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How Avenged Sevenfold’s “Nobody” finds beauty in no purpose

Avenged Sevenfold are on the cover of Alternative Press’ summer 2023 issue. Read an excerpt now, where M. Shadows discusses their new album Life Is But A Dream… Continue reading…



Avenged Sevenfold’s eighth studio album, Life Is But A Dream…, is imminent. To get into it all, bandleader M. Shadows connected with Joel Madden to discuss its creation, but the duo ended up in a deeper conversation about their own philosophies and the freedom of expression. Shadows also explores into the wider meaning behind the single “Nobody” and how it was born from experimenting with DMT. Read an excerpt from the cover story below, which appears in our summer 2023 issue.

So you’re not very religious? 

I’m not religious at all. But I find beauty in no purpose. I’ve found a lot of positivity in there being no purpose because I feel like that’s the ultimate freedom. I don’t want to be told what needs to happen. I want to have my own path. And for me, it’s all the simple things we all come back to. It’s all the things that religion would teach you. It’s love. It’s my family. It’s empathy. It’s trying to further the human conversation. But the difference here is I would say at the very end, the only reason it matters is because while you’re here, I don’t like to see suffering. I believe that if you look in a five billion-year time frame when Earth gets wiped out, I believe nothing will ever know you’re here. It doesn’t matter.

Read more: 10 most criminally underrated Avenged Sevenfold songs

I think I’m pretty spiritual, borderline religious, but I don’t have an opinion on anyone else’s philosophy. I always knew you were a science guy, but I think that’s a really interesting philosophy.

I look at deep history. But let’s say we have a Big Bang. So my question would be at what point did God start taking notice or care? When you want to know what you feel is the truth and you read as much as you can on it, there is a shock to the system, which makes me think it’s very much evolutionary because there are very few things that will make your body chill to the bone. The day that I realized that God was not a feasible option for me, my whole body just shook in fear. And I know that is usually the spot where most people go, “OK, I’m going back.” 

avenged sevenfold alternative press cover


I’m different. I think part of me is comforted by the size of how big God is that I don’t have to have the answer. There’s something about that that calms my mind from going down the rabbit holes that you go down and enjoy.

A lot of the philosophy that I believe in is that there is no you. That’s what “Nobody” is about — there’s no you. You are one with the whole universe now. God might have his hands around the whole universe, but at that point, you’re in an ocean. So when I did 5-MeO-DMT, the point of it is to wipe away you. It’s ego death. It’s very scary.

I believe that everyone’s having their own experience. They’re living the life that they were meant to live. I love someone feeling like they can tell me what they believe and not feel like they’re getting ever judged. 

When I did this 5-MeO, it’s called the “God molecule.” You lose yourself. You don’t exist when you’re on this. You actually come back, and you can’t even talk. I was just one with the universe and with every human that ever existed. When you listen to “Nobody,” the lyric is “I’m a god, I’m awake/I’m the one in everything.” It’s because I’m taking those words, and I’m changing what you think they mean. I don’t think I’m up there making decisions. I just felt like I was. There’s an old Buddhist saying: Enlightenment is when the wave realizes it’s the ocean. It’s when you realize you’re one with everything, and you’re ebbing and flowing.


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