Country Of Seven Demons

Country Of Seven Demons

Jumat, 11 Februari 2011

Arin Ilejay

Arin Ilejay is probably best known for being the drummer in Californian Christian Metal band Confide. He is featured on the group's full-length debut album Shout the Truth (2008) and performed with them during the 2008 Warped Tour, among others. Arin Ilejay accepted the position of Artist Relations Manager with TRX Cymbals in February 2009. As Confide's drummer, Arin Ilejay was followed up by Joel Piper.

In January 2011 he joined Avenged Sevenfold as the new additional drummer replacing Mike Portnoy, who has been filling in this position after the death of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan in December 2009. It is currently unknown if he will join them in the permanent position.

Oliver Sykes

Oliver "Oli" Sykes (born Oliver Scott Sykes November 20, 1986) is the current vocalist for the deathcore band Bring Me the Horizon from Sheffield England

Sykes moved to Australia until he was five years with his parents, he moved to Stockbridge, just outside Sheffield in the UK As a teenager he attended Stockbridge High School and was a year below Alex Turner and Matt Helders of Arctic Monkeys After school he began making compilation CDs and short tracks under the name Quake Beat He is a vegetarian
Other Projects

Quake Beat is a compilation album Sykes, who has made while in school here also come under the name "Quake Sound"
Olisarus was an ambient electronic project that Sykes started when he was 16 JamesSpence of Rolo Tomassi followedwith electronic beats on guitar
Purple Curto were two men Deathrash band featuring Sykes on drums and vocals, Neil on guitar, Neil Whitely Whitely Whitely brother of SJ Sykes' ex girlfriend Purple Curto recorded several songs and played once at the Sykes-'18 Anniversary
Sykes has recently revealed that his personal MySpace profile that he will make a future project that "could not be further away from Bring Me The Horizon music and if you do not want to dance, you do not like it" It is expected that this can be another electronic project that will continue as soon Bring Me The Horizon has been touring for their second album, Suicide Season
Womb 2 Da Tomb was a "Rapping" side project in the early days Bring Me the Horizon consists of Tom Sykes and Matt Nicholls Oli Sykes
Drop Dead Clothing is a clothing company founded and run by Sykes

Selasa, 08 Februari 2011

Second Heartbeat

We keep writing, talking and planning, but everything's changing,
We all know what to do but no one does it,
Now this time has passed and full of regret,
Two in my heart have left me a while, I stand alone,
When they get back, it won't be the same,
Never be the same,
My life, you've always been there,
Now you're gone and my heads spinning,
Left the childhood, left the memories, left the good times in the past,
Moving on your time has run out,
Wishing the clock would stand still, the world can wait,
Wasting away once again, once lived as friends,

As time passes by, regrets for the rest of my life,
The ones who I confide were gone in the black of the night,

Never will I forget you, and all the memories past,
So rarely I get to see your face,
Growing I looked to you in guidance.
We knew that time would kill us, but you're still so close to me,

To me you were my life,
To me you were my soul companion,
Now you are so far away,
Nothing can take away the time and the memories we had,
Come back - to the days when we were young
Come back - to the days when nothing mattered
to the days when nothing mattered

And I feel time passes by, regrets for the rest of my life,
The ones who I confide were gone in the black of the night

As time passes by, regrets for the rest of my life,
The ones who I confide were gone in the black of the night.

Johnny Christ

Johnny Christ was born November 18, 1984 as Jonathan Lewis Seward. Unlike all the other bandmembers, Johnny did not attend Huntington Beach High School but the Marina High School. Johnny knew Synyster Gates through his older brother and remembers The Rev because he (The Rev) was always picking on him, so he claims. When the band would be practicing in M. Shadows' parents' garage, Johnny would walk over there and tell them their bassplayer was inadequate and that they should let him play instead. When Avenged Sevenfold was left with no bassplayer for tour, Johnny filled up the spot for them and took a few weeks off from high school during his senior year. Those few weeks would become permanent, as Johnny dropped out of high school to join Avenged Sevenfold. Before Johnny, the band had already had three bassplayers that go by the names of Dameon Ash, Justin Sane and Matt Wendt. Johnny's two biggest influences are Cliff Burton (Metallica) and Duff McKagan (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver). However, Les Claypool, the bassist and vocalist of Primus, was the one who inspired him the most to play bass guitar. Johnny plays the bass with both his fingers and a pick, depending on the songs. The first album Johnny recorded was 'Waking The Fallen'. At first, he would sign things with 'Johnny' until guitarist Zacky Vengeance came up with 'Johnny Christ'. He decided to go with that, because everybody would be going to hate it. Johnny is currently dating Lacey Anne Franklin.

Equipment used:

* Ernie Ball Musicman Sterling Bass
* Gallien Krueger 4x12 Neo
* Gallien Krueger 2001 RB Head
* Ernie Ball 2831 Power Slinky Bass Strings
* uses distortion from 2001rb head

Very little is known and posted onlne about Johnny's life before the band and personal life. This is the reason why his biography is not as complete as the others. As more information becomes available, more information will be added.
Childhood and Family

Johnny's family is Polish. For those of you who have confused him with Johnny Gera, who is really Syn's step-brother, you are wrong. Sorry.
Music and Playing Bass

Joined Avenged Sevenfold in 2002 at the age of 18. He started playing for the band when they had problems with their last bassist and the band was still on tour. Johnny left school for about two weeks before the band asked him to stay on and be their bassist.
When the band was practicing in Matt's parents garage, Johnny would walk down the street and tell them that their bassist was no good and that they should let him play with them instead.
Johnny has apparently known Jimmy since he was in kindergarten.

His two biggest influences are Cliff Burton (now deceased bassist for Metallica) and Duff MacKagan (the bassist from Velvet Revolver and formely Guns N Roses). The person that inspired him the most to pick up a bass was Les Claypool, the bassist and vocalist from Primus.

