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          Matthew "Matt" Charles Sanders  
   Lead Vocalist  Lyricist/Songwriter  
Co-founding Member of Avenged Sevenfold 

"I write from the heart and hopefully it works out [Laughs]."
-M. Shadows-

"I’m a firm believer that people don’t know what they want until they get it."
Referencing how fans don't think they'll like the new music the band creates until they actually hear it.
-M. Shadows-
Current Q n A



Do not plagiarize this story


When Matt was very small, he showed huge potential as a future basketball star. Unbelievably, just out of Kindergarten he was already playing on the 4th grade team and even still by his 5th grade year he was already playing with the 8th grade team ending the season playing an unreal,100 total games. You see Matt's parents, (and later his younger sister would be so awesome she entered the WMBA), were talented in basketball as well, both even played in college. And now he finds himself being coached by his mom on his elementary basketball team and his dad coaching his club team. Basketball was fastly becoming Matt's life. His parents even required him to do at least 300 Jump shots a day after school and to ask for a break was unheard of just like missing practice. They were putting enormous pressure on him to succeed in basketball however, Matt wasn't exactly with their game plan. Somehow Matt's parents missed all the signs and que's that something wasn't clicking with their ideas in his mind. His dad didn't even catch there was an issue one day when Matt looked at him and said; "Dad, there has to be more to life than basketball. " Instead they just went back to counting off his required jump shots for that day.

Everyone has heard the word rebellion and likely has saw it in action or was a willing participant in it. Matt took that route and ran with it by beginning to drink at the ripe old age of 12, having his first hangover in the 6th grade. Explaining to his parents how he needed a couple beers to relax by age 14. They just scratched their heads trying to figure out just what he was relaxing from after all he was just a kid not realizing telling him he was great constantly and putting giant amounts of pressure on him to succeed was more than he could handle.The reality was that Matt wasn't just stopping at 2 beers he was more in the neighborhood of 10 or 12.  Soon after Matt would do anything not to have to go to school. Just prior to that he was a good student. So his parents decided the answer must be to take him to school and let him out there but when they left the parking lot Matt would grab a city bus, head home, and sleep all day. Then in his freshman year he quit basketball.

He then turned to his first band "Successful Failure". Matt was also talented musically, playing piano and guitar, he wrote the lyrics for the band and the music for their songs and along the way produced two of their CD's. Hoping to show Matt that they support him and to keep him at home his parents even created him a music studio in their garage.

But as time went by, the situation actually became much worse instead of better. When the gang fighting began it really got scary for everyone involved. Matt would turn up at home with whelps across his face where the dude swinging the chain had managed to land it and he would be sporting knife cuts on his body. One time he was so badly injured he could do no more than lie in bed, struggling simply to breath because he was so terribly bruised and battered inside. Other times he came home with a gash to his head, a loose tooth, and hole in his lip because someone hit him in the face with a beer bottle. The fighting was really taking it's toll on him. During this time he was even arrested more than once, charged with assault and had to do community service as well.

As you can imagine, tensions between son and parents had hit a fevered pitch by now. His dad would literally get into struggles with him trying his damnedest not to allow Matt to leave the house for fear he may never return alive. But Matt would win out in the end, thinking he knew better.  His mom, Kim became so upset and at her wits end she started sending away for literature about military schools to send Matt too but his sister, Amy would rush home to remove them from the mailbox before her mother could see them. About now Matt was becoming aware that he was truly in danger of being hurt either at home or elsewhere. So he wasn't exactly opposed to going to military school. He took to sleeping with a baseball bat beside his bed and mace under his pillow, ready at a seconds notice to defend himself if the need arose. "I was going to mace them, then hit them with the bat and take off running. I don't think they would have expected that."

Things got so intense, Matt's dad Gary had to take a month off of work because his nerves were in such a terrible state. His dad was so torn between wanting to love Matt and being a tough father that when he finally had, had enough he told Matt okay you win, one night, but hardly 10 minutes had passed before he was in his room appologizing to Matt telling him he didn't mean it. Matt's mom however, had a temper to rival Matt's. They just butted heads alot. 
Things reached an all-time level when finally, with no other alternatives Gary threw Matt out.  This happened not once, or twice but a total of three times. Always communicating to Matt; "You mean more to me than anything in the world. No one wants you here as much as I do. But there are certain rules, about curfew and drinking and going to school, and you have to follow them." Through those three times his parents also took away his house keys, padlocked his studio, and wouldn't allow him to get his drivers license. They even resorted to anger management classes to no avail.

The third time Matt was kicked out he moved in with a friend. He was gone a little over a month when he called his dad one day to say; "OK, Dad, I'm ready to follow the rules." Although, at that moment things weren't perfect, a switch had flipped in Matt's head. His thinking had been shifted; "I realized I was hurting everyone. I know I hurt my parents with the things I said. I started thinking, `What if they died tomorrow? ' I'd feel like crap, especially since I didn't mean those things."

So Matt started piecing his life back together by first doing anything to shave the 160 detention points from his record and returning to Summer school which included night school classes. He called up his old high school basketball coach and asked to rejoin the team. He was allowed back but his temper once again got the better of him in one of their first scrimmage games when an opposing team member angered him and he put the dude in a headlock causing his sister, Amy to panic and run out. When her dad asked her was she concerned about Matt getting hurt her answer was; "No, I'm afraid he might kill somebody."

Of course things didn't improve over night. They never do. It's the human element that's at work here. And yeah he got into trouble some more but eventually as he matured and learned from his mistakes, Matt became quite a successful young man. He's worked very hard not only on his awesome career as a musician, but to make his folks, who so loved him and stuck by him through both his growing pains and their realization that they can't plan his life for him, very proud. "Anyone who has as much commitment and passion as Matt has, you have confidence in." Gary Sanders

Matt's dad, Gary came across an essay Matt was writing for school when Matt was trying to get his life back in order. The topic of the essay was about kids growing up. Interestingly enough, contained in the essay was the one time Matt admitted he was actually afraid in his life. Most would think it had to be when he was facing an angry group of kids hell bent on seeing him beat to a bloody pulp or worse, however that thinking would be incorrect. Matt's answer may just surprise you,you see the only time he was ever admittedly afraid was that 10 minutes when he thought his father had finally given up on him.

Matt said this in 2007 about his past; "Family is the most important thing now. You just sort of figure that out eventually. I was an immature jerk, basically."

 Matt was born July 31, 1981 to Gary and Kim Sanders.
 Matt has a sister, Amy, who is a couple years younger than he is.


M. Shadows with his parents, Kim and Gary.                                                 M. Shadows with his lovely sister, Amy.

