Avenged Sevenfold 'also like R Kelly'

American metalheads talk God and getting hit by flying footwear

It might have been a while since you've heard the name Avenged Sevenfold, but don't let that fool you — these heavy metal hitters are still around and ready to rock out hard. Ahead of a string of upcoming shows in China, frontman M. Shadows sits down to talk to Time Out Beijing.

They’ve got a soft spot for hip-hop, country and... The Eagles

Avenged Sevenfold’s stylistic debt to classic rock and metal is pretty clear – but did you know they also dig hip- hop, classic rock and even country? ‘People probably don’t know that we also like R Kelly, Big & Rich, TI, The Game, Bob Dylan and The Eagles.’

Somebody in the world hates them enough to sacrifice their precious, precious footwear

The most unexpected thing to happen during a show? ‘Getting hit with a shoe to the face is always unexpected.’

They may have their beliefs, but they’re not about to go all preachy

‘I use Christian references in some of my lyrics because, regardless of what you believe, there are some killer stories... [but] it’s simply too hard to explain your point of view on religion without offending some of your fans and I truly don’t have an agenda to convert people to my thinking. Everyone can believe whatever their little hearts desire as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.’

They use pseudonyms because they’re running from the law... or something

‘The names [M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates, Johnny Christ] partly fit our personalities, and were partly for the theatre of it. We were all friends and had nicknames, and also looked up to a lot of bands growing up that had fake names.’

They’re totally okay with hearing about that time you broke up with your fiancée

‘When someone tells us that we have helped them through a hard time, that’s probably the best compliment. That is always really cool to hear.’

Avenged Sevenfold play Huiyuan Space in the MasterCard Center on Thursday 8. See event listing for details.

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