* His first tattoo was based off of “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, it's of a raven in a tree. The artist that did the tattoo wanted to make sure that the branches of the tree looked like flames
* A skull cowboy on his neck
* The rest of his tattoos on his arm are from the old horror movies
o Dracula
o Lady Dracula
o Frankenstein
o Mr. Hyde
o The Wolfman

Quick Facts

* Doesn't like to impress anybody
* The band keeps a close eye on him and his self damaging habits out of fear of what could happen
* Roughly 5'6'' tall

R.I.P The Rev

Jimmy wrote every part, Lyrics, riffs ect. of 4 of the songs recently written for the Avenged Sevenfold album.

Jimmy is a self proclaimed perfectionist.

Brian has given Jimmy informal guitar lessons through the years.

Larry Jacobson, A7X Manager, says Jimmy looks like an octopus when he plays Almost Easy.

Jimmy joined the percussion ensemble at Harbor College in L.A. in the 6th thru the 8th grade.

Jimmy began transcribing exceedingly difficult metal tunes including Metallica, Slayer, and Pantera eventually learning Dream Theatre and Rush.

Jimmy's parents wanted him to take piano lessons when he was 5 but he resisted them but secretly wanted to play.

Jimmy started out at age 10 with a mail ordered drum kit which he calls crap. A year later he got his own kit.

Jimmy was raised Catholic.

Jimmy lived with Brian for a while and Papa Gates had this to say about him: "Jimmy is eccentric to a nearly dangerous level. I would guess his I.Q. would be in excess of 160. He is possibly one of the most natural musicians I have ever met."

Jimmy’s drum tech is Jason Berry.

Jimmy has been chosen the second best drummer on Drum magazine’s 2008 list.

Jimmy has lived in many homes and at one time even lived in a laundry mat that he worked at.

Jimmy thought he was too good to be in Matt’s original Band "Successful Failure", not A7X.

Jimmy was kicked off of the basketball team at Huntington Beach High School.

Jimmy has known Johnny the longest because he was friends with Johnny’s' Older brother.

Jimmy stands at 6'2.5 and has blue eyes.

Despite Jimmy revealing his arachnophobia he allowed spiders to walk on his face for the "Afterlife" video. He said he did it for the fans.

Jimmy has stated that he owns 6 cars. Almost one for every day of the week.

Jimmy wrote the lyrics for Almost Easy, Afterlife and A Little Peice of Heaven. He also came up with the concept for Brompton Cocktail.

Jimmy brought the fly swatter he used in the Bat Country Video from home.

Jimmy had lasix surgery just prior to his death.

The song "Bring My Baby Back" is believed to be the last actual recorded song Jimmy played the drums on before his death. The song is on Brian Haner Sr's album "Fist Fight at the Waffle House" which was released October 2010.

"We love being on the road. I get really bored if I'm home for too long or in one spot for too long. Touring is more fun, but the act of creating music that people love is also very satisfying."

"The first couple of months when you release an album, the crowds don't know the songs quite as well, so the shows get better after a few months."

"I'm just proud and I'm touched when I see someone with a new Avenged Sevenfold tat. and now I always make sure I check them out if they're sportin'one. That's meaningful when you put someone else’s ink on your body."

"Like most bands we're a family, family before band. If we broke up tomorrow, we'd still be friends."

"I call it the double-ride thing just for the lack of a better definition because no one does it.

"It is very hard to keep yourself on the bells without being able to look. You can't look at the two places at the same time. My right hand naturally can find the ride on its own, so I have to look at the bell on the left, and you also have to bring it over to hit the snare, so it gets a bit hard and that's when you start looking like a fucking octopus weirdo, its awesome!"

"I love it, I live for it. I've never been able to stay in one place and I just like the Excitement of getting out there and playing live and the whole lifestyle that comes along with it. I like to party when the time to party is right, as we all do, I believe. Being in new countries every week is just awesome when you take in the foreign culture. When we go to other countries, we always make sure we have a couple days between shows and get to see the places we want to see. It's perfect-you're on vacation and your working, too. I'm obsessed with seeing as much of the world as possible."

"Over all Avenged Sevenfold the album is 10 times better than the others."

"Critical Acclaim is just in your face madness going, it all just sticks to that and doesn't transition to something that's completely left field."

"The biggest headlining show we ever done were at the Gibson Amphitheater in L.A. That was an overwhelming moment. Also, a great moment was the first time we went out on stage with Metallica. Oh and meeting a lot of my idols like Vinnie Paul. Those moments are always really rewarding."

"She was very influential in me being a musician in general. She took me into her percussion ensemble, which kind of ended up being a band and she taught me about music theory as well as drum theory. She's always pumped me up and nerver failed to point out to me that she thought I had a lot of potential as a drummer. I think a lot of drum instructors don't really influence you to try to write music, they mainly focus on drumming, you know? Referencing his instructor at L.A. Harbor College Jeannette Wrate.

"I started playing double bass in the 6th or 7th grade but no one ever taught me, so I didn't really figure out how to build up my endurance and stamina to just do straight sixteenth-notes as fast as you want until much later, until I was about 19 or so."

"I don't do well with technology." referencing when his i-pod broke loosing over 4500 rare and vintage songs.

"It was a bit of a letdown. It was just like drinking something that tasted kind of bad and didn't do a thing for you. In the long run, I would have just rather let the King cobra live, you know? Because he was a cool looking Motherfucker." referencing the drinking of the cobra blood."

"The Rev is very good at coming up with full songs. That guys a piece of work; he's badass and he's a great writer. He walked in with a "Little Piece of Heaven", and it was like an eight-minute movie in his head. And we were like Fuck yeah dude!"-M.Shadows-

"I can write any style that I choose. I've always been heavily influenced by Danny Elfman, Oingo Boingo, Mr. Bungle, and bands like that. With all the different parts and the cinematic feel."