 M. Shadows began singing in the St. Bonaventure Church choir in the first grade but quit two years later instead of performing a Christmas solo.
 M. Shadows has always admired Batman. He says he likes him because he's just a human with cool toys. M. Shadows told this story about his early interest in him. "One of my first Christmases when I was a little guy, I was obsessed with Batman, and my parents bought me all these Batman clothes like a Batman hat, Batman shirt, Batman shorts, Batmans skateboard," he said. "I remember I actually wore the same clothes every single day after Christmas for like four months straight until all the kids in the neighborhood were making fun of me. So my lesson to everyone would be: be careful what you wish for — you're not as cool as you think you are." M. Shadows shared
this story with Pulse of the Radio. December 2012.
 In a related tidbit M. Shadows has also dressed up for halloween as the Joker from Batman.
 M. Shadows smoked his first cigarette with The REV when he was 12 years old and continued smoking until he started having throat problems in 2004.
 The first real concert M. Shadows ever attended was Rancid when "Lets Go" came out.
 When M. Shadows became interested in music his dad gave him many of his own cassette tapes which included Guns N Roses, Metallica and Nirvana. He loved the "And Justice for all" tape so much that he turned around and ordered the entire back catalog of the ones he didn't have. 
 The first actually CD he purchased for himself was Pearl Jam's Ten. He purchased it just after CD's became popular. 
 By February 2000, M. Shadows had six piercings which included: Lip, eyebrow, ears, nipples, and tongue. He also had accumilated 15 tattoos by then. Over the years he has slowly gotten rid of his peircings. His lip ring was gone in 2007 and the gauges in his ears were signifigantly reduced down in 2009. His largest gauge was 7/16 in his ears and they had been that large since he was 15. The nipples, tongue, and eyebrow were gone by 2004. 
 His parents found out about his first tattoo when a friend spotted it at a Del Taco. He had managed to keep it a secret from them for a year.
 They found out about the peircings when a girl who they didn't know approached Kim, his mom at a basketball game happily telling her how much she loved M. Shadows nipples.
 In the bands early touring days, M. Shadows mom, Kim bought memberships for the guys to a gym that was available across the country just so she knew they could at least take showers.
 The scar that appears on M. Shadows chest near his left arm is from a  fight in which he was stabbed by a broken bottle.
 Bill Bourroughs, an early member of the "Vicious Circle Gang", later the TSOL is M. Shadows' uncle on his mother's side.
 M. Shadows has mulitple allergies those that have been confirmed by things he's said over the years are grass clippings, animal fur, and dust.
 At one point M. Shadows liked the song "Barbie Doll" by Aqua so much he drove the Rev so crazy with it that The Rev threw it out the bus window while it was moving. The interesting part is that it was The Rev's CD.
 M. Shadows original musical background is deeply ingrained in the Metalcore of the West Coast.
 M. Shadows lists his musical influences as Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, and Pantera. His screaming influence is Philip Anselmo formerly of Pantera and now the front man for the band Down.
 Before Avenged Sevenfold, M. Shadows had a band called Successful Failure. During the time he was in Succesful Failure he wrote the song "Streets" which was later added to Avenged Sevenfold's  first album, "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet".
 "Use Your Illusion" By Guns and Roses is M. Shadows all-time favorite album.
 M. Shadows had a ruptured blood vessel removed from his vocal cords in 2004. The surgery took place in Boston, Mass. He did not have a ruptured or torn vocal cord. This also had no bearing on why the band no longer does screamo. The decision not to mainly focus their sound on screaming anymore was a group decision to change the direction and sound of the band.
 M. Shadows is a huge supporter of the American troups overseas. Thus the reason why he wrote MIA and Gunslinger. He stresses though that the band is not a political band and they have no intentions of becoming one.
  At the 2005 warped tour, while the guys were doing a meet and greet, Matt was spat upon by a dude who didn't like him or his music. Synyster Gates slammed the dudes head down on the table and held him there until security came. M. Shadows walked away being the bigger man we all know he is. Val came out and handled the dudes girlfriend who was making an even bigger scene.
 In December 2006, M. Shadows released his very limited editon Hurley signature cap and bandana
 M. Shadows is 6'1 and has hazel eyes which range from brown to green in color with green often being the dominant shade.
 M. Shadows musical talents are not limited to his wonderful singing voice but he can also play piano, organ, guitar, bass, and drums and he is an awesome song writer as well.




Pictured above are M. Shadows with his vocal coach, Ron Anderson
(Photo on the left 2006  -  Photo {selfie style} on the right 2013)

"I've trained with Ron Anderson for years and I still train with him. Basically, you have to take care of your voice, especially when you are out on the road every day, but the same applies to the studio. You have to drink a lot of water, not a lot of talking, and, yes, go in there and do your warm-ups. I've got an hour warm-up I do, then I sing through a few Elton John tracks--'Funeral for a Friend' and "Candle in the Wind"-- Because they have a lot of lows and highs and it really brings out the voice. So I go through that, then I go on singing heavy metal."

- M.Shadows -
Guitar Center Interview July 2013

 M. Shadows favorite album is 'Yellow Brick Road' By Elton John. He said he has listened to it for years and still isn't tired of it. He also uses it for vocal warm ups as well. Google Play, 30 Seconds with M. Shadows
 M. Shadows paid $300 an hour for his voice lessons with vocal coach Ron Anderson who has also coached none other than Axl Rose. His vocal coach's main focus was to simply help M. Shadows to control his vocals more easily and to learn his true vocal range. He did not alter M. Shadows voice. His voice is 100% natural.
 Bat Country was M. Shadows favorite video that the band had done at that time according to the "All Excess" commentary during the video which is available on the DVD.
 M. Shadows thinks 'Seize the day; is a sophisticated video also according to the "All Excess" Commentary during the video.
 M. Shadows wrote the guitar riffs for the 'Beast and the Harlot' and 'Critical Acclaim'.
 M. Shadows helped get the charity Fuck Cancer off the ground by contributing $5000.00 of his own money.
 In very early 2007, M. Shadows became engaged to his long-term girlfriend Valary DiBenedetto.
 In 2007, M. Shadows shared that he was a member of The Freestyle Fight School or The MMA Academy and that when he came off tour he always gets his ass beat there. It is not known if he still participates.
 M. Shadows has a love for classic car and owns a 1970's Chevelle Convertible Super Sport with a 502. He has totally pimped it out with a killer sound system, deathbat inlayed headrests, among other upgrades. M. Shadows has also expressed an interest in purchasing a Tessela, a battery powered car that is very sporty and as he says very fast.
 M. Shadows was sitting in a bar in Bangkok, Thailand trying to rap his mind around all of the young men parading past him who have had sex changes in order to become prostitutes when suddenly he gets hit by a something mushy on his leg. Well many girls in Thailand have the ability to use their privates to let’s say launch items like ping pong balls. When he looks down he realized he had been hit by a banana from a girl across the room. He immediately ran to the bathroom trying to remove it from his pants while trying not to touch it. He said it smelled really bad.  Metal Hammer Interview 2008
 M. Shadows used to work out in YMCA's across the country but after a particularly cute incidence he quit and started using Gold's Gym. The story goes that on one particular day he was working out with some friends at a YMCA. The YMCA hosts mentally challenged individuals and allows them full access to their facilities. This day there was a mentally challenged young man lifting weights very near M. Shadows. This fellow was counting his reps but not in the correct order so M. Shadows kept getting confused by his count. So when he decided to leave this mentally challenged young man while M. Shadows back was turned flexed his muscle. M. Shadows said they really had a hard time containing their laughter.
 M. Shadows favorite beer is Sierra Nevada. Source: Reddit October 16, 2014.
 M. Shadows Favorite A7X Song is 'Buried Alive'. Source: Reddit October 16, 2014.
 M. Shadows Least Favorite A7X Song is 'Unbound'. Source: Reddit October 16, 2014.
 M. Shadows Favorite Pizza Sausage and Salami from Round Table. Source: Reddit October 16, 2014.
 M. Shadows craziest fan story is a lady told me in Denver she named her kid after me... I thought that was cool but then she said it was her daughter... she showed me the tattoo of her daughters name.. Em Shadows Souce: Reddit October 16, 2014.
 During the bands off times, M. Shadows does vocal practice once a week.
 Matt Sanders and Valary DiBenedetto were married October 17, 2009 in Palm Springs, California. Matt's bachelor party was held October 3, 2009 at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple honeymooned in Africa.

The Sanders



Valary's history related to Avenged Sevenfold and M.Shadows: 

♦Valary was the bands original tour manager and merch dealer.
♦Valary helped progress the bands success by promoting the band at Warped tour and every other chance she had spending hours in the hot sun giving out tapes and posters to anyone who seemed to like similar bands.
♦The band credits her for being a sort of mother to them during their early touring days, making sure they were where they needed to be when they needed to be there.
♦She also would steal money from her parents when the guys needed it.
♦Valary is also seen in the 2006 video for "Seize the Day" as M. Shadows pregnant girlfriend who dies in the video. He shared in the making of "Seize the Day" that he wanted Valary to play his girlfriend in the video because he didn't feel comfortable with anyone else playing the part since he does not consider himself an actor. (Photo Left)
♦She was also interviewed/appeared in the "All Excess" DVD.
♦Valary also appears in the bands 2008 video "Dear God". (Photo Right)
♦M. Shadows has said several times while being interviewed that Valary tries to get him to read books however, he doesn't give in much but when he occasionally does he mainly chooses to read biographies of people he is interested in. One book he has read is Slash's Autobiography and as recently as 2012 he has gotten into reading the 'Game of Thrones' Book series.
Other books M. Shadows has said he has read include: 
"Good to Great" A book about making a good business great.
"The Heroin Diaries" By Nikki Sixx. M. Shadows commented that there are a lot of lessons to learn in that book. Source: Kerrang! 2008
M. Shadows has also shared that Valary keeps him grounded and that she is also responsible for keeping his wardrobe stylish. 
Interesting Note: M. Shadows shared in a KROQ interview in August 2013, that Valary gets a little crazy in strip clubs, she really has a good time there.

