Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Shares Behind-The-Scenes Details of ‘Looking Inside’ VR Concert (Exclusive)

Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Shares Behind-The-Scenes Details of ‘Looking Inside’ VR Concert (Exclusive)

Heavy metal stalwarts Avenged Sevenfold have long been at the forefront of their genre, and they’re doing it again with the brand new VR concert, Looking Inside, produced by AmazeVR. PopCulture.com had a chance to speak with Avenged Sevenfold frontman, M. Shadows, to get some behind-the-scenes insight as to what went into creating the virtual reality experience for fans.

The epic VR concert offers Avenged Sevenfold fans the opportunity to experience the band in a uniquely personal way, without even having to leave their living room. We asked Shadows if he ever imagined that he and his bandmates would do something so tech-forward. “No, it wasn’t in the cards when we started Avenged Sevenfold,” he quipped. 

“I remember at the time… the BlackBerry had come out, right, and you were really cool if you had some way to communicate and actually text message with people. So the technology, how far it’s come in the lifespan of Avenged Sevenfold is just mind-blowing. It would be impossible to imagine what it’s all become.”

Shadows also shared about how putting together Looking Inside differed from cultivating a live concert experience. “There are definitely similarities, but there’s differences,” he said. “We learned a lot.” 

“I got to give a lot of credit to Lance Drake, who directed it,” Shadows went on to say, “because really, when we go do production on tour, we’ve been doing this for so long that we know what we want. We really get in there and tweak things and work with the video and the lighting and this and that. But when you’re doing this VR concert, you’re really kind of trusting multiple people, such as the unreal engine people, the people that are programming the AI to shoot it, the overall arc and vision that Lance had. Then you have to go in there and make notes. 

“Honestly, it’s just so fresh and new, it’s really hard,” he continued. “But the similarities are, listen, you got to go in there and play. You got to perform. You got to make sure sonically it sounds good. Go mix it later with people that you’re comfortable with, like Joe Breezy, and know there’s similarities, but there’s a lot of differences as well.”

Shadows revealed that the band had to “act a little bit” for their Looking Inside performance, and compared the experience to when they were first starting out. 

“It’s kind of like in the early days when you shoot music videos,” he said, “and there’s the set carp and an assistant and the guy behind the camera, but you have to somehow, as a kid, 20-year-old kids, trying to convey the live experience to this camera and just imagine, like, ‘OK, we all look f—ing ridiculous right now, but this will better.'”

“There’s a little bit of that, but there’s also the live element,” Shadows explained. “So we’re the first rock band that they have shot, which is a lot more live.”

He continued, “So what we’re doing is we’re performing these songs… But you have to choose the one performance that you like, but it might not be sonically what you want.”

In order to capture the best version of of each song, Avenged Sevenfold and AmazeVR carefully crafted the performances by blending different “sonic” elements “into one,” to match what would best deliver the most captivating experience.

“When you’re visually looking at it, you don’t want moments where someone trips or someone puts their hand into the other guitar, like the guitar player’s face. It’s really like a jigsaw puzzle of trying to figure know what to put out there because it’s not really a music video, but it kind of is. And it’s not really live, but it kind of is.”

Looking Inside runs for 26 minutes and pairs the Grammy-nominated band’s performance with “custom visual effects to create an immersive experience” that couldn’t be brought to life any other way. The concert features songs from Avenged Sevenfold’s new album, Life is But a Dream…, as well as the hit songs “Hail to the King” and “Nightmare.” It is available now for $12.99 in the AmazeVR app, which is available on Meta Quest and the brand-new Apple Vision Pro.


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