"No one could get anything done if they were completely out of control all of the time. Everyone likes to go out and have a few drinks with their best friends; I don't think anyone on the planet doesn't like to do that."

"I tore out of my mother's womb as a bloody, screaming mess causing her as much pain as possible. I'd say that was depraved."

"Everyone in this band has beaten Johnny up at some point."

"I beat myself off 17 times in one day. That's the worst beating I've ever handed out. I was so sore that it was hard to get that last load out."

"Your clothes you would think would always be clean when you live in a laundry mat, but no!! I lived in a laundry mat for 6 months and I only washed my clothes twice."

"The Revs a crazy bastard and he's everyone’s best friend". -M. Shadows-

Jimmy’s favorite quote and best turn around in the shortest period of time as told to him by Matt Berry: "One day I am just gonna get off this bus and I'm gonna run in the woods and I am never gonna come back and when I come back I 'm gonna be the 9th master".

"Spiders and fuckin shit on my face. I'm not happy about it at all. There is nothing to be happy about spiders on my face. But it's gonna look cool."--Jimmy referencing the spiders crawling on his face in the "Afterlife" video--

"The Rev is one of the most talented guys I know and have ever met. No matter what band you talk about, the biggest most famous bands off all-time, he’s right up there as far as I’m concerned. He’s a brilliant writer, he’s got one of my favorite voices in the world, and I know this for a fact, he’s the best drummer in the world. I mean, put those things together and he’s a pretty unstoppable dude."-Brian Haner Jr./Synyster Gates-

Zacky Vengeance

Music and Playing Guitar

Zacky started to play guitar at age 12 while he was in the seventh grade. He learned by watching his favourite bands and other people he knew who played and practiced as much as he could. He would also read each edition of Guitar World cover to cover, learning the tabs of the songs published in there and watching the professionals perform it until he got it right. His influences in his style are Rancid, Misfits and Bad Religion. Zacky's favourite bands also include Metalica, Guns N Roses and 'other bands like that'.

Before joining up with Avenged Sevenfold, Zacky played in a punk band called: MPA while in high school.

Zacky got his first tattoo when he was around 18, on his leg of a sparrow with a dagger through it. He continues to get tattoos just because he wants to be the kind of guy people see in a nice car, that people looked down on but it actually successful. Zacky also likes his tattoos because they make him look a bit buffer than he really is.

His tattoos include:

* A sparrow with a dagger through it on his leg
* A purple and red coffin on the side of his right index finger which the members of Avenged Sevenfold got with Good Charolette
* The Anaheim Angels logo behind his left ear which he got as the result of a bet he made with Synister Gates back in
* The word Vengeance and the number seven on his back in red to resemble a jersey
* A Jesus on his right lower arm near his wrist
* A sparrow with a dagger on his leg
* A decapitated woman on his right arm
* A skull with wings on left arm

Quick Facts

* Has a dog named Ichabod Crane Vengeance
* Thought of the abbreviation of A7X
* Has his own clothing line: Vengeance University
* Recently released for sale a guitar model he designed


* "I ain't afraid of no ghosts, but I think we're all afraid of STDs
* "Johnny's in space, The Rev's in jail, Synyster's in Germany, Shadows knocks down the walls, and I cure cancer then forget how I did it."
* "I wish, I wish I hadn't killed that fish.
* "I play guitar and **** little girls... and drink.
* "I think the invitation was something to the effect of 'We have lots of beer and we need your help drinking it.' Naturally we said yes." (on how they ended up on Warped Tour for a 4th year)
* "Yeah, can I bite you?"
* "How does it feel living in England knowing Robin Hood was going around f***ing f***ing people?!!"
* "I'm Zacky Vengeance and I play the gynaecologist."
* "I dont talk to strangers."
* "The death bat was drawn by a small norwegian man."

-Zackys parents names are Maria and Matthew Baker.

-Zackys guitar tech is Pete Walker.

-Zacky has a brother Matt Baker who is a member of the band The Dear and Departed and a sister Zina Baker Pacheco who has a daughter and a son.

-Zacky also has a little dog that goes by Ichabod Vengeance whom he established a MySpace for.

-Zacky is a left handed guitarist.

-Zacky has a girlfriend Gina Paulhus. She is seen dancing with him in the video "Afterlife". You can also see Gina in the video for "Seize the Day" during the funeral scene standing beside Zacky.

-Zacky is 5'9 and has green eyes.

-Sour Patch Kids is Zackys favorite candy.

-House of 1000 Corpses is Zackys favorite Halloween Movie.

-Zackys scariest Halloween memory is cleaning up after his 2006 Halloween party.

-Zackys favorite Halloween costume was an orange pumpkin suit with a green hat.

-Zacky laughingly says he would like to make a song with Jim Henson of the Muppet fame, Beethoven, and Lil Wayne.

-Zackys white guitar with the red spashes on it he calles the gynocologist has been stolen 3 times in the past. It somehow always gets returned to him.

- Zacky couldn't get the finger twirl right on the Video for Beast and the Harlot. He had to practice it many times before he got it right.

-Zacky learned to play guitar on his fathers right handed guitar. In order to make it work he turned it upside down.

-Zacky smokes Marlboro Reds.

"We didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into. We thought you would just go to a restaurant and they would serve you King Cobra, like it was a common thing. But that wasn't the case." Referencing his experience with drinking the blood of the King Cobra

"If it were all going to end tomorrow, we'd still be the same people that we are. I think that's why we have such a long career. We just stay true to ourselves and have fun doing it."

"I read that I was a 6 finger guitarist." Referencing the weirdest thing he ever read about himself.

"I think that illegal downloading is great. I'd rather sell a million songs for 5-10 cents apiece than a hundred at $20 a CD. It's all about getting your music heard.

"As far as my overall favorite song of all time I would probably say MIA form the city of Evil CD. From think that's probably one of the most meaningful, strongest, heartfelt, songs that we've ever written."