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2005 - 2006





Early in 2012 it became quite apparent that the Sanders would soon be parents. 
We congratulate them and wish them all the best and of course, Happily welcome the first child born to a band member.
(Photo taken by an Indonesian A7X fan while the band toured there.)

Mr. River Sanders graced this world with his awesome presents on July 8, 2012.

In the July 2013 Issue of Revolver magazine, it was revealed that the title to the bands new album, 'Hail to the King' was created when M.Shadows held his son, River over his head and proclaimed 'Hail to the King'.

Just in case you were wondering, yes folks M. Shadows has said he does change his son's diapers.
It is wonderful to see such an amazingly talented man love his son like it appears M. Shadows does his.
What an excellent role model he has become.
Bravo Matt!! 

M. Shadows said on Reddit, October 16, 2014 that his proudest moment was seeing the birth of his sons.
 "There's nothing like it." He said.

On that Metal Show which aired on January 18, 2014 it was verified by M. Shadows that Mr. River Sanders would soon be getting a new little brother or sister.
Congrats, once again to Matt and Val on their new addition! Oh, and congrats of course goes to River too. :)

Please Note: M. Shadows made mention during a June interview that he wants to keep River's privacy as secure as possible so until a photo of River is published and his dad seems alright with it's release this site will respect his wishes for his son and not post pictures of him.

It appears early on that River seems to follow closely in his fathers footsteps in that he enjoys his dad's hobbies and musical aspects as well.

 River already at just a year old has his own plastic golf clubs and enjoy's playing around on his dads personal at home putting green. He also has a basketball goal of his own.
River enjoys playing the drums and keyboard and just playing around with lots of music related items.
He also like many kids enjoys dancing around to music and riffs the guys in the band play.
While the band was creating the "Hail to the King" album River would visit on their slow days or days when things just weren't happening like they wanted it to and brighten up the day for all the guys in the band.
In August 2013, M. Shadows took his son on the family fishing trip for the first time.
Mom and dad are also interested in culitvating River's musical taste at an early age too. They play him a wide varity of music and bands they both like.
River will also be traveling with the band when they are touring for as long as he wants to according to M. Shadows since M. Shadows prefers to take his family with him rather than be seperated from them.
M. Shadows said that knowing what he and his wife Valary put their parents through when they were growing up, they expect thier son, River to be a handful too. 
Crimson Day from the bands new album 'Hail to the King' was written by M. Shadows about his son River according to Synyster Gates in an interview with Sound Scape.
 M. Shadows said in the Q and A held at WBR's in August 2013 that River could be whatever he wanted to be when he grows up.
According to his dad, River was dressed  as Ace Venture Pet Detective for Halloween 2013 and since he was only 16 months old he really didn't understand what was going on yet so M.Shadows said he ate the candy himself.  
Source: Red bull sound stage performance and QnA November 1, 2013.
According to his dad, Arin is teaching River to play drums. His dad said that he walks around moving his arms as if he's playing the drums all the time. Source: Red Bull Sound Stage Performance and QnA November 1, 2013


M. Shadows with some of his littlest fans

Quotes from River's dad:

"My son, every day, just becoming a person. He's got my smirk, and I think that's funny. He's already giving me looks. It's like, oh great. When he's older I'm in for it. I get pictures from my wife while I'm on tour everyday and they all make me laugh."
Kerrang! December issue 'What made M. Shadows laugh in 2013?"


 M. Shadows stopped a show in Scotland because a girl was hurt badly in the pit where he could see. They resumed where they left off after she was removed for medical attention. He also stopped a show during the Uproar tour in 2010 in the North Eastern United States when a boy fell while they were playing and they again resumed after he was taken to get medical attention. These are just a couple incidences of him rescuing fans but there are other incidents of him stopping the show for an injured fan. He obviously cares about the bands fans safety.
  M. Shadows admits he is not the tidiest of people. He has spoken about how when Mike Portnoy was touring (2010) with the band and would visit their bus he would ask didn't they ever clean up? He says it even goes back to when he was growing up at home and his mom would get on him for not cleaning his room. He said his view was he would clean it when he got ready to.
 On Saturday, July 30, 2010, M. Shadows hosted the Sirius Octane Radio show solo, playing his faves and talking about "Nightmare".
In 2010, before the band started touring M. Shadows broke his thumb playing basketball on the street
 In November 2010, while touring with the USO in Iraq, M. Shadows purchased 24-carat gold pens used by Saddam Hussein. The pens were worth close to $5,000. He said the reason he purchased them was that he wanted to bring something interesting back with him from this very significant trip. Revolver interview September 2011
 M. Shadows loves very strong coffee. He is a huge fan of Starbucks and he also likes Coffee Bean. He said in an interview in 2011 that he loves coffee so much that he drinks a cup of decaf before bed so that it doesn't cause him sleep issues.
 M. Shadows said in a 2011 interview, that probably his all-time favorite movie was "Shawshank Redemption". When he chooses movies he prefers something with content or something he can invest in not necessarily an action film and he also shared that he liked the movie "Black Swan".
 Due to continued issues and a lot of pain while performing, in December 2011 M. Shadows underwent joint surgery on his left knee to repair the problem. He subsequently underwent therapy on his knee. Several months prior to the surgery he had been wearing a knee brace for extra support while performing on stage.
 In January 2012, M. Shadows shared that his favorite football team is the Green Bay Packer because much of the team are Avenged Sevenfold fans. He also jokingly blamed their loss in the playoffs on the fact that some of the team had hung out with the band back stage shortly before they played the game. He questioned if that may have been bad luck for them.
 On December 14, 2012, during the live chat on AMAA M. Shadows was asked what his favorite songs were to perform. He answered "A Little Piece of Heaven" and for the heavier stuff he likes "Nightmare".
 In mIc choices, M.Shadows uses an Audio - Technica 4100 live. The bands sound guy says it's the best for his voice.
 The Rev taught M. Shadows how to play the drums.

Happy 32nd Birthday, M.Shadows, A7X Family Style

On M. Shadows 32nd birthday, the fans were able to get a little something special trending worldwide just for him.

Flags Heard 'round the World!

  On December 23, 2013 Tal Cooperman, owner of CRSLClothing and close friend to M. Shadows/A7X published this photo on his blog.
The photo is of M. Shadows ceiling at his home where he keeps all the flags he receives from around the world by fans both on stage and in person. So never think he doesn't/didn't save what you give/gave him because there's a good chance he does/has.
Let me know if you can identify any of the flags you see here. I would love to list the owners with this photograph.

Photo provided by Manda.

M. Shadows Guest Stars on the Season #13 Premiere of 
That Metal Show

On January 14, 2014 That Metal Show did the taping for their January 18, 2014 airing of their season#13 kick off show which aired on VH1 Classic at 11 pm EST. Pictured above with M. Shadows are Jason from Five Finger Death Punch, Zakk of Black Label Society, and Eddie Trunk with the rest of the That Metal Gang. This is the first time any member of Avenged Sevenfold have appeared on the show.

VHI-Classic have posted on their site Extra's from the show. You can find them here!

