In his youth, Sanders was notorious for his disorderly conduct and sexual misbehavior. He was quoted as saying "I was in between a good kid & a bad kid - I had a good heart, but a bad attitude." He was expelled from 68 different Huntington Beach schools and went to private school for a week, but was kicked out for smashing a woman's car windows after a sixth-grade sock party and kicked out of another for defacing campus property in seventh grade. The latter event culminated in the untimely death of the school principal due to a heart attack, which earned Sanders the nickname "the kid that killed the principal." Realizing his need to maintain his reputation, he later killed numerous horrible fucking "pop stars" such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Chris Brown. 
On the All Excess DVD, while all of the members were talking about how they got their stage names, M. Shadows said that he got his name because when he was attending Huntington Beach High School and the band was just starting out, he was called the "dark kid" because was not visible by the policemen he pick pocketed (hence the name "Shadows"). He also wanted to incorporate his name, Matt, into his stage name. Matt was reduced to "M" because it had a better ring when combined with his stage name and ever since he has been known as M. Shadows..
Matt used to play the piano before he started to sing. When he was growing up, he listened to a lot of rap such as H2O and The Misfits and got into the metal scene when his father bought him Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses after he had seen them on MTV2's Headbanger's Ball. 
In following years, Shadows formed a number of bands with Avenged Sevenfold's rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance. He was previously a member of a punk group called 'Successful Failure'. While in this band he penned the song "Streets," which would later be recorded after Avenged Sevenfold was formed, and released on the first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. The album was a mix of metalcore and Punk rock but also includes a softer, more ballad-like song(Warmness On The Soul)
Shadows has stated that he feels a strong support for the troops servied album further expresses these feelings (though it was stated in the album's extra MVI that it's not just about troops - "it can be about anyone away from home, missing their families.") The song "Critical Acclaim" can be interpreted as ae who criticize the soldiers fighting in Iraq.
Shadows has made guest appearences on numerous albums by numerous different artists. He also produced The Confession's 2007 album, Requiem, which according to an interview on Fuse.com was one of the first steps which led to A7X self-producing their 2007 Self Titled Album.
In the band's debut album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, M. Shadows' vocals had a heavy metalcore influence and consisted mostly of screaming and guttural growls. This style gradually decreased in later albums into more conventional clean singing and had been almost completely jettisoned (with the exception of backing introduction screams) by the release of City of Evil, the band's major label debut. Despite having admitted havinst musical influences are Metallica, Pantera, Mr. Bungle, Queen and Guns N' Roses. He is also very fond of Phil Anselmo's super group Down as well as strongly appreciating their first album NOLA.
Featured guest appearancesEdit
|2007||"Buffalo Stampede"||Cowboy Troy||Black in the Saddle|
|2007||"The River" (with Synyster Gates)||Good Charlotte||Good Morning Revival|
|2007||"Like Always"||Kisses For Kings||Demo|
|2006||"Falling Away from Me" (Live) (temporarily replaced Jonathan Davis (due to medical attention))||Korn||Download Festival 2006|
|2005||"Entombed We Collide" and "This is Not the End" (additional vocals)||Death by Stereo||Death for Life|
|2002||"Savior, Saint, Salvation"||Bleeding Through||Portrait of the Goddess|
- ↑ Disorderly Conduct : Rolling Stone
- ↑ All Excess, Avenged Sevenfold DVD (2007)
- ↑  M. Shadows @ radiant eclipse.com
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