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Avenged Sevenfold: 'We had the f**king balls to do something different'

Avenged Sevenfold stunned the world with The Stage, and they’re only just getting started. From space-age wanderings to smashing the industry itself, they’re taking a step into the unknown

It’s the Wednesday before Halloween, and the lucky people of Huntington Beach, California, are relaxing in the autumnal 20ºC heat. Surfers ride the waves, dog-walkers stroll under the pier and tourists sit in cafes overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It’s an idyllic scene. But inside the quiet, upmarket Shorebreak Hotel, Avenged Sevenfold’s frontman M. Shadows is explaining to Hammer how he’s about to pull off the biggest trick of the year – a trick so devious it would make Lucifer blush. In less than 36 hours’ time, the band will release surprise album The Stage, but all they’ve told fans is that they’re playing a gig on the roof of Hollywood’s iconic Capitol Records building.

“Nobody has realised the CD is sitting in their store right now,” says Shadows with a wry, mischievous smile. “We wanted to set up a smokescreen so the guy at Best Buy doesn’t notice the album. Everybody is thinking about this other event instead.”

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