Things M. Shadows shared during the show:

The first song M. Shadows learned to play on the guitar was 'Strength beyond Strength' by Pantera. He said he played everything but the solo.
He said that his favorite new band at the time of the taping was Ghost or Volbeat.
He said that if he could have ever been in any other band it would be none other than his fave Guns and Roses
The album he wishes that he could have been on was 'Back in Black' by AC/DC.
M. Shadows #1 Vice is drinking Red Bull. He said he has to have it.
His favorite tour/concert was one where A7X opened for Iron Maiden.
First album he purchased for himself was Peal Jam 10. 
If he was stuck on a desert island he would want to bring with him Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" because it is a good metal escape album and he thinks if you were stuck on a desert island you'd want that type of thing.
He said that he prefers Freddy Mercury's Vocal talents over Robert Plants.

M. Shadows work out routine:
He works out daily
He does 40 minutes of cardio
He eats his carbs early in the day
He eats mostly protein such as chicken and tuna.
He said that Val, his wife insists that he eats his vegi's too.

Songs he likes to work out with:
He stated that he doesn't necessarily listen to heavy stuff while he works out, just music  in general that he likes to listen to.
Rocket Man by Elton John
"Strength beyond Strength" by Pantera

A small Phish concert which was held at a local Huntington Beach Skate park was his first concert.
The first major concert he went to was Pantera when they opened for Black Sabbath.
He mentioned that he attended several punk band concerts such as Bad Religion and Pennywise while he was growing up.

Before Concert Warmups:
He tries to get into a steam room hours before he does a concert.
He eats 3 hours before a perfomance.
He kisses his Jimmy necklace before going on stage.
He drinks a sugar free Red Bull.
He does vocal warmups via tape and if he has issues he can always call his vocal coach, Ron Anderson.
And of course Jason Berry, A7X drum tech slaps their butts before they go on stage in a sports team fashion for luck.

M. Shadows wore his That Metal Show Tshirt for the first time on stage in Sydney, Australia on February 23, 2014

 "It goes to 11 With M. Shadows"
An 11 part Q & A
Radio Contraband
Interviewed by Captain Jake Show
June 16, 2014

1. So what’s the current story with AVENGED SEVENFOLD
We’ve got something like 78 shows in the next few months! Insane!

2. Hollywood puts together a movie about Avenged Sevenfold, who plays you?
Oh God, I would veto the project right away! I think I would be too embarrassed to watch someone try to play me.

3. Strangest request or question you ever received from a fan.
A guy brought his 15 year old daughter and wanted us to sign her arm so she could get our names tattoo’d on her. I don’t know why he would ok that, the last thing she needs is a bunch of signatures from some dirty Rock Stars.

4. Give me a musical “guilty pleasure” something in your collection that might shock me.
I listen to a lot of pop stuff, there is a Japanese group of girls that do this metal/pop thing that’s cool…Oh and Aqua, remember “Barbie Girl”??

5. You have a dentist appointment, and your regular dentist can’t make it. When the chair spins around who do you NOT want to see there.
One of our security guys, Big T. He’s like seven foot tall and nuts! There’s actually a lot of guys I wouldn’t want to see.

6. Name an artist that you would like to hear cover your music.
I’d like to hear Elton John do our music! I wanna hear it all done on piano.

7. Have you ever met anyone in your Avenged travels that has claimed to have slept with Gene Simmons?
No, because every girl claims they don’t sleep with anybody! That’s like the new thing, it used to be cool to be a groupie in the 80′s…not anymore.

8. Give me a current artist you would like to jam with.
You know anytime you get to share the stage with Metallica it’s a good thing. If you’re playing with Metallica you know it’s gonna be in a stadium, that’s nice.

9. What’s one thing you HAVE TO DO before you go on stage?
I do a ton of things. I warm up three hours before we go on. I need hot water with lemon and sugar free Red Bull.

10. What is your favorite curse word?
Haven’t really thought about that…I just use all of them equally.

11. Last question, what does hearing your music on the radio mean to you? 
It means a lot! But it’s also very embarrassing and I change the station! You don’t wanna be in a car with a bunch of friends when your band comes on and you turn it up….you’re a douche.

I found this fan created banner on the internet and credit obviously goes to it's owner.

The banner's creator is very observant. The reason however has nothing actually to do with school. You see according to M. Shadows' father, Gary, Matt didn't like smiling for school picture because of the fact that he wore braces in high school and he felt self-conscience because of it, preventing him from feeling comfortable with smiling for them.

Roughly, 2005 to 2007 

"You gotta look like Flavor Flav if you're gonna be Axl Rose."
-M. Shadows Referencing his grill-


Kerrang! Published this small piece on M. Shadows grill in their magazine in 2006.

 When grillz were popular a few years ago M. Shadows joined in the movement and purchased his first for $8000 at Eddies Gold Teeth in Atlanta, Georgia. It was made of platnium and diamonds.
Over the course of his wearing of the grillz, he wore them during multiple live performances and he also sported one in the "Almost Easy" video as well as performed with one in at the 2006 Chainsaw Awards.
Valary, his wife also wore her grillz too.

 Val rockin' the pink grill!

M. Shadows Golden Gods' Best Vocalist 2011.


 September 2009 Kerrang Magazine readers poll named M. Shadows as the #14 scariest person in rock.
 Rock One's 2010 Readers Poll M. Shadows was chose #4 Best Singer
 M. Shadows was chosen 7th best vocalist by Japan's Burn Magazine's 2011 readers poll.
 M. Shadows won the 2011 Flecking Records best ink with 55.53% of the vote.
 M. Shadows won the Best Vocalist at the 2011 Revolvers Golden Gods Awards.
 M. Shadows was listed among the 100 greatest living rock stars in Revolver's 100th issue, December 2011.
 M. Shadows reached the 21st spot on the Kerrang! 50 Greatest Rockstars Today, June 2012.

"The badass out to make modern metal's throne his own. With that bandana and those tattoos there is no mistaking M. Shadows -
And he is on his way to take back what is his.
Kerrang! Magazine article 50 Greatest Rockstars in the World Today June 2013.
Thanks to @ellieavenged44 for sending this article to me.

 M. Shadows reached the 15th spot on the Kerrang! 50 Greatest Rockstars in the World Today, June 2013.
M. Shadows was nominated for the second time as 2014 Best Vocalist on the Revolver Golden Gods Awards however he didn't win this time.

Kerrang! 50 Greatest Rockstars.
April 2014
M. Shadows ranked #16 



 411 Mania named M. Shadows their #8 best Metal Frontman on their pick for the Top 8 Metal Frontmen. M. Shadows was listed among Rock and Metal long time royalty with the likes of Ozzy Osborne, Bruce Dickenson, James Hetfield, and Phil Anselmo just to name a few.
This is what the article said about M. Shadows:

First up on our list is the youngest member of the top eight in M. Shadows. Born Matthew Sanders, Shadows is easily the greatest of the newer guard of metal frontmen and frankly he's more than a little underrated as well. He has one of the best voices in metal currently and has shown quite a bit of versatility, toning the guttural screams down from the metalcore-esque Sounding the Seventh Trumpet to a more melodic style. That being said, he's not afraid to bring the growls back when it's appropriate and they have a lot stronger impact when they aren't non-stop, something many frontmen in his era have yet to realize. He also happens to have an incredible level of charisma and Avenged Sevenfold concerts are considered to be among the best metal gigs to go to these days. It was tough leaving some of the more well-established names in the genre hanging just outside of the top ten but Shadows deserves his due and given time he could easily rise much higher on this list as he continues to build his name as a metal heavyweight.

Article by Jeremy  Thomas

The Hard Rock Cafe 
Las Vegas


Both the mic and the shoes were worn/used by M. Shadows during the 2008 Rock Star Taste of Chaos Tour and hung/are still hanging in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
Thanks Madeline Armstrong for sending these photos to me and allowing me to use them here.

The Hard Rock Cafe
Orlando, Florida

This photo hangs in the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando, Florida.
In the background you can also see our Beloved Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan.

Thanks to Buffy Jones for sending this to me.