"We just really like to try to be the best songwriters that we can be as opposed to a good metal band or good any other kind of band."

"Avenged Sevenfold the album was our lifetime of influences put to work. I think the most distinct difference on this album is that the songs are the most focused that any Avenged Sevenfold songs have ever been in the fact that some of our other songs were on other albums were very long and meandering and almost progressive."

"On the Taste of Chaos tour we just want a tour that is memorable"

"When we tour we can see the change of seasons better."

"One thing we take pride in is being able to play everything that we write live."

"I've never felt that way. I've never felt like a looser. You can't get what you want if you feel like it's you against the world. You'll never get anywhere with negativity. I make my own opportunities I don't feel like everything is against me."

"All of us knew it then at the first rehearsal. We thought we were the biggest band in the world before we even played a show. We knew that was what we wanted to do. We just had to find a way to make it work."

"Johnny would bite your fuckin' ankles."

“I was born out of a vagina that was pretty depraved.

“There was a time when metal ruled the world and I don't see any reason why it should be different now."

"I think a lot of the time writers try to make us sound like a stupid young kid. You don't get to where we are by being a stupid kid that just loves titty bars. We're really smart, and everything we do is really thought out, and they just want to make us look like party machines with stupid opinions on politics. We're more than what people want to write about."

"Zacky Vengeance-Fuck yeah! It's going to be on my tombstone. It's a huge part of my life. Only my family has been there longer."

"When we made the change some kids didn't like it. They'll come back around. A lot of people are scared of change and that's why there are not a lot of bands out there doing anything creative."

"All the other bands in our genre, heavy bands it's like they've given up and given it over to rap. They say aw...fuck TRL. You don't take over the world by leaving unconquered territory."

"When I get a platinum record I'll do a double-line."

"It's 1999-upside down- That was the year we formed the band. But 6661 is cool cuz it's like Satan won. To me that's the real number of the beast."

"We got to the point where we got sick of the screaming and we didn't want to contribute to the noise pollution anymore. Then we realized that all our favorite bands didn't scream."

"It's been like that from day one though. There's no middle ground with us. One of the first reviews we got best album of the month and we also got worst album of the month at the same time. It's like maybe we are onto something here."

"Some players don't appreciate how important rhythm guitar is and how a good rhythm guitarist will hold everything together".

"Just for good measure we had to bum the drummer out by taking away some of his favorite parts of the record too".

"We expect this album to take us to the next level".

"With each album we're becoming a little more fearless. One thing that annoys me is people who say A7X were at their best when "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" was out. Where were those fans when we couldn't sale out a single show or sale over 2000 copies of the album?"

"Critical Acclaim is us telling people who don't make the decisions to just shut up a minute. Their bitching really isn't helping".

"If you don't know now you know."-Zackys words on stage taking the moon man in 2006 for best new artist in a video.-

Zacky Vengeance issued the following thanks to fans for their #4 Billboard debut of their latest self-titled album:

"It’s kind of funny to wake up and see the words Avenged Sevenfold at the #4 spot on the billboard top 200. Right next to The Eagles and a Britney/Carrie Underwood threesome. I don’t know about you but it puts a smirk on my face just knowing that our fans tattooed it right on the foreheads of everyone who would quickly disregard the name Avenged Sevenfold (like we aren’t a fucking force to be reckoned with, Haha). So once again thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

"MTV has decided to debut our video for almost easy on TRL which makes me believe that someone over at MTV is screaming for something real. I’ll be honest with you, when I roll out of bed every morning my goal in life isn’t to be alongside popstars or actors and actresses or on the cover of the national enquirer. It sure does feel good though to surprise all those people that don’t even know what "an A7X" is by putting them right behind us on the countdown or going home with their moonman."

"With that said if you wanna vote and bury whatever else they’re playing at the moment you can do that here. If not we’re still coming to your city to kick ass and have a great fucking time with all of you. Thank you all again for every ounce of support love and respect!"

"Avenged Sevenfold," the self-titled and self-produced follow-up to the 2005 million-selling "City of Evil," topped also the Billboard Alternative, Hard and Rock Charts this week in addition to its #4 debut on the Billboard Top 200. This marked the biggest sales week ever for the Huntington Beach-based band. "Avenged Sevenfold" was released on October 30th by Warner Bros. Records.

"Almost Easy," the first single for the album, exploded into the Top 10 at Active Rock and Top 20 at Alternative in less than a month. In addition, the video for "Almost Easy" is in MTV2's You Rock The Deuce Countdown and the Number One Most Played Video on Fuse.

Matt Shadows

I think you gotta have balls to be an Avenged fan sometimes. A lot of our fans get hated on just as much as us. To me Avenged fans aren't just fans of a band, they are fans of everything that surrounds it, like a lifestyle. We live it, you live it. You go to the shows and you can feel it. It's a great experience and people that aren't involved will never understand. So they can stand on the sidelines and talk, but we will just continue to do what makes us all happy." - M. Shadows -

M. Shadows not only has a wonderfully unique singing voice and a natural ability to create lyrics that tell a story, he also plays piano/organ and guitar/bass. According to Zacky Vengeance, M.Shadows also has a musical ear for detail and the abilty to add tiny nuances needed to make the music perfect.


