The good news for Avenged Sevenfold during the past week and half has been the surprise release of its new album, The Stage. The not so good news; Its first-week sales.
According to Nielsen SoundScan The Stage sold 76,000 copies during its first week on sale, A7X's lowest total since 2005's City Of Evil. By comparison, 2013's Hail To The King sold 159,000 copies during its first week. But frontman M. Shadows tells us the group was prepared to take a hit by surprise releasing the album on October 29, with less of a build-up campaign than albums usually require:
"The reason we did this whole thing is 'cause we've been bored senseless with album releases and we didn't want to go through it a seventh time. There's a bunch of things we knew we were giving up and it's a credit to Capitol Records for letting us do this thing. We knew we were probably giving up a No. 1 record. You're not taking a bunch of preorders and putting a single out for three months and filing all those single sales into your first week. It's just a big game of an award that doesn't really matter that much in this day and age...For us it was all about breaking the mold and saying we don't care about the old standard, we want a new standard and we're gonna try and push it as far as we can. That's why we did it. It was exciting."
The Stage is A7X's first album with both new drummer Brooks Wackerman and co-producer Joe Barresi. The group plans to tour extensively during 2017.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.