Kerrang! Magazine is responsible for publishing both of these cartoons that M. Shadows is depicted in.
The left was published for Record Store Day.
The Right "Ozzy's School of Rock.
Thanks Amamda for sending me the one on the right


 M. Shadows singing with James Hart of Burn Halo formally of 18 Visions (Left). M. Shadows with Slash writing the song "Nothing to Say" (Middle). M. Shadows singing "Sweet Child O' Mine with Steel Panther at the opening of Harts Wasted Space (Right).

 M. Shadows sometimes does guest vocals on different artists albums or something other than A7X related collaborations, in which he/his friends jokingly refer to them as "one night stands"

 In 2006, M. Shadows filled in for Jonathan Davis of Korn in Europe when Jonathan became ill before a performance.
 M. Shadows produced the confessions most recent album "Requium" unfortunately the band has now broken up.
 The Band Steel Panther asked M.Shadows on stage to perform the Guns and Roses Hit "Sweet Child O' Mine".
 M. Shadows made a guest appearance in the 18 Visions video for the song "I Let Go". 18 Visions are no longer together.
 On September 27, 2012 M. Shadows performed "Sandpaper" a song he did guest vocals on with the band Fozy at the Roxy.
 On October 1, 2012 the band Fozzy released the video for their song "Sandpaper". M. Shadows was featured in the video.

Guest Vocals

 Device -- "Haze -- Album Title "Device" -- Album has a release date of April 9, 2013 

“The first exposure I had to Avenged Sevenfold was when they toured with us on the first Ozzfest we did. Matt has a tremendous character to his vocal. His range is huge. He’s bulletproof. Night after night, he pulls it off without a flaw. He was perfect for ‘Haze,’ which is a celebration of the most intoxicating substance that we know of, which is live performance.” David Draiman
David Draiman commenting on why he chose M.Shadows to perform the song Haze on Device's first album as well as what the mean of the song is."
- Artist Direct Interview March 2013 -

According to David Draiman the recording of Haze took place while Avenged Sevenfold were tracking the Call of Duty; Black Ops song "Carry On".

 Machine Gun Kelly -- "Save Me" -- Album title "Lace Up" Released October 2012

"M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold isn’t just a metal singer though. In my honest opinion, he’s one of the greatest lead vocalists since     Ax
l Rose. The way he works his voice is amazing. I actually recorded that personally. I flew out to his house. It was just me and him in the studio. I got to record that shit live with no music. I got to hear how ear-piercing it was. I’m just glad that was how we started the album."

Interview 2013 Artist Direct Machine Gun Kellys' opinion of M. Shadows

 Fozzy -- "
Sandpaper" -- Album title 'Sin and Bones" Released August 2012

"Back in 2005, I heard "Bat Country" on the radio, and I thought it was such an original, cool tune. I thought, "This is like Skid Row combined with The Ramones combined with Guns N' Roses". No one was really doing that at the time. The vocals were great. I like good vocals. I like guys who actually sing. Avenged Sevenfold had a lot of back harmonies and things like that on City of Evil. I really got to know them when my friend Mike Portnoy joined them for Nightmare. That's when I met the guys and got close with the band. When Mike left, I was really good friends with them—especially with M. Shadows. We went on from there. I was a huge fan of theirs before I met them. When I met them, I became even more of a fan. I love "Hail to the King". The song is incredible. It's cool how they switched to a more groove-oriented style."
Chris Jericho

 Pitch Black Forecast -- "Burning in Water....Drowning in Flame"  Released July 2012
 Hell or Highwater formerly Black Cloud Collective--"Go Alone" M. Shadows not only does vocals on this song he also wrote it.  Released 08/09/2011.

 Slash--"Nothing to Say"

"I had never met M. Shadows until we recorded "Nothing to Say" for my first solo album. I've always thought Avenged Sevenfold was a great modern heavy metal band, and I had put together this real heavy metal song. I've been writing stuff like that forever, but I hadn't had the chance to use it until then. When we were doing "Nothing to Say", his name came up. It turned out he's a really big old school Guns N' Roses fan—which was actually sort of unnerving [Laughs]. He really worked his ass off getting it together. It was so much fun though. He came in and sang the shit out of it, and it was really a great experience. It was all thrash metal, but it had fucking tons of attitude and it was real aggressive. I always wanted to do something like that, and he helped make it happen. I love him and the whole band!"

 Dirty Heads --"Check the Level" (remix)
 Good Charlotte--"The River" -- 2007 -- with Synyster Gates.
 Cowboy Troy--Buffalo Stampede
 Steel Panther--"Turn out the Lights"
 Death by Stereo -- "Entombed We Collide"
 Kisses for Kings--"Like Always"
 Bleeding Through--"Portrait of a Goddess" 

M.Shadows Special Musical Shout-outs/Mentions

From time to time M. Shadows will either be asked what he is listening to at the moment or what he would recommend others listen to from interviewers. Below are a few he has made mention of.

 On 07/18/2006, During an MTV interview M. Shadows mentioned that at that particular moment his favorite R&B video was R. Kelly's "Trapped in the closet".
 In 2007, M. Shadows shared his then favorite country music performers. The list included the following: Big & Rich, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash.
 In November 2012, M. Shadows made mention that at that time he was enjoying listening to Lana Del Rey. He said he was impressed with her lyrical ablilities. He also made mention that he had downloaded the new Sound Garden CD as well as the new Three Days Grace album. He however, hadn't had time to listen to them yet.
 In August 2013, during the Q and A that was held for the band at WBR's M. Shadows said Lizzy Hale from Halestorm was in his opinion the best singer, Male or female in todays rock. He has continued his show of appreciation for Lizzy Hales voice now in multiple interviews.
 In August 2013, during the Q and A, M. Shadows said Metalllica are the Kings of Metal.
 M.Shadows had made mention of the band Helloween on mulitple occasions saying how much he really likes the band. He made mention of them specifically during 2013's Rock in Rio.
 M. Shadows had also made mention on many occasions about how much he loves Iron Maiden and probably his all time favorite band Guns n Roses as well. 

 Revolver Magazine asked M. Shadows what his work out playlist consisted of and his playlist aired on the Revolver channel on Beats Music on January 27, 2014

1. NOFX – Stickin In My Eye/The Decline
2. Bad Religion – You
3. Shelter – Empathy
4. Scorpions – I’m Leaving You
5. Rainbow – Man On The Silver Mountain
6. Volbeat – The Nameless One
7. Alice Cooper – I’m Eighteen
8. Trivium – Brave This Storm
9. Halestorm – Mz. Hyde
10. Dream Theater – Enigma Machine
11. Deftones – Swerve City
12. Death By Stereo – Sing Along With The Patriotic Punks.

 M. Shadows did another playlist for Revolver on Beats Music, this time it was his 90's picks which aired on February 11, 2014.

1. Aerosmith - Eat the Rich
2. In Flames - Colony
3. Iron Maiden - Fear of the Dark
4. Guns N Roses - Double Talkin' Jive
5. Megadeth - This was my Life
6. Crowbar - Planets Collide
7. Infectious Grooves - Grooves Family Cyco
8. Korn - Ball Tongue
9. Blind Guardian - Nightfall (Remix 2011)
10. Disembodied - Heroine Fingers
11. Metropolis Pt 1. - Dream Theater
12. Ensign - Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

On January 30, 2014 M. Shadows gave the band Of Mice and Men a special shout out via the Avenged Sevenfold Twitter account which was related to Of Mice and Men's new album, 'Restoring Force'.

Pictured above with M. Shadows is Austin Carlile, singer Of Mice and Men and close friend Tal Cooperman
Photo is property of Tal Cooperman and was posted on his Instagram account


A couple weeks later on February 9, 2014, Metal Hammer, UK posted a quote related to Avenged Sevenfold that Austin Carlile had shared with the magazine.

"When you’re building a band, you have to think about two years down the road and how what you are making now will impact you later,” muses the singer. “This record is our 'City Of Evil' but it’s the next one that is really going to give us the platform to get where we want.
"Avenged saw an opportunity and moved into it while making consistently great records. Look at where that took them. That’s what I see us doing.” 