•M. Shadows said at the Myrtle Beach, SC concert (11-28-2008) that the band had been visiting many of the wounded American Soldiers.
•M. Shadows has one younger sister, Amy. His parent’s names are Gary Charles and Kimberlyann. You can see Gary in the intros on the DVD "Live in the LBC".
•M. Shadows’ vocal coach is Ron Anderson who has coached none other than Axl Rose.
•M. Shadows has said that he spends up to 8 hours a day, seven days a week, writing songs.
•M. Shadows smoked his first cigarette with The REV when he was 12 years old.
•In 2007 M. Shadows along with Synyster Gates was featured on the Good Charlotte video/song "The River".
•M. Shadows' grill cost $8000.00 and it's made of platinum and diamonds. It was made at Eddie's Gold Teeth Atlanta, GA.
•M. Shadows tested to see what kinds of alcohol affect his body so he knows what he can get away with drinking. He drinks Grey Goose with Cranberry Juice.
•Bill Bourroughs, an early member of the "Vicious Circle Gang", later the TSOL is M. Shadows' uncle.
•Riding a motorcycle is an escape for M. Shadows. It allows him to get away and clear his head. He has always wanted a custom chopper. He however has never been able to find time to go get one made.
•M. Shadows has 1 dog. Its name is Bella. Bella is a yellow lab who apparently has a liking for "special" brownies and looking at the ocean after consuming them.
•M. Shadows filled in for Jonathan Davis of Korn in Europe when Jonathan became ill before a performance.
•M. Shadows is allergic to grass.
•M. Shadows is 6'1 and has hazel eyes.
•M. Shadows produced the confessions most recent album Requium unfortunately the band has now broken up.
•At one point M. Shadows liked the song Barbie Doll by Aqua. He drove the Rev so crazy with it that the Rev threw it out the bus window while it was moving. The interesting part is that it was the Revs CD.
•M. Shadows was sitting in a bar in Bangkok, Thailand trying to rap his mind around all of the young men parading past him who have had sex changes in order to become prostitutes when suddenly he gets hit by a something mushy on his leg. Well many girls in Thailand have the ability to use their privates to let’s say launch items like ping pong balls. When he looks down he realized he had been hit by a banana from a girl across the room. He immediately ran to the bathroom trying to remove it from his pants while trying not to touch it. He said it smelled really bad.
•M. Shadows wrote the guitar riffs for The Beast and the Harlot and Critical Acclaim.
•M. Shadows wrote the lyrics for Dear God, Gunslinger, Brompton Cocktail and Seize the Day completely. In reality M. Shadows does the majority of the lyrical writing for the band.
•At the 2005 warped tour, while the guys were doing a meet and greet, Matt was spat upon by a dude who didn't like his music. Synyster Gates slammed the dudes head down on the table and held him there until security came. M. Shadows walked away being the bigger man we all know he is. Val came out and handled the dudes girlfriend.
•M. Shadows had a polyp removed from his vocal cords. He did not have a ruptured or torn vocal cord. This also has no bearing on why the band no longer screams. The decision not to scream anymore was a group decision to change the direction and sound of the band.
•M. Shadows is a huge supporter of the American troups overseas. Thus the reason why he wrote MIA and Gunslinger. He stresses though that the band is not a political band and they have no intentions of becoming one.
•M. Shadows lists his musical influences as Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, and Pantera. His screaming influence is Philip Anselmo formerly of Pantera and now the front man for the band Down.
•Before Avenged Sevenfold M. Shadows had a band called Successful Failure. During that time he wrote the song Streets which was added to A7X first album "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet".
•M. Shadows original background is deeply ingrained in the Metalcore of the West Coast.
• M. Shadows made a guest appearance in the 18 Visions video for the song "I Let Go". 18 Visions is no longer together.

•Bat country is M. Shadows favorite video.
•M. Shadows likes the snake tongues that were added to the Bat country video.
•M. Shadows thinks Seize the day is a sophisticated video.
•Synysters step mother, Suzie Haner, will pause the seize the day video on M. Shadows bare ass and tells him about it.
•Up until 2007, M. Shadows had a lip ring located on the right side of his bottom lip. Although there were several rumors floating about in regards to why he took it out including an incident of him almost swallowing it in his sleep he has not said anything official about his reason. He also has said he regrets gauging his ears so large now. His largest gauge was 7/16. He has downsized them considerably now.
•M. Shadows stopped a show in Scotland because I girl was hurt badly in the pit where he could see. They resumed where they left off after she was removed for medical attention. He also stopped a show during the Uproar tour in 2010 in the North Eastern United States when a boy fell while they were playing and they again resumed after he was taken to get medical attention.
•M. Shadows is a very fit individual as everyone can see. As part of his work out routine he runs, practices jujitsu, plays golf, and does core performance training. He eats healthy too.
•M. Shadows has an endearing quality of occasionally forgetting/rewriting song lyrics while performing. He looks to Zacky for assistance sometimes and even the fans others.
•M. Shadows has many tattoos. Click here to view them.
•M. Shadows is a fan of the Lakers and enjoys playing basketball on the street with friends when he is at home.

•M. Shadows favorite munchie food is Pop Tarts.
•M. Shadows prefers extra crispy over original
•M. Shadows says Bangkok, Thialand is a true City of Evil.
•M. Shadows Says Iron Maiden puts on the most elaborate shows.
•M. Shadowsfavorite actress is Angelina Jolie because shes hot.
•M. Shadows favorite tv show is South Park.
•M. Shadows prefers jagermister over taquila.
•M. Shadows admits to shoplifting in the past.
•The first real concert M. Shadows ever attended was Rancid when "Lets Go" came out.

o In 2007, Matt became engaged to long time girlfriend Valary DiBenedetto.
o They were married October 17, 2009 in Palm Springs, California. Matt's bachelor party was held October 3, 2009 at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple honeymooned in Africa.
o Valary was the bands original tour manager and merch dealer.
o Valary helped progress the bands success by promoting the band at Warped tour spending hours in the hot sun giving out tapes and posters to anyone who seemed to like similar bands. She also would steal money from her parents when the guys needed it. Valary appears in the bands video "Dear God". (Scene from video above)
o Valary is also seen in the video for "Seize the Day" as Matt's pregnant girlfriend who dies in the video. She is also interviewed in the "All Excess" DVD.

M. Shadows has a love for classic car and owns a 1972 Chevelle Convertible. He has totally pimped it out with a killer sound system, deathbat inlayed headrests, among other upgrades. In an interview, he stated that the car was no longer red and I believe he said it was now painted purple. I have misplaced the interview and when I find it I will make sure that is exactly what he said. In the 2010 making of "Nightmare" video, M. Shadows drove up in a 2010 tan Dodge Charger. In the "All Excess" DVD he was driving a black Chevrolet Yukon.

