Avenged Sevenfold Keeps “One Foot Firmly in the Science” of Artificial Intelligence on “The Stage”

Credit: Jeff ForneyBetween its daunting length and its heady lyrical themes, Avenged Sevenfold's new album The Stage might be their most ambitious effort yet. Lyrically, the album deals with artificial intelligence, a subject in which frontman M. Shadows has a great interest. Those lyrical ideas also inspired the rest of the band to expand their musical horizons.

"When I started talking to the band about it a couple years ago, it started inspiring the music as well," Shadows tells ABC Radio. "It was just a little more different, weird, out-there, it called for a lot of tempo changes and weird chord progressions. So I think this is the first time where the actual lyrical content was really influencing what we were trying to put down musically."

Shadows knows what comes to mind when you mention "artificial intelligence" -- killer robots and the like -- which is why he wanted to take a realistic look at the subject with The Stage.

"We wanted to keep one foot firmly in the science behind this," he says. "And not necessarily in, like, androids take over the world and there's, like, a world war going on with robots. That didn't really interest me."

While The Stage isn't focused on robot wars, Shadows enjoys those ideas in other forms of art, such as the HBO series Westworld. In fact, he feels that Westworld should do a piano version of an Avenged Sevenfold song, like the show did with Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun."

"To me, 'Black Hole Sun' is one of the greatest songs written in the last 30 years, and I was really pleased to hear that on there," Shadows says. "But I think there's some cool stuff they could do with this new record, especially with the subject matter."

The Stage is out now.

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