Austin Carlile


Imagine for one second that you were granted your wish to meet one of your all time favorite bands.
Well then, take it one step further and imagine that not only do you get to meet them you get to interview them.
M. Shadows got to do just that in the September 2006 edition of Revolver Magazine when he interviewed none other than James Hetfield and Lars ulrich of Metallica.


In 2006, Avenged Sevenfold opened for Metallica during their European Tour, a dream come true for the band.
The quote from the above edition of Revolver pretty much sums up his thoughts on the honor.
"To do this tour, let alone singing on stage with Metallica in Berlin, It's something you can't even imagine when you're just starting out in a garage."
It was during this very tour that M. Shadows interviewed Metallica; one of his all time favorite bands.
Revolver described M. Shadows as being nervous at the start of this interview, a complete departure from his confident persona of today.
Out of respect for the veteran rock stars and maybe some residual nervousness the first thing M.Shadows said to them was;
"If you don't want to answer these questions I won't be offended."
Their response: "It couldn't be worse than the interview I did earlier today." 
Hopefully that answer relaxed him.
The interview took place backstage in Arnhem, Germany.

Recently M.Shadows had this to say about Metallica

I think my best mucial moment was probably playing with Metallica. They're like our hero's. I've never had a problem expressing how much we owed to bands like Metallica and Maiden and Guns n Roses.  When Metallica called and asked us to play with them...its a cool thing to play with Metaliica anywhere. I mean anywhere you play with them is going to be hundreds of thousands of people, especially internationally, so it's always a good time to be standing on stage and you just want to pinch yourself because it's so cool."
Guitar Center July 2013

Everyone knows how much M. Shadows loves to go to Vegas and gamble but did you know he loves to make private bets with his friends too?
Most would think that when he bets with his friends he probably puts money down on it or buys everyone a round of drinks but did you know he seems to like to bet the length of his handsome locks on these little private bets of his? 
Whether you had knowledge of this fact before this second or not there is at least one known occurances of him doing just that.


In late 2008/early 2009, M. Shadows bet his friend and A7X roadie, Jason Berry aka JB Dizz, that he could let his hair grow out for a longer length of time than Jason could.
Eventually, M. Shadows grew tired of it and cut his first. 
So Jason ended up winning the bet and M. Shadows did the honors of shaving Jasons head for him.
The bet was said to also include the loser getting a tattoo of the winners choosing.
The story doesn't end there as Jason's hair was put up on ebay for auction, the proceeds going to charity.

M. Shadows shaving Jason Berry's head.


This time around M. Shadows would grow his hair out for his own reasons. According to Synyster Gates, M.Shadows began his follicle odyseey  over a year ago (Sometime in 2012). With his hair now reminescent of the days when metal ruled the world, it's entirely possible that era will be revisited with the arrival of 'Hail to the King' in August.

"Matt's been growing his hair out for a solid year now. A number of times he talked about cutting it and we were like, "Come on, dude. Don't cut the fucking hair. You're in a fucking metal band. Let the colors fly. So it got past the fucking awkward stage and he never had his hair half as long as it is now....but he has fucking triumphed over it and I think he looks pretty fucking awesome, pretty heavy metal."
Synyster Gates
Revolver Interview July 1, 2013

M. Shadows explains that while writing an album it is considered bad luck to get your hair cut and not something you want to take the time off to do anyway so once his hair started growing the band encouraged him to let it grow and he decided to go with it.
Now he jokingly says he is keeping it to basically piss off the little girls in the fan base who have complained so much about it.
 And who could blame him since the complaining has become so rediculous.
Source: Rock Radio Interview and Kerrang! Radio Interview with M. Shadows and Synyster Gates July 2013.

Matt's newest Hairdo seems to be a happy medium that should satifiy everyone. 
While it still has some length in the back it's shaved on the sides.
Since it appears so much of the complaining has finally subsided now with his latest look, which he jokingly says was Johnny Christ' suggestion maybe the hair issue has finally ended and the focus will return to what is important, their music.
I say he can wear his hair any way he wants so long as he never quits singing and making the most amazing music that I am so in love with.

M. Shadows is a huge fan of the Lakers NBA basketball team and attends their home games whenever he can.
He is also an avid Golfer and an admitted video gaming addict.



"I was a fan of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and I got into Call of Duty: Black Ops, which was my favorite Call of Duty game of all time. I actually kept playing it all the way through until this game. Now, I play Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and I love it!"

 -M. Shadows-
 Artistdirect.com interview 11/14/2012


M. Shadows has played xbox games with A7X fans on :

 July 1, 2010 Modern Warfare 2.
 May 16, 2011 Call of Duty: Black Ops.
 November 29, 2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - M. Shadows played with winners (Avenged Sevenfold fans) of a radio contest.
The contest was held on multiple radio stations countrywide in the United States.

M.Shadows appeared on the recap for the Prestige Marathon on November 14, 2012


Other special appearances/competitions related to gaming:

 On July 21, 2010, M. Shadows appeared on Machinima's Camp Hutch and was interviewed by the Host while he played Modern Warfare 2.
 On November 14, 2012, M. Shadows played Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Live on Machinima.
 On November 14, 2012, M. Shadows participated in the day 3 Machinima Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 24/7 Prestige Marathon. 

M. Shadows learning how to play Starcraft II 

 On June 30, 2013, M. Shadows competed in the Major League of Gaming, Spring Championship in Anaheim, California for the first time. Unfortunately, one of his teammates made a fatal error and his team was eliminated. There were two teams competing that day that M. Shadows was affliated with, one finished in 17th place while the other finished in 49th.

On November 14, 2012, M. Shadows participated in a live chat through AMAA with  Treyarch’s Call Of Duty Game Designer David Vonderhaar with the fans of "Call of Duty" as well as, Avenged Sevenfold fans.


Miscellanous gaming facts M. Shadows has shared about himself:

 M. Shadows has pretty much been into video games since day one he says, once he has a second to reflect on how long he has actually played them. He says he remembers playing 007 Golden Eye for Nintendo with his now wife, Valary and friends all night when they were younger . They progressed into Halo, Zelda, Call of Duty, and Mortal Combat and the list continues.
 His favorite weapon on COD is the M-16 and he made reference to it in the band's song from the "Nightmare" album "Danger Line".
 He also shared that he can play the drums well on the excellent setting to "Almost Easy" from the self-titled album, on Guitar Hero.
 M. Shadows interest and love for the game has progressed into a little work for the band. In 2010, M Shadows personally requested a tour of the headquarters to the game developers known as TreyArch. In doing so, he and the band were commissioned to do a track for the video game score and specifically for a downloadable “Call of Duty” maps pack entitled “Escalation”. This song, "Not Ready to Die", was written during their break after the completion of the "Nightmare after Christmas" US tour which took place during the 'Nightmare' album's touring cycle.
 In 2011, M. Shadows' favorite game on xbox was Call of Duty: Black Ops. He also likes to play "Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2". He plays as much as he can when he has free time and before shows. He has a special group (clan) he plays with on a regular basis. The clan includes friends and friend of friends. M. Shadows has also mentioned in many interviews about how just following Jimmy's passing he became even more into video games. He said it was much better than turning to drugs or alcohol for an escape from the emensely unbearable pain and loss he was enduring.
 In 2011, when Revolver Magazine asked M. Shadows why he loves Call of Duty: Black Ops: "I don’t know, I just love the competition of being online, and the Call of Duty series, to me, has always been just the one that you can always count on to have a great game coming out next. I love Modern Warfare 2, I loved World at War, I loved all the games. But Black Ops, to me, was so balanced and, not to completely nerd out with you, but there’s so many little things if you’re a video-game player and a first-person-shooter player that you would love about Black Ops that they improved upon from Modern Warfare 2. And if you’re looking at “Zombies,” it’s like a completely separate game. And it’s just as fun to play that as it is to play the multiplayer online. It’s one of those things where you get all this stuff wrapped up into one game. I guess that’s why I’m a big fan of it. I’ve been playing Black Ops since the day it came out, and I still play it to this day online with my clan and stuff. So it’s fun stuff."
 He is friends with the owner of Treyarch, Mark Lamia and they attend Lakers games together.
 His favorite zombie map so far is Kino der toten because it's the one that got him into zombies.
 He says his love for playing Black ops has kind of gotten somewhat out of hand because when he's at home he literally plays from 9 at night until 8 in the morning totally wrecking his schedule but he's not alone since many of the people in his clan do the same thing. Revolver April 2011 Interview
 In an early 2012 interview, M.Shadows shared that his garage doubles as an arcade containing such full size arcade games as Street Fighter, PacMan, Double Dragon, and Mortal Combat. It contains a TV as well so he doesn't miss his sports while he plays his games.
 "I write about eight hours a day, five days a week and then play games the rest of the night and hang out with my son, fans don't need to be worried that I am just playing "Call of Duty". USA Today 11/30/2012.
 On August 6, 2013, M. Shadows said he had been using a Scuff controller for over a year.
 M. Shadows owns an xbox one and a PlayStation 4. Kerrang! December 2013 article.
 The Apostles is M. Shadows clan name. Source: Game Informer article Metal Master: Avenged Sevenfold set to conquer mobile.
 The Zelda Gaming Franchise is M. Shadows all time favorite. Source: Game Informer: Article Metal Master: Avenged Sevenfold Set to Conquer Mobile.