M. Shadows is an Avid Golfer and Gamer

Matt loves playing xbox,
This is Matt's xbox gamer profile as of 07/09/2010

M. Shadows' favorite game on Xbox is "Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2". He plays as much as he can when he has free time. He also has played with fans of the band. He has a special group he plays with on a regular basis. M. Shadows has also mentioned in many interviews about how just following Jimmy's passing he became even more into Modern Warfare. He said it was much better than turning to drugs or alcohol for an escape from the emensely unbearable pain and loss he was/is enduring.

M. Shadows Musical One Night Stands:

Matt sometimes guest sings on different artists albums in which he refers to them as one night stands.

These guest vocals include to date:

Slash--Nothing to Say
Good Charlotte--The River
Cowboy Troy--Buffalo Stampede
Steel Panther--Turn out the Lights
Kisses for Kings--Like Always
Bleeding Through--Portrait of a Goddess


"We don't consider being on TRL an accomplishment. We want to be selling out stadiums and selling millions of records."

"When other bands tour with us they usually say, wow! I learned a lot from A7X because they have their shit together."

"No matter how I word this it's gonna sound bad. We changed because we wanted to play the kind of music we liked but we were smart enough to want to be listenable to more people. We knew the metal core thing had a cap on it. There's only so far you can go doing that."

"I'll play hold'em if I'm sober and blackjack if I'm drunk."

"The first Metallica record I ever got was "And Justice For All". The video for one was my dad’s favorite. He got me the tape and I just flipped out. I went out and bought the entire back catalog."

"To do this tour let alone sing onstage with Metallica in Berlin it's something you can't even imagine when you’re just starting out in a garage. It's insane, it's a dream come true. You can't even put it into words."

"We have come to a spot where we have confidence in our own musical judgment and we are going to write a record that's truly us. “Referencing the album Avenged Sevenfold

"Yeah we're cocky, because we have confidence in what we do. We believe in what we do, and we've been successful at it."

"I want this to be a mature record, one where everyone can listen to it and get something out of It." referencing Avenged Sevenfold the album

"We want to do something that's completely original and completely us and not worry about trying to emulate someone else’s record. I think that's what being mature is-- doing your own thing and not worrying about what sounds cool at the time or what you used to listen to."

"I really like guns, but everyone thinks I shouldn't get one because of my temper and they’re probably right. I've had people come to my house before to fuck with me and I'd have shot them for sure if I had a gun. I just wouldn't be able to control myself. I know because I've tried to stab a guy before, and I've beat the shit out of people. It just wouldn't be a good idea."

"You explain these things to kids and they think you have gone off the deep end. Maybe we have."

"This album is way less indulgent than "City of Evil". It's all about making good music and making ourselves happy."

"We have always been about pissing people off and getting a reaction and we don't back down".

"Controversy has always followed us".

When asked about cancelling the UK dates in 2007 his reply was: "We were at each other’s throats. If we'd had come over for those dates there might not have been a band anymore. We'd have been out on tour for 16 months. It had gotten to the point where we just didn't want to be around each other."

"We grew the fuck up"

"When you meet fans you want to be in a good mood because they pick up on that. You want them to have a positive experience when they meet you. When I have met bands that I love and they didn't give me the time of day it totally sucked".

"It's the record we've always wanted to make so we called it Avenged Sevenfold".

"I think people have a weird misconception about us. They think we are trying to be a super-heavy band, but we really like our songs to have a certain pop element to them; If something we write isn't super-catchy, we try to get it to that point. Kids think we do it to sell records, but really we just like it. We like pop music."

"Oh yeah we sold out again." Matt says sarcastically about the Avenged Sevenfold album. "I think kids will like it--they will just have to get used to it."

"The whole records is about definitely trying to be a better person." referencing the Avenged Sevenfold Album

"Not to sound hippie or anything but there are way more important things on this earth than money, or how big your band is. To go out there and make a difference in kid’s lives, to make them happy for one night and get to interact with's a very special thing."

"We are not a bunch of drugged out friggin' wannabes that don't give a shit about their music or their fans."

"Every band no matter how big they get started at the bottom."

"He's a buff guy. He's a fearless leader and the best fuckin front man ever. Great singer--as creative as they come. Huge horse cock. God I love that horse cock. He's made grown men cry."--Brian Haner in reference to Matt

"We may not be as bad as people make us out to be but we still like to have fun."

"I had this batman outfit that my mom bought me. I'd ride on my skateboard wearing it with Guns N'Roses "Lies" playing. I'd play "One in a Million" over and over again because it had shitty words in it. Everyone would throw shit at me because I was a complete nerd but I didn't care. I was listening to metal."

"It just kind of morphed into "hey lets rock out together". -Matt speaking about how the band began-

"No one knows what I think, they don't know me and they never will. You can't be in a band like this and be a reclusive, sit-in-the-corner guy. If you are like that you'll never dominate."

"We want to be the band that everyone has to go and see."

"Our fans like our honesty. They know they'll get the truth from us. That's why they become fanatic. It's like a life style, a look and a vibe. You might not agree with what we say but you know where not bullshitting. We don't smell of corporate shit."

"This is what we are either love it or hate it."

"That's part of who we are. If people have a problem then it's obviously jealousy."

"The reality is we get up at 6 in the morning and work our asses off. We make sure every show is the best show possible. Then we cut loose."

"I hate to see bands who are down to Earth." Matt's answer when asked what he thinks about elaborate shows verses the very plain ones.

"I still think we have a black album in us. Our very best album is yet to come."

"Dear God was an experiment but we loved it so much we thought how can we not put it on the record".

"My manager and my mom and dad hate when I ride motorcycles, but I just go ahead and do the opposite of what they say."

