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Avenged SevenfoldJeff Forney

Avenged Sevenfold’s New Album “The Stage” Features Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chris Jericho’s Post Was A Red Herring


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Avenged Sevenfold have officially ‘surprise’ released their new album “The Stage“. The band co-produced the effort with Joe Barresi (Queens of The Stone Age, Tool) and centers largely around a concept of artificial intelligence. It also features a monologue from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the closing track, “Exist“. Band frontman M. Shadows told Rollingstone.com of their decision to put out the album in such a fashion:

“Well, man, a lot of it has to do with boredom [laughs]. Everyone else is dropping the breadcrumbs, having four or five singles before their record comes out. It completely takes away the mystique of the record; by the time it actually comes out, you’ve already done 50 interviews about what the record’s about and is going to sound like. It’s 2016; people’s attention spans are so short at this point, who has time for three months of lead-up?

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You’ve got five guys over here who are very bored of that; so for us, it was about keeping the hype very short and sweet, and then executing on all levels. Here’s the record – we spent a long time on it, and it’s available for you now.

And now we can all learn about the record together, after you hear it, instead of hearing all these things about it as we’re dribbling crumbs at you. We just said, “No BS this time – we’re just going to do everything that we want to do, from the live show to the merchandising, to how we present this thing and how we release it.”

The band were also unaware of their former label Warner Bros. Records plans to issue this best of release and claim that this Instagram post from Chris Jericho was intentionally false to throw fans off the trail of their real plans. Shadows said of that:

“I learned about the Warner album for the first time last Friday, the same as you. That was a surprise to us, but this whole thing was put into motion back in August. Chris Jericho did a fake [Instagram] post about this album coming out on December 9th, just to throw people off; he and I were laughing about it the other day, because everyone picked up on it like it was fact.

It has been very difficult to do it this way, because we understand that rock fans really want physical releases, as well as digital – they want to buy the CD, they want the vinyl. We originally said, “Just release it digitally. Everybody’s got Spotify; everybody’s got this streaming service or that.”

But we realized that it would really upset some fans, so we decided to pull off a release unlike Radiohead, or Beyoncé or Kanye, where there’s actually a physical product in stores on Day One. So, props to Capitol for even trying to undertake this thing, especially internationally. It’s just insane.”

Shadows commented of Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s monologue on the outro of the album, “Exist“:

“The song came from the idea of wanting to replicate the Big Bang in a heavy-metal sort of way, like, “OK, this is what it would have sounded like when this happened!” It’s like a huge classical piece. We love Gustav Holst’s The Planets, but no one’s really hit the Big Bang, so we did it! I wanted it to be all instrumental, and then Brian [guitarist Synyster Gates] was like, “Well, I think there should be some vocals on it.”

So we ended up with a compromise where it’s like, “OK, when the vocals come in, that’s Earth – that’s the first time that life starts after the cooling-down period of the Big Bang.” Originally, we wanted to use a recording of Carl Sagan reading an excerpt from The Pale Blue Dot, but [his estate] isn’t really letting people use that. So we reached out to Neil.”

“…He was very cool. We explained to him that we wanted to educate our fans, and we wanted to a voice of science in another art form, and he was like, “Yep – if it’s for education, let’s do it!” He asked us to read through a bunch of essays that he’d used at the Hayden Planetarium, and find any portions that we wanted him to take and expand on. We found some stuff we liked, and went back and forth on the phone with him about it to the point where we were all happy with it, and then he laid it down for us.”

For more on the concept of the record and their plans to tour behind it, head to Rollingstone.com. “The Stage” is available now via Amazon and iTunes and various other retailers. Merch bundles are also available through their official webstore. Pop-up stores will also open in Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY beginning tomorrow, October 28th. For more details on that, head to Avengedsevenfold.com.

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