Janna and I talked with Avenged Sevenfold bassist Johnny Christ on Halloween about his Halloween costume, the new album The Stage, and the band's fun tradition of wearing crazy wigs while playing in Grand Rapids!

Avenged Sevenfold released an album unexpectedly upon the world last week, after throwing everyone off the scent with Chris Jericho's Instagram post about the new album coming out in December.

They guys were really good about keeping this secret, as M Shadows was talking with us a few weeks before their visit to Grand Rapids in September, and he kept everything completely on the DL:

Yeah, we are very wishy-washy [Laughing]. We’ve been writing, we’ve been throwing stuff around. We’ve been working. That’s all I can really say about it. I think there’s a lot of speculation online, and we’re just kind of leaving it that way. When there is something to be heard, we’ll let the world know. But right now, we’re just still working on stuff.”

Little did anyone know that the new album was done, and ready to be released! Johnny admits the secret was REALLY hard to keep.

It was definitely difficult. Everyone was curious, you know, we put out some small little teasers here and there that something was coming, just didn't know when yet. It was difficult, but in the end we just felt it was the right thing to do. Just do something different, spice things up a little bit for us and our fans. Everyone on the team worked really hard, and I think they executed it perfectly. We don't really want to lie to everybody when this comes out and doing interviews. But, you  know, I apologize for the shocked for you guys."

Johnny also address the fake posting with Chris Jericho.

I think it was actually Matt's, because Chris is a good friend of ours, and we used his social media clout, if you will, and have him say something about a fake titled record coming out later. And that way it just kept it even more shocking surprise."

We finally get the lowdown on the crazy wigs the band wears at their Grand Rapids show. It's become a tradition, which they kept going at their last show at the Van Andel.

Oh, man, that's a good one! Everytime we come to Grand Rapids now, we're going to have to make it a tradition. We started out coming through, and we had a day off a few days before in Pittsburgh, and went to a wig shop and bought all these crazy wigs that were actually really good quality, the ones we got in Pittsburgh. And then we went out and had some drinks and went out to some bars, wore them all day, dead serious. No one knew anything. We had so much fun with it, a couple days later we were traveling through Grand Rapids, and like 'Well, let's just go up on stage wearing these things, not say anything about it the entire show.' It was pretty cool."

On bringing them out again.

We got rid of those old ones. Unfortunately, we had to get new ones. I had the job of going out to a Halloween store, and picking up some wigs for everyone to wear. We wanted to keep the tradition alive, and give something a little different for the fans of Grand Rapids."

Check out the rest of the interview to learn more about the subject matter of the new album, The Stage, how they got Neil DeGrasse Tyson to record with them, and more! Also, check out the virtual reality concert they performed below. We talked about this experience in the interview as well...very cool technology used to make this happen!