Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows Explains Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cameo on "The Stage"
Avenged Sevenfold released an entire new album called The Stage Friday morning, but that's not where the surprises ended. For example, the 15-minute closing track "Exist" features a cameo from none other than famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
"The song came from the idea of wanting to replicate the Big Bang in a heavy-metal sort of way," frontman M. Shadows tells Rolling Stone of "Exist." "Like, 'OK, this is what it would have sounded like when this happened!' It's like a huge classical piece."
Shadows originally conceived "Exist" as an instrumental, but guitarist Synyster Gates suggested the song should feature at least some vocals.
"We ended up with a compromise where it's like, 'OK, when the vocals come in, that's Earth -- that's the first time that life starts after the cooling-down period of the Big Bang," Shadows explains.
The band first reached out to the estate of Carl Sagan to use a recording of the late astronomer reading from The Pale Blue Dot. Their request was declined, so they turned to Tyson.
"He was very cool," Shadows says. "We explained to him that we wanted to educate our fans, and we wanted to a voice of science in another art form, and he was like, 'Yep -- if it's for education, let's do it!'"
The Stage, Avenged Sevenfold's seventh studio album, is out now.
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