The first time we heard a release date for Avenged Sevenfold’s The Stage was courtesy of Fozzy frontman and former wrestler Chris Jericho. Earlier this month, his Instagram contained a December 9th release date for the band’s album, and also another red herring, the hashtag #voltaicoceans. It wasn’t necessarily reported as fact, but was certainly heavily rumored that Avenged Sevenfold’s Voltaic Oceans would be out the second week of December. He then took the post down, making it look like he blew up the band’s spot. However, that was all engineered by him and the band.
“I’m taking a little bit of credit for being able to keep this record secret, “The Stage“. Because their plan was always to just drop it with no announcement, no warning, but they always knew that it could leak, cause that’s just the world we live in.
So about the time we recorded this podcast, about a month ago, Shadows and I were talking about it and he was afraid it was going to get leaked, it was going to get spoiled—that the whole surprise was going to get spoiled.
So I came up with an idea and I was like ‘dude, why don’t you let me post a fake release date on my Instagram and then I’ll take it down a couple days later as if I screwed up. And like took some information and posted it that I wasn’t supposed to and that way people will think the record is coming out on a certain date, you know, months after the real release date. Kind of plant a real cool red herring to throw people off the scent.’
And Shadows thought that was a great idea so. So I guess a couple of weeks ago Shadows called me and said ‘we’re starting to feel the heat, we need to post this release date.’ So I had him send me a meme of the Avenged Sevenfold deathbat and we decided on the date of December 09th, 2016. So I just posted… this Deathbat with December 09th, 2016 and then I put a hashtag of ‘voltaicoceans’ which people were then deciding that would be the name of the record,”Voltaic Oceans‘ is out December 09th, 2016.’
And then I pulled it a couple hours later after posting it and suddenly it went viral. Loudwire was talking about it, Metal Injection, Blabbermouth, Metal Hammer, everybody was talking about how ‘I think Chris Jericho screwed up and posted something he wasn’t supposed to and told the world that the new Avenged Sevenfold record ‘Voltaic Oceans‘ is coming out December 09th, 2016.’
So that kind of put a huge smokescreen up for people to think ‘well, the record is coming out, we know that. The new single ‘The Stage‘ came out about a week ago or whatever it was, two weeks ago.’ But everyone knows when the record is coming out because Jericho posted it.
Meanwhile I made up the whole thing. ‘Voltaic Oceans‘, I just made it up. And the reason was at first I was going to call the record ‘Warmonger‘, and I thought that was a little bit generic. So, I had been listening to The Cult and they have a song on their ‘Electric‘ record that’s called ‘Electric Ocean‘.
And I thought ‘Electric Ocean‘ sounds pretty cool—sounds like something that Avenged Sevenfold would call one of their records. But then I thought let me see if I can find another word for electric. So I Googled thesaurus.com and found that voltaic is another word for electric and I’m like ‘that’s perfect.’ ‘Voltaic Oceans‘, December 09th, 2016.
So if you go online and Google ‘Voltaic Oceans‘, there’s a Wikipedia page setup that talks about ‘Voltaic Oceans‘ is Avenged Sevenfold‘s seventh record and it’s coming out December 09th, 2016. And it worked too perfectly, I felt like… Colonel Hannibal in ‘A-Team‘ when he goes: ‘I love it when a plan comes together,’ and he chomps on his cigar.
It worked so perfectly, we fooled everybody. We were the masters of puppets pulling the strings for all of the media and throwing everybody off the scent of ‘The Stage‘.
Meanwhile, I think last night—24 hours before the record was released—finally, somebody found a copy in the store. Because that’s one of the things is that when you’re going to drop a record completely online, you can keep it a secret.
But when you have physical copies as well, which needed to be ready to be in the stores for Friday. But there’s been boxes of CD’s for days in warehouses and record stores—if there’s any such thing as record stores nowadays. But nobody figured it out and then finally yesterday, somebody found a copy of the record, posted a picture of the album, posted a picture of the album title, the album cover and all the songs on the back.
But to think about that, a three-year process where this record was done months and months and months ago and we were all able to keep it secret up until one day before the record came out. And I bet you a lot of people didn’t even realize that ’cause not everybody reads online or goes online.
So we were able to keep it secret with the smokescreen of ‘Voltaic Oceans‘. I think Avenged Sevenfold is now going to make a t-shirt of ‘Voltaic Oceans‘, kind of the lost Avenged Sevenfold record…”