"We had this mack daddy tour with tons of production, pyro, and videos. We wanted to be able to offer it to kids who couldn't make it."-Referencing the DVD "Live in the LBC and Diamond in the rough"-

"Musically I want people to never know what to expect."

"The press was all like they want to be Guns N' Roses; all they care about is partying all they care about is girls. We all got steady girlfriends; I've got a fiancée. I'm not out there banging every groupie and getting hammered every night. I drank 2 times during the entire Asian tour."

"I don’t know what age exactly, but the week that Appetite For Destruction came out my Dad bought me that tape. I listened to Nirvana and stuff like that, but then I started getting into older punk like Black Flag and our drummer started getting me into Pantera, Metallica and those types of metal bands." Matt's answer when asked at what age did he get into music.

"I don’t know, I just love everything about it. It’s just catchy and I can really get into it; the guitar solos are amazing. Everything about it is just amazing to me. It’s the first thing that I got into so it’ll always be special. It’s just the perfect album." Matt's answer when asked what he likes so much about appetite for distruction.

"I think we considered ourselves a punk and hardcore hybrid band at first. We had some hardcore metal with a lot of punk rock influence and I think the hardcore scene embraced us at first, but we weren’t really looking to be embraced by that scene."

"Other bands started coming out as metalcore and they sounded so horrible that we didn’t want to have anything to do with it. It was one of those things where we don’t listen to metalcore, we don’t own any metalcore CDs and we don’t necessarily like those bands."

"We wanted to write something that we could call a creative metal record. We took a lot of different things musically and combined them into one record and that’s all we wanted to do."Matt referencing "City of Evil"

"Everything you read and heard about, you just know he’s one of the nicest guys. He’s always laughing, always good hearted, always having a good time drinking it up. You can tell he’s a great guy. That’s why he’s touched so many people.Dimebag was just a guitar God to us, so when I got the call that he had died, I couldn’t believe it; my heart totally stopped. I’d never met the guy, but I’d been listening to him my whole life and I knew every note on every song on every record. I just couldn’t believe it; we had always hoped for a reunion tour to happen."
Matt referencing Dimebag Darrell

The English press; they blow things way out of proportion, to the point where it’s not even funny.

"We recently met Metallica, and Rex [Brown] from Pantera came to our shows, and they're just like, "You guys are waving the flag now. Run with it and be proud." And those are the biggest compliments in the world, hearing stuff from Metallica and Pantera. Those are our idols, gods among men, and they've all been so supportive. ... When we hear people talking down to us in our own scene, that's just jealousy. But when you hear the big dogs talking to you, it's very, very inspiring."- 2006 interview-

"Joel from Good Charlotte, and he's like,"The art ends in the studio," and that kind of rang true. He's like,"You make the CD you wanna make, you give it to your label and whatever happens happens. When MTV comes to you and gives you an opportunity like, 'Hey we wanna put you on "TRL,"it's like just another video show, just go on there and see what happens." And we knew there would be a backlash, but the CD's a CD, it's not gonna change 'cause it got on "TRL," the video's not gonna change 'cause it's on "TRL," the band's not gonna change, there's nothing to change. It's there already, it was made months before this ever happened, so it came to us and it was like, "Let's just do it." There's already a million things going on where kids are stealing music, there's a million bands, so any way you can get it out there and sell some records and get some new fans." -Referencing the popularity of Bat Country and Seize the Day on MTV"s former show TRL and their appearance on that show.-

"We wanna go out there and we wanna destroy other bands — not physically, just onstage. [He laughs.] Maybe physically too, but we wanna go out there and that's what we're here to do. Every time we walk onstage, we give ourselves the world-domination sign, like we're trying to be the best band possible and play the best shows possible, 'cause if we don't we're furious at ourselves. And people take that as being like cocky or ego, but really it's just that we take what we do really seriously."

"The last [Warped Tour] we got on we heard rumors that people thought we had big egos and were stuck-up, but really it was just that mentally, we were just on a level of, "We wanna go out here and dominate every day. We wanna get fans."

"You gotta look like Flavor Flav if you're gonna be Axl Rose." -Matt Referencing his grill-

M. Shadows Teenage Misadventures:

-M. Shadows hated school so much his parents would make him go and drive him there themselves. He would wait for them to leave and then he would hop a city bus back home. His mother was so upset and stressed out about his behavior that she considered sending him to military school and sent out for literature. But thanks to his wonderful sister Amy who would hurry home after school and remove any literature from the mail before her parents would see them. Note: I just wonder if they had succeeded would we have M. Shadows or even An A7X? Sad thought!!

-M. Shadows and undisclosed others broke into a school and started small fires-it got out of control-"We were like shit!" "We got to go now!" "As we were leaving we heard all these fire engines. We got on top of one of my friends roof and watched the whole school burn to the ground."

-M. Shadows got into a brawl with guys from a rival neighborhood and ended up spending the night in jail for assaulting a cop. These dudes were throwing bottles at us and then their car got caught in a cul-de-sac. So I ran up with a whole can full of bottles and smashed in their front window. Then I threw brass knuckles through the back window. The neighbors thought the sound was gunshots and called the police. So we ran through the park. These cops on motorcycles pulled up with guns out and yelled "get down!" and me being an antagonistic fuck said what the fucks the problem officer? So a cop kicks me in the back of the leg and shoves me down. I got up and hit him. Then he hit me. So I grabbed him by the throat. Finally all the cops with guns put me in fucking hand cuffs and one of them cracks me in the back of the head with a maglite. That's the reason I didn't spend time in jail because he hit me and I had proof.

-M. Shadows was known at one time as the "kid that killed the principal" when the principal at his school had a heart attack after Matt had vandalized the school.

Synyster Gates

Brian Elwin Haner Junior was born the 7th of July in 1981 to Jan and Brian Haner (Sr.) Brian has an older brother: Brent and a younger sister, McKenna. He also has a half brother named Johnny Gera.
Brian was the only member of Avenged Sevenfold to not attend Huntington Beach High School, but rather Ocean View High School. According to Brian, he met the rest of the band through The Rev (Jimmy Sullivan). The Rev and Brian met in metal shop back in 8th grade when Jimmy started to make fun of Brian, but when the two actually started talking, they realized they both played music and became almost inseparable.
He openly admits that he didn't do well in school. Brian was expelled but mostly likely acquired a GED and was accepted into the Musicians Institute in Hollywood in their GIT program (guitar program) where he studied jazz guitar. After six or so months of being there, he got a phone call from Jimmy (and the rest of the current line up of Avenged Sevenfold) asking him he wanted to come and be their lead guitarist. Brian joined up with them rather than continuing his education and becoming a studio musician.
Music and Playing Guitar
Brian was accepted into the Musicians Institute in Hollywood in their GIT program (guitar program) where he studied jazz guitar. Up until that time he was primarily self taught by watching music videos and reading books, which is surprising because his father (Brian Haner Senior) was/is a songwriter and guitar player, having played with Frank Zappa during his career.
His influences include: Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan), Slash (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver) and John Petrucci (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment)
His first guitar was given to him by his grandparents and his father showed him some of the ropes. One of the first songs he learned was "Stairway to Heaven". He transcribed most songs by himself and by sixth grade, he was playing by ear.
Claims to have come up with his stage name when he was 17 years old while out with Jimmy while drinking and driving around. Saying “I am Synyster Gates and I am awesome!!!" I don't know why I said it (laughs) but now that's my name!!!"
Joined Jimmy on a side project known as Pinkly Smooth, where he played guitar. Due to the success of Avenged Sevenfold, Pinkly Smooth is now retired.
Unlike most of the other members, Brian's tattoos have a general theme. Both of his arms are done with various monsters (“I just like monsters” is the only reason given for this) that are experiencing some type of torture. There is a head monster that is in charge, that resides on his right arm.
His first tattoo was when he was fifteen years old. It's of the number one and it's on the knuckle of his thumb.
He has a VII tattooed behind his left ear (like the one Jimmy has)
He has Haner across his upper back but doesn't like it due to the poor quality & rough design, which is why he doesn't go shirtless often. He does have a tattoo on his left pectoral that says "blue blood".
Quick Facts
• He is a gun enthusiast.
• Mostly seen with a fedora on.
• Has designed his own guitars, one of which is now available for purchase.
• Recently had a custom long low rider motorcycle built by the people who do American Chopper. It has a metallic snakeskin paint job and SYN on the gas tank.
• Generally stays on the left side of the stage (audiences' right)
• Brian admits that he wants to start a family.
• Has a recording studio in his house, which is where he spends most of his time.
• He's allergic to bees
• He has so many hats that he has a hat box that often takes Jimmy's seat when they're traveling.
Memorable Quotes
• "Boom I got yo boyfriend!!! I got yo man!!! And she was so sad and I laughed so hard"
• SKRATCH: I was talking to you guys a little about this earlier, and I know you don't consider yourselves a scene band—but how do you feel about the direction the hardcore scene is headed these days???
• GATES: I hope they realize that music is music, and that music is not a scene, not a style. Music is a beautiful fucking thing to listen to. It is not a thing to fucking preach to others about, it's not a fucking cause. It is what it is—and that's a beautiful artform.
The Others On Brian
Why do The Reverend and Synyster act so mean in interviews??? Is it to try to contradict the boy band atmosphere surrounding Avenged Sevenfold on account of the song "Warmness on the Soul"???
They are mean because we get interviews and I print them out for us to answer and we sit there and laugh at all the stupid questions. So we just start writing shit down and they won't give serious answers, so I just edit it all and let them keep some of their answers. If I printed it all 99% of people would be truly offended. So when the live interviews come we are fucked. Oh well, thats them. *Matt*

Brian has written a song with James Hart of Burn Halo. The title is Dirty Lil Girl.

Brian’s custom chopper was created by Lucky 7 Choppers.

Brian’s grandpa rode from Arizona on a personally made custom bike to California and joined the Air Force. Brian is very close to his grandfather.

Susie Haner is not Brian’s mother. His mom and dad are divorced. He has one brother, Brent, a half sister, McKenna, (father) and a half brother, Johnny (mother). Brian’s real mothers name is Jan Gera.

Brian has an allergy to Bees.

Brian’s favorite color is Purple. He decided he liked the color in elementary school.

Brian’s guitar tech is Kevin "Za" Zazzara.

At last count, Brian reported having in excess of 268 total assorted hats. The guys joke about having to wait to check the hats on airplanes and that his hat collection has to have its own seat during travel. Jimmy says the hat box often takes his seat.

Brian married Michelle Dibennedetto (Twin to Val Sanders) in Mexico on May 7th, 2010. He had his bachelor party in Las Vegas.

A few years ago Brian developed an infection of the pericardium also known as pericarditis (The sac around his heart). He had all the classic symptoms of a heart attack but, did not actually have one, and he was very sick. He of course made a full recovery.

Brian has a dog that goes by Pinkly.

Brian is sponsored by Schecter Guitars and has his own line of guitars including the Syn Custom which looks identical to the black and white one he plays regularly on stage.

Brian hates to restring his guitars and this fact has delayed production on their albums in the past. He says he would rather they be put on right so he sends them back to Schecter Guitars for restringing.

Brian stands 5'10 and has brown eyes.

Brian would like to make a song with Trevor Roy Dunn, Paul McCartney, and Jonathan Taylor

Brian probably started playing the guitar at 9 years old but didn't get serious about it until he was 11.

Up until 2007 Brian had his left nostril pierced. He has since removed it.

Brian was chosen Guitar hero's 50 fasted guitarist

Brian played with Danny Elfman on the Wanted Soundtrack Score.

In 