Avenged Sevenfold attempted to shake things up by surprise releasing their new album The Stage, and while the disc did arrive at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart its first week out, it fell considerably shy of what their most recent releases have done in terms of sales and chart position.

Speaking with Inc.com about their release strategy, vocalist M. Shadows admitted, "We have mixed feelings right now. We know we could have done a boring lead up and taken the No. 1 spot, when you do a three-month buildup you roll pre-orders, singles, etc. into your first week. The way we did it, our numbers are just for one week. Like Kanye: his first week numbers were low compared to what they could have been had he done the traditional release."

The vocalist says they were prepared for the downside of the sales results and how it looks, and adds, "We knew that could happen, but we felt it was worth the risk. We also take a longer-term view. The average album following a three-month release model typically sees sales drop as much as 80 percent for the second week. We expect some drop off, too... but we also expect our album sales to continue over a longer period of time. It's mixed feelings, but I'm very excited to be doing new things. I would be depressed if we had done the old buildup process. That feels very 2009."

In our own interview with Shadows about the album's release, the rocker stated, "One thing that was frustrating to us, always, was having to do so much press building up an album, and you’re asked so many questions about, you know, is it more melodic, is it heavier, are you doing your old stuff, is it new? And all of the sudden your whole album has like a vibe attached to it, before anyone gets to hear any music, and then you feel like, the Internet moves so quickly, it’s kind of like, okay, well thanks for that single last week, but now we need something new, people are getting bored. It’s just such a self-defeating process."

He echoed those sentiments with Inc, adding, "I would think this release model is more fun for fans. I used to get a huge kick out of walking into a record store and finding something I didn't know was out. A lot of people will walk into a store and say, 'What the heck, a new Avenged Sevenfold record?' And feedback has been very positive. People say, 'Thanks for sparing us the bread crumbs.'"

Shadows says that while album sales are big for a band, it's not everything. "People consume music differently. Ultimately, though, people hearing our music is very important," states the singer. "As for buying records ... it's hard to say how important that is, but you definitely want to keep the label happy and involved. We wouldn't have a problem selling tons of records (laughs), but we see the realities and challenges of the fact that people can get music everywhere."

With The Stage now out, Avenged Sevenfold will ramp up their touring in 2017 and promise to continue pushing boundaries and keeping the experience fresh for fans. See where the band is playing here.

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