M. Shadows in the "Carry On" video that the band did for the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Video Game
You can see the video at the end of the game during the credits.

Watch 'Carry On' Here!


Watch for M. Shadows fan recognized mic flip in the vid

"I'm a complete multiplayer whore [Laughs]. The campaign is amazing. It's like playing a movie. There's an amazing story. The campaign is awesome, but it's about eight or ten hours to beat. What I love about Call of Duty is getting in there with a bunch of friends, talking shit, shooting people in the face from across the country, and having a competitive night. That's the best thing about it to me. It's so fun."
-M. Shadows-
His impressions on "Call of Duty Black Ops 2
Artistdirect.com interview 11/14/2012

The Making of the "Call of Duty 2"
Immoralized in a Video Game

 M. Shadows actually voiced that he hoped that photographs of the making of the video above would not leak because of the outfit he and the rest of the band had to wear in order to create the video. The pictures hadn't surfaced at least none the fans had found thus far but it would appear the fans didn't need to search for them as James C. Burns who plays Sergeant Frank Woods showed the behind the scenes video on his youtube channel.You can view the video in its entirety at Youtube.com. Below are a few screen caps of M. Shadows in the outfit he had to wear to make the video. The dots on his face are to help in the simulation of making his character as true to life as possible. The tiny insets in the photographs display which scene from the video he is doing at the time. 



  Fort Knox

   Pictured above is M. Shadows xbox touring rig which he affectionately refers to as "Fort Knox".
It includes everything the serious gamer needs to play in style and comfort.  

In a 2011 interview, M. Shadows shared that on his personal rider he requires a room with an internet connection. He also shared that he travels with a specially made road box for his xbox known as "Fort Knox". "Fort Knox" not only includes his xbox but a 42 inch plasma screen and a Logitech headset. M. Shadows has been known to hold the crew up from allowing them to load up and leave a venue because he is in the middle of a game. This is what he said about holding everyone up in a Revolver interview in April 2011: "A lot of times the truck can’t leave because I’m sitting there playing a match. And I’ve got to wait until it’s done. And they’re like, “Really? We’re sitting here waiting on the whole crew because this guy’s playing Black Ops?” But it’s pretty out of hand to me."

Die Noobs promo poster with M. Shadows released November 25, 2013 

Die Noobs Documentary
Rockstar and FPS Warlord, M. Shadows
The Apostles, Clan

For more information on the documentary click on the picture to be taken to the Die Noobs web site.

On April 29, 2013 it was revealed that M. Shadows would be appearing in a documentary titled, Die Noobs which will show case one of his favorite subjects, gaming. The documentary was created by two guys (Names are on the photo) who are gaming noobs. In the documentary, they interviewed a wide array of famous gamers, who range from a Playboy Model to professional football players to movie directors and then of course to one amazing rock star we all love. 

On August 6, 2013, Avenged Sevenfold and Scuf Gaming announced the Scuff Avenged Controller.

M. Shadows visits Sandbox Strategies while in New York City Taping That Metal Show

Sandbox Strategies is a boutique firm focused on media strategy for video games and consumer technology. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

@TheOfficialA7X's M Shadows dropped by Sandbox to chat about games. No big deal, just a normal Tuesday. 




While doing the interview for Max on Set, M. Shadows shared that he averages a handicap of about 10 on the golf course and continued to say that he could call his pro, at the country club he is a member of,  who could get him into pretty much anywhere to play. He jokingly said he had put Jimmy's deathbat on his right hand so he didn't have to cover it up with his golf glove. He described himself as a polo wearing class act,  looking very stylish  on the golf course.

In a 2011 interview, M. Shadows shared that on his rider he requires 12 Pro V1 Golf  balls with the # 7 on them so he can go golfing the next day.

M. Shadows along with Zacky Vengeance participated in the Duffing for Dollars Golf Charity Event in 2010. This charity event benefits MusiCares and Unite the United.

While on tour in 2011 M. Shadow hit not one but two holes in one on the same day while playing the same game. At the time he was playing with friends of his from the band Shine down. The footage is available on Youtube if you would like to check it out.

M. Shadows has a personal putting green at his home.

While on tour M. Shadows plays golf on the bands off days.


On January 28, 2013, M, Shadows participated in the 2013 Duffing for Dollars Charity Golf Tournament with Zacky Vengeance and Larry Jacobson, the bands manager.
Avenged Sevenfold was a sponsor for the event.
M. Shadows and Zacky Vengeance came in third place in the golf tourniment.

On February 10 2014, M. Shadows participated in Duffing for Dollars Charity Golf Tournament.
Avenged Sevenfold sponsored the event.

M. Shadows in October 2014 Issue of Gold Digest
Musics Top 100 Golfers

Handicap: 12.1
Avenged Sevenfold frontman loves golf’s traditions, “even the stuffy ones.”
When their manager talked rocker members of California-based Avenged Sevenfold into hitting balls at a golf-resort concert venue in 2007, lead singer M. Shadows jumped at the chance, thinking it would be easy. What has kept him coming back to the game is how hard it turned out to be.

As with music, excelling is what he’s about, and he has the hours logged with golf-pro buddy Scott Osterhout to prove it. Shadows (real name: Matt Sanders), 33, who often invites Osterhout to travel with him, says golf is factored into tour planning.

It's been a tradition for years that the Sanders men go on a fishing trip once a year, lately though it happens when M. Shadows schedule allows.
Sometimes grandpa Sanders joins them as well.
Now it appears the tradition is continuing into the next generation as M. Shadows took his one year old son, River on the family fishing trip for the first time in August 2013.



Do not plagiarize these stories


 M. Shadows and undisclosed others broke into a school and started small fires-it got out of control-"We were like shit!" "We got to go now!" "As we were leaving we heard all these fire engines. We got on top of one of my friends roof and watched the whole school burn to the ground."

 M. Shadows got into a brawl with guys from a rival neighborhood and ended up spending the night in jail for assaulting a cop. These dudes were throwing bottles at us and then their car got caught in a cul-de-sac. So I ran up with a whole can full of bottles and smashed in their front window. Then I threw brass knuckles through the back window. The neighbors thought the sound was gunshots and called the police. So we ran through the park. These cops on motorcycles pulled up with guns out and yelled "get down!" and me being an antagonistic fuck said what the fucks the problem officer? So a cop kicks me in the back of the leg and shoves me down. I got up and hit him. Then he hit me. So I grabbed him by the throat. Finally all the cops with guns put me in fucking hand cuffs and one of them cracks me in the back of the head with a maglite. That's the reason I didn't spend time in jail because he hit me and I had proof.

 M. Shadows was known at one time as the "kid that killed the principal" when the principal at his school had a heart attack after Matt had vandalized the school. 

 M. Shadows was kicked out of elementary christian school.

 I don't really have a favorite Pantera song. Their songs are all equally brilliant to me. I have a story about "Slaughtered" though. When I was in 7th grade, we were asked to bring in music that represented us. I played Slaughtered, because it was the heaviest, most brutal thing I had ever heard and I loved it. It was the only song that got turned off by the teacher after about a minute. I thought that was cool.  --Revolver Special Editon Book of Pantera




Quotes will be exchanged/added/replaced periodically



"I got my girlfriend a nice ring to show her my dedication. I know that made her excited." -2002 M. Shadows response to the question "What's the best gift you've ever given someone that you were more excited to give than anything you've ever received".


"I love Batman because he's just a human with cool toys and I'd have to do with the Joker for villain." M. Shadows favorite super hero--2003

"Any animal with a bad temper unfortunately." M. Shadows kindred animal spirit--2003

"I like creating music, live is great but sitting down and recording and writing songs is amazing to me. You get to be more creative and it's never repetitive."--2003


"No one knows what I think, they don't know me and they never will. You can't be in a band like this and be a reclusive, sit-in-the-corner guy. If you are like that you'll never dominate." 2004

"That's part of who we are. If people have a problem then it's obviously jealousy."

"This is what we are either love it or hate it."


 "Guns N' Roses is my favorite band of all time. It's funny 'cause we just did a thing for the [Los Angeles Times] and the guy's like, "People compare 'em to Guns N' Roses and Shadows walked out with a GN'R shirt," and he thought that was weird that I would, but the thing is, I'm not ashamed of the bands I love. I love that band. You can compare us all you want — they're a huge reason why I'm even in a band and even write music. My dad gave me Appetite for Destruction when it first came out; he saw [Guns N' Roses] on "Headbanger's Ball," and they're a huge inspiration. Metallica and Megadeth and GN'R, those are bands that I'll never deny loving ... those are bands that kind of made me and made this band kind of what it is. We don't try to be like, "Oh we're becoming a big band, so we're gonna pretend like we don't have any influences." 2005 MTV interview

"It’s funny, you hear anybody who’s on the radio and they all have the same characteristics. You hear Scott Weiland, Axl Rose or Chris Cornell and they all have that high distorted, gritty, whiny low range. Ron taught me how to have that grit to my voice while still having the tone. He brought all of that to the table and he brought that technique to my voice. I’ve worked with him for about a year and a half now, but I worked with him for nine months before the record. I told him that I want my voice to sound different from everybody else, but I wanted those characteristics in my voice. We also had him in the studio and he produced the vocals on the whole record. It was one of those things that we just wanted to go all the way with it." 2005 Blister.com 

"We're gonna fuckin' do the things that need to be done to bring rock and roll back. Even if you don't fuckin' believe in rock and roll anymore, you can fuckin' believe in us." - 2005 -


"I don't think what I say is important. We're a metal band. We're not going to say the things that are always politically correct, we're going to say what we really feel." 2006 Kerrang issue # 51

"I think you gotta have balls to be an Avenged fan sometimes. A lot of our fans get hated on just as much as us. To me Avenged fans aren't just fans of a band, they are fans of everything that surrounds it, like a lifestyle. We live it, you live it. You go to the shows and you can feel it. It's a great experience and people that aren't involved will never understand. So they can stand on the sidelines and talk, but we will just continue to do what makes us all happy." - M. Shadows


"When other bands tour with us they usually say, wow! I learned a lot from A7X because they have their shit together."

"Our fan base stays with us, and it grows with each album, too-last time we went on the road, our audience jumped 40%." 


"We don't really try, we just do it and look at it later and say, "That sounds good.". M. Shadows on their song writing habits. Interview 2008

"I don't know, maybe...yeah, there's crap that we didn't put on there.  There's this wacky song that I'm sure will be released someday...as a joke, but yeah, there's some stuff that's pretty bad." Referencing songs the band made during the making of the white album that wasn't released.

"I remember one time I was at this club with some buddies and there was a line  of hundreds of people  waiting to get in. I was drunk out of my mind but I remember walking to the front and being all "What the fuck dude? Do you know who I am?" I felt like the biggest asshole in the world for saying that." M. Shadows answer to the question: "When was the last time you said Do you now who I am." Kerrang! 2008


"To do this tour let alone sing onstage with Metallica in Berlin it's something you can't even imagine when you’re just starting out in a garage. It's insane, it's a dream come true. You can't even put it into words."


“I love when people want to know about him and have tons of respect for him.” 2010 referencing Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan

"There was a lot more screaming on Nightmare than on the previous album, but it's not a conscious decision, we try to make the best songs possible. If you sit down and try to write a song in a particular style you are shooting yourself in the foot." 

“It’s a daily struggle since Jimmy’s death,” he told Kerrang! “There are good days and bad days – days where you don’t think about it so much, and then there’re days where you sit there and just can’t believe it. We’re just trying to move forward and live our lives as best we can, and we’re just happy to be here right now. Kerrang! interview one year after Jimmy's  passing.



“Jimmy loved the lyrics so much that when he passed away, I didn't want to change them. And I figured, if this record's gonna be about Jimmy, I'm not gonna change stuff he loved about it, 'cause there's already so many songs that are about him, or with him in it, and just have to do with that whole dark side of everything we were going through."

"It was amazing. I’m not a big guy on awards but I was up there with Bruce Dickinson and Corey Taylor and I said, “C’mon!” We know that Bruce is a fucking legend and Corey is still a legend-in-training (laughs) and it’s one of those things that’s very flattering. Do I think I’m the best vocalist? No, absolutely not! But it was nice the fans voted and I’m very grateful for it. It was a really nice moment—it was really nice to get it from Sebastian Bach ‘cause that guy to me is one of the greatest singers of all time. He could sing anything and always have loved his voice. And so, it was really nice and it was really humbling and gratifying at the same time." Commenting on his winning the Best Vocalist/Revolver's Golden Gods awards 2011 Ultimate-Guitar.com



"Right now Arin does a great job of learning the parts but the reality is that when we sit down and write the only person we're ever worked with is Jimmy, and we've been doing that since we were 12 years old," he says. "He is the only one I ever wanted to sit down and write songs with, have a beer with."

"There are a ton of things I’d love to do, possibly produce albums or be a writer would be on the top of my list."  Abu Dhabli interview referencing what else he would do if he wasn't in A7X.

"I think it’s different for all types of music. I think this whole tirade to go on about how everything has to be real is a little silly. I think metal bands sound one way, rock bands sound one way, pop music sounds another way. I think there’s not very much good rock out there. Foo Fighters are a great band, there are bands like System of a Down and Metallica who are great bands. But the plethora of rock music that used to exist isn’t around right now. There’s no Led Zeppelin, no Pink Floyd, no Aerosmith. There are no up-and-coming bands doing that. I think if rock music and ‘un-digitalized’ music is going to earn respect, then people need to start writing better music, and stop writing for the radio. For a band like us, I agree with what he said, but I don’t think it’s for everybody."
M. Shadows answer when asked, Do you agree with Dave Grohl’s comments at the Grammys about the importance of not digitally making everything perfect?


"Once you put good music out, it speaks for itself, but if we put out a crappy record it all goes away."-  Rock One Magazine Interview March 2013 - Referencing the band going to the next level with the new album.


"Trying to impress people who hate you is just a big waste of time." Terra.com March 21, 2014

foREVer in Our Hearts

(Matt Sanders: Rockstar Sized Growing Pains) Some information contained on this page adapted from the following:
TURNAROUND JUMPER:  Practice made Matt Sanders imperfect off the court as he turned to alcohol and fighting. His ordeal would test the love of a family. 
February 27, 2000 Byline: JEFF MILLER The Orange County Register
SANDERS SIBLINGS STARS IN THEIR OWN WAYS: While Huntington Beach’s Matt Sanders is the front man of metal band Avenged Sevenfold, sister Amy, an ex-WNBAer, is carving her own path. 2/2007 Jeff Miller The Orange County Register

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