ARTISTdirect.com editor-in-chief Rick Florino recently conducted an interview with AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
ARTISTdirect.com: “Carry On” has this intense thrash energy, but it’s definitely an evolution for AVENGED SEVENFOLD. What’s the story behind the song?
M. Shadows: Well, it came together by listening to way too much Ozzy’s Boneyard on SiriusXM radio. [laughs] They play a lot of classic metal and thrash on there. It’s everything from JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN to HELLOWEEN and RUSH. There’s all sorts of fun stuff. When we got called about this song, we basically had three days to write it, a couple of days to record it, and we had to be in there doing motion capture. We were like, “Let’s do something that’s a bit of a throwback.” It’s a little more compact as a song. They needed it to be under four minutes because of animation. We wanted to make a song that punched you in the gut and left you there. We made an up-tempo song with some chord modulations and fun chorus tricks. We had a great time doing it. We wanted to make an uplifting song that was fun and entertaining at the end of the game. I think it came out really well.
ARTISTdirect.com: Where were you coming from lyrically?
M. Shadows: I wanted to be more vague. Sometimes, I feel like my lyrics meander a little bit, and our songs are so big I need to write more words than are necessary. I wanted to leave these lyrics more open-ended. I felt that the term “Carry On” was perfect not only for the characters but for AVENGED SEVENFOLD moving forward. I stuck with that. I just wanted to write some epic lyrics you could think about when you were driving down the street or on your horse. [laughs] It’s a classic, vast, up-tempo metal song. “Carry On” worked with that.
ARTISTdirect.com: Were you a big fan of “Call of Duty: Black Ops”?
M. Shadows: Yeah, we actually did a song for them. It was an Easter egg called “Not Ready to Die”. I was a fan of “Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”, and I got into “Call Of Duty: Black Ops”, which was my favorite “Call Of Duty” game of all time. I actually kept playing it all the way through until this game. Now, I play “Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2”, and I love it! We’ve been friends with Treyarch and Activision for a long time. I talk to Mark Lamia, president of Treyarch, all the time. We got to Lakers games together. It’s a great friendship. When he said he wanted to put us in the game, we were like, “Hell yeah! We’d love to be in it. This is awesome!”
ARTISTdirect.com: What was it like seeing yourselves in the game?
M. Shadows: It’s funny. It’s like hearing yourself on a voice recorder. You cringe a little bit, but you’re excited and it’s fun. I didn’t know how it would go over with everybody. I’m really happy and proud of how it came out. We’re trying to have fun and doing an entertaining little thing at the end of the game. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously.
ARTISTdirect.com: How does the motion capture work?
M. Shadows: We went into the same place they did “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Iron Man”. We got in those funny little suits, played the song with wooden guitars, and basically pretended in a white room with 500 cameras [Laughs]. We had to act in that first scene with Woods and Menendez with the suits on. It was a full-on two or three days of motion capture. It was crazy.
Read the entire interview from ARTISTdirect.com.