M. Shadows

Last updated

M. Shadows
Avenged Sevenfold (32509055635).jpg
Shadows performing with Avenged Sevenfold in 2017
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Charles Sanders
Also known as
  • M. Shadows
  • Shadows
  • Shads
Born (1981-07-31) July 31, 1981 (age 37)
Fountain Valley, California, U.S.
OriginFountain Valley, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • organ
  • bass
  • drums
  • percussion
Years active1999–present
Labels
Associated acts

Matthew Charles Sanders (born July 31, 1981), also known as M. Shadows, is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He is best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and a founding member of the American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. In 2017, he was voted third in the list of Top 25 Greatest Modern Frontmen by Ultimate Guitar. [1]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Avenged Sevenfold American metal band

Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band's current lineup consists of lead vocalist M. Shadows, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Zacky Vengeance, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Synyster Gates, bassist and backing vocalist Johnny Christ, and drummer Brooks Wackerman.

Ultimate Guitar, also known as Ultimate-Guitar.com or simply UG, is the largest guitarist community website including guitar and bass guitar tablature, chord sheets, reviews of music and equipment, interviews with notable musicians, online written and video lessons, and forums. It was started on October 9, 1998, by Eugeny Naidenov, a student of the economic faculty of Kaliningrad State University, Russia.

Contents

Early life

M. Shadows was born on July 31, 1981 in Fountain Valley, California. [2] His interest in rock was from listening to bands like Guns N’ Roses earlier in life and his interest in heavy metal music grew as he became older and began to play the guitar. He links his early musical experience with the piano as a major factor in developing his skills with the guitar and his voice. He attended Huntington Beach High School, where he played for a brief stint in a punk band named "Successful Failure." Following this, Shadows formed Avenged Sevenfold in 1999 along with middle school friends Zacky Vengeance, The Rev, and Matt Wendt.

Fountain Valley, California City in California, United States

Fountain Valley is a suburban city in Orange County, California. The population was 55,313 at the 2010 census. A classic commuter town, Fountain Valley is an upper middle-class residential area.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Guns N Roses American hard rock band formed in 1985

Guns N' Roses, often abbreviated as GNR, is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. When they signed to Geffen Records in 1986, the band comprised vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. The current lineup consists of Rose, Slash, McKagan, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardist Melissa Reese.

Stage name

Shadows, like the other members of Avenged Sevenfold, uses a stage name. In an interview, Shadows says that he chose his stage name because he thought of himself as "the darker character in the group". The 'M' is in place of his first name, Matthew, which he did not want to be in his stage name because of the way it sounded. He also added that he and the band took stage names because many other successful musicians that they were influenced by had them (e.g. Slash of Guns N' Roses, Munky of Korn and the members of Slipknot).

Slash (musician) British-American musician and songwriter

Saul Hudson, better known by his stage name Slash, is a British–American musician and songwriter. He is the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Slash has received critical acclaim and is considered one of the greatest guitarists in rock history.

Korn American nu-metal band

Korn is an American nu metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band is notable for pioneering the nu metal genre and bringing it into the mainstream.

Slipknot (band) American heavy metal band

Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. The band was founded in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray. After several lineup changes in its early years, the band settled on nine members for more than a decade: Crahan, Jordison, Gray, Craig Jones, Mick Thomson, Corey Taylor, Sid Wilson, Chris Fehn, and Jim Root. Gray died on May 24, 2010, and was replaced during 2011–2014 by guitarist Donnie Steele. Jordison left the band due to illness on December 12, 2013. Steele left during the recording sessions for .5: The Gray Chapter. The band found replacements in Alessandro Venturella on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums. After the departure of Jordison, as of December 2013 the only founding member in the current lineup is percussionist Crahan. Fehn left the band on March 18, 2019.

Vocal style

Shadows performing at the Nova Rock Festival in June 2014 20140615-146-Nova Rock 2014-Avenged Sevenfold-M Shadows.JPG
Shadows performing at the Nova Rock Festival in June 2014

Although Shadows possesses a baritone voice, he has been able to perfect his technique to a degree that allows him to sing convincingly and comfortably in the tenor range often called for by his genre of choice. Shadows' vocal style has evolved significantly over the years. On the band's first full-length record, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet , he featured harsh, metalcore-style growls with limited instances of clean vocals. The release of Waking the Fallen in 2003 demonstrated his progression towards melodic vocal lines, but still retained a strong screaming influence. However, the most significant change came with the release of the band's major label debut, City of Evil , in 2005, which featured minimal background screaming, stronger vocal melodies, and increased emphasis on harmonies and melodic hooks. Shadows turned to Ron Anderson, a vocal coach that had previously worked with Axl Rose and Chris Cornell. [3]

A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.

<i>Sounding the Seventh Trumpet</i> 2001 studio album by Avenged Sevenfold

Sounding the Seventh Trumpet is the debut studio album by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, released in 2001 by Good Life Recordings, and re-released by Hopeless Records on March 19, 2002, featuring slightly different cover art. The album was recorded in November 2000 at Westbeach Recorders in California. Although the album only sold 300 copies in its first week of release, it has sold 370,000 copies worldwide with 310,000 sold in United States, as of November 2010. The title 'Sounding the Seventh Trumpet' takes its name from the Book of Revelation, specifically referencing chapter 11 and the sounding of the last (seventh) trumpet, showing the end of the world. Valary DiBenedetto performs vocals on the track "The Art of Subconscious Illusion." The album was released as 2x12 vinyl, LP, 33 ⅓ RPM, Purple on 2008 in US.

Metalcore is a fusion genre combining elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk, that originated in the late 1980s. Among other styles blending metal and hardcore, such as crust punk and grindcore, metalcore is noted for its use of breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages conducive to moshing. Other defining instrumentation includes heavy guitar riffs often utilizing percussive pedal tones and double bass drumming. Vocalists in the genre typically perform screaming, more popular bands often combine this with the use of standard singing, usually during the bridge or chorus of a song. However the death growl is also a popular technique within the genre.

Shadows was specifically looking to add a more gritty, raspy tone to his voice and worked with Anderson for several months on this before City of Evil was recorded. [3] This change resulted in newly established vocal contributions from each band member during live performances, and remained prevalent on every record the band has released since 2005.

Rumors were spread that Shadows had lost his ability to scream due to throat surgery needed after Warped Tour 2003. However, producer Andrew Murdock put down these rumors by saying: "When I met the band after Sounding the Seventh Trumpet… Matt handed me the CD, and he said to me, 'This record's screaming. The record we want to make is going to be half-screaming and half-singing. I don't want to scream anymore… the record after that is going to be all singing.'"

Andrew Murdock, also known as Mudrock, is an American record producer specializing in the rock and metal genres.

During an interview with Stevie Rennie on October 28, 2014, Shadows mentioned that he on purpose had changed his voice to become less raspy and distorted while touring in 2014. The change was due to longer live shows lasting from one and a half to two hours in support of Hail to the King. Shadows went on to say that "you better be taking care of yourself or you're gonna be cancelling shows" and "I wanted to hit notes over the rasps". [4]

Other projects

Shadows in August 2007 M. Shadow.jpg
Shadows in August 2007

Shadows has made guest appearances on numerous albums by various artists. He is featured on the Steel Panther album Feel the Steel and sings a verse of "Turn out the Lights." He also produced The Confession's 2007 album, Requiem , which, according to an interview, M. Shadows was one of the first steps which led to Avenged Sevenfold self-producing their 2007 self-titled album. Shadows also sings In "The River" by Good Charlotte on the album Good Morning Revival along with fellow band member Synyster Gates with his guitar solo. In 2012 Shadows and fellow Avenged Sevenfold member Synyster Gates made a brief cameo in the war game Call of Duty: Black Ops II in which they provided the voice over and motion capture of themselves. Also, in June 2013, Matt competed in the sold out 128-team Call of Duty bracket at MLG Anaheim, placing in the Top 48. The April 2013 release of the band Device's self-titled album featured his vocals throughout track 9, "Haze". Shadows also sang "Nothing to Say" in Slash's self-titled solo album, as well as "Go Alone" in Hell or Highwater's debut album. He was also featured on Fozzy's album Sin and Bones singing alongside Chris Jericho in the song "Sandpaper".

Personal life

Shadows married Valary DiBenedetto on October 17, 2009. The couple have two sons, River who was born in 2012 and Cash, born in 2014. M Shadows' sister is Amy Sanders, who is two years younger than he is. [5]

Discography

With Avenged Sevenfold

Guest appearances

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References

  1. "Friday Top: 25 Greatest Modern Frontmen". ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  2. Loudwire (July 11, 2018), Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? , retrieved July 11, 2018
  3. 1 2 "Avenged Sevenfold Feature Interview". Blistering. 2006. Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  4. Steve Rennie (October 28, 2014). "M Shadows, Avenged Sevenfold Singer - Renman LIVE #098" . Retrieved March 28, 2018 via YouTube.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 25, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)