Out with the old and in with the new, right? That seemed to be Avenged Sevenfold's operating procedure when it came to the release of their most recent album, The Stage. A cryptic marketing campaign built up to the surprise release of the 2016 album and the surprises kept coming as Avenged unfurled a series of covers in the following months. The group tackled tracks from less likely suspects like the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones, to name just two.

In total, six cover selections were issued and are now being packaged in a deluxe edition of The Stage along with four previously unreleased live tracks. We had the opportunity to sit down with singer M. Shadows before the Dec. 22 release date and dig deeper into how A7X are looking to shake up the release format of an album and how they're influenced by the timeless music of yesteryear.

With the ballooning popularity of streaming services that cram an entire world of music into a pocketable device, Avenged have their finger on the pulse of the new era of music consumption. "We're just kind of taking advantage of the technology that's out there. I think the cool thing about being alive in 2017 is that you can literally put out music as soon and as frequently as you want to because of streaming services," said the singer. "So, for us, when we have cool things to release, we're just going to do it. We're not going to worry about these big, long, drawn out waits for the record and I think it'll be able to help our fans pass the time between proper albums," he stated.

Shadows also noted that the pop world is in touch with bending pre-conceived notions about album releases and how something as simple as flipping the track order, something Kendrick Lamar did to great effect, can help paint a record in a new light.

Returning to the cover songs that have now been added to The Stage, Shadows relayed how bands like the Beach Boys have influenced the group's songwriting approach. "Ever since Hail to the King, we've been more cognizant of our chord progressions, our key changes, drama in songs, a lot of dynamics — we've really added a lot of that in there," commented the singer. "Those are just great songs," Shadows said of acts like the Beach Boys and the Stones, returning to the idea of chord progressions and key changes, citing "Roman Sky" as an example of how A7X pulled those influences into their writing.

Check out the rest of our conversation with M. Shadows in the video above and snag your copy of the deluxe edition of The Stage by pre-ordering it here.

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