Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows & Falling In Reverse's Ronnie Radke

Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows On Backlash For Touring With Falling In Reverse’s Ronnie Radke: “We Are Not Going To Give In To That Pressure. It’s Just Not Who We Are.”


In early February of this year, M. Shadows, vocalist of multi-platinum progressive metal outfit Avenged Sevenfold, took a public stance in support of the ever-controversial Ronnie Radke. The latter individual of course fronts the platinum-certified Falling In Reverse, and has remained a provocative figure in the work of alternative rock and metal over the years, due to his allegedly problematic behavior.

As Radke was facing his then latest wave of uproar several weeks ago, Shadows took to Twitter to offer:

Since then, in an apparent response to public outcry, Spiritbox recently opted to withdraw from a string of dates alongside Falling In Reverse this summer. Spiritbox are thought to have dropped off the bill due to the considerable backlash on social media for their decision to tour with Radke, as well as Crown The Empire. You can delve deeper into that whole situation here.

Shadows however has continued his support for Radke and went a step further, inviting Falling In Reverse to serve as direct support for Avenged Sevenfold‘s upcoming arena shows in June, which include:

06/09 Los Angeles, CA – Kia Forum (feat. Pussy Riot)
06/23 New York City, NY – Madison Square Garden (feat. Pussy Riot)

Now, in an appearance on The Punk Rock MBA Podcast, Shadows has spoken further on his thoughts about Radke and the decision to take Falling In Reverse out on tour, as well as his stance on cancel culture in general. Here’s what he had to say [transcribed by]:

“I think that… anyone that knows me, I’ve been very vocal about my my support of all sorts of these groups that are attacking Ronnie right now, personally, right? Whether it’s the LGBTQ or whatever, all these communities right? I really do want everybody to do whatever they want in their life that makes them happy. I’ve spoken out for women’s rights. I’ve spoken out for Black Lives Matter. I’ve done all these things that I feel very passionately about.

The thing with Ronnie is, the guy is allowed to have an opinion. And his opinion ruffles feathers, and then he digs his heels in and he goes hard on some of these people that are attacking him. I’ve looked at all of his accusations. There’s been no proof on these things. He did time for the one thing he did do. And it’s almost like this society where you can’t come back out and have any sort of career or anything happen, because you don’t like that this guy is a firecracker and he’s gonna and he’s gonna hit back at you.

…And then you see this mob of people that just go from… I saw it with Dan Donegan [Disturbed guitarist] did like this ‘F cancel culture guitar’, right? Yeah. And I and I follow David [Draiman, Disturbed vocalist] and those guys on Twitter. They’re friends of mine. Love those guys.

Now do I think that guitar was the coolest thing or this or that? No. I get it. Like I think that people should speak out on things that they want to speak out on. But the mob came in there, that don’t even follow him. It was like, yeah, there’s 20,000 comments of people that… and then it’s like ‘you’re a loser’, ‘old white guy’, ‘Don’t know anything.’

It was just like this is so counterproductive to what you’re trying to get across. Because what happens is that the other side digs in even harder. And then there’s no conversation to be had if you talk to most people in this country. We all want the same things, we just have a different way of thinking we need to go about it.

And so when you start silencing people, that’s when you start getting the major rebellions and the major uprisings of people that want to squash that. And so what you see was like, when I got into punk rock, it was all things go. It was like Guttermouth, like listen to Guttermouth lyrics for a little bit.

And go back to what that was right? But it was kind of this like tongue-in-cheek, ironic, funny, making fun of everyone… But then you go into ‘Warped Tour‘ and then ‘Warped Tour‘ started getting a lot more… had more of an agenda.

You’d go there, and it was like less about everyone speaking what they wanted to speak about. It was kind of ‘this is the right way to do it.’ And even bands like NOFX, right? Now you jump to 2023, and shit’s coming back up about Fat Mike [NOFX vocalist/guitarist] saying dumb shit on stage that he’s always done, that we’ve always loved him for, and now we’re gonna cancel Mike in 2023 because he said something to someone that that, you know, 15-20 years ago, doesn’t seem to sit right.

You can’t have a society like that. You simply can’t. Because one day, guess what? Every person that eats meat is going to be canceled by our future selves. Right? They’re gonna be ‘I can’t believe it.’ Well, you know, through evolution, these things have happened and the world gets better. I do agree the world is getting better. I want people to be able to speak their mind.

But I also think when you silence people, you are doing the exact opposite thing of what you think you’re doing. Which is you’re just going to create more people like that, that want to put it in your face. So I am I’m never gonna, I’m never going to be, you know, I heard this today. I’m never going to be the pebble in the stream getting pulled down that sort of, completely insane society where everyone needs to cancel everyone.

We put Ronnie on these shows, we have more shows we’re going to do with him. If you don’t like him, don’t show up…. or show up later. But we’re keeping them on the shows. And he can be his own person, and we’ll be our own people. Even though we might not agree on everything, we do believe in someone being able to speak their mind.”

He later continued:

“It’s really sad, because most of these people I see commenting or getting worked up, we could all be friends. There’s nothing. There’s nothing that separate… It’s just, I’m telling you. Intent matters. If Ronnie really hated those people, he would just say he hates those people. But he doesn’t and he says, ‘listen, I’m just not going to take a bunch of shit from you guys.’ Like I’m gonna fight back and then no one likes that. No one likes to get punched back.

What did Mike Tyson say? Everyone talks to till they get punched in the mouth? And like a lot of these people, they they put him on blast. He puts them on blast and they delete what they originally wrote.

I mean… Didn’t someone like say something say something and he sued them and actually won, someone just made something up.”

He went on to add:

“And this goes back to rock and roll and danger. Ronnie, to me is a perfect character that would have been the Axl Rose, or the sort of Marilyn Manson, even Kurt Cobain. I mean, these guys were… we all love to remember the the beautiful parts of the people that have passed away. But when you think about rock and roll, you think about Led Zeppelin throwing meat on the girls and you think about all these sorts of things, but no one has a word to say; or Elvis dating underage girls or whatever it is…

But but now we’ve got a guy that literally, it’s like we want we want rock and roll to be dangerous, but we don’t. But what happens is, rock and roll will take a new form, and it will be something different. And right now it’s kind of hip hop. It’s emo rap, whatever it is. I mean, there’s a danger that goes on still ,and then where is everybody at? What’s everyone listening to? What’s successful right now? That is what’s happening.

And this will get taken out of context, because it always does. I’m not saying that is how it has to be. I’m saying this is what people react to. When you take a when you take a genre and cut off the balls, you get what we have going on.

….It is what it is. Like we’re in the middle of it right now. We put this guy on shows. I know Ronnie, I like Ronnie.

…And I’ll also say we’ve had everything from radio stations not want to talk about our shows. We’ve had many bands — more than that are in the press — have had a problem or backed out of shows with us. And that is their right. That’s awesome. Fine. It’s fine.

But we are not going to give in to that pressure. It’s just not who we are.”

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