene.”
“There’s a lot of great art out there, and I would argue there are some amazing pop, some amazing hip hop, some amazing R&B, and some artists that are doing truly eccentric stuff.
“You don’t see it as much in metal, and there’ll be a bunch of metalheads that send me fifty things on Twitter after they hear this, and you’ll listen to it, and you’ll just roll your eyes. It’s the same stuff, they’re doing the same sort of vibe. 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 keep it behind closed doors and say, ‘Well, we’re going to forget about that, that’s not metal.’ I think that hurts the scene.
“Nowadays though, there are bands like System of a Down – obviously, they’re not making music. They are truly a great band to me where they’re making a different sound. There’s bands like The Deftones, there’s Ghost, doing their own thing. There are these shining, bright moments. But overall, as a scene, you don’t see the experimentation that I would love to see.”
Shadows does make some strong points when it comes to sound/style being regurgitated by other bands, gatekeepers hurting the scene, and that there is incredible art to be found in other genres of music.
But again – while we personally love System of a Down, Ghost, and Deftones – it is odd that we don’t hear these artists speaking to other bands in metal who are really innovating and expanding upon the genre. If Shadows were to hear bands like Body Void, Full of Hell, or Mizmor, we wonder what he would think.
What are your thoughts on the current metal scene and what the Avenged Sevenfold singer had to say?
You can listen to the full interview with the Avenged Sevenfold singer below via the Bob Lefsetz podcast. You will also find previous articles below involving comments from the Arch Enemy singer and Kiss bassist regarding the current state of metal/rock.
Words by: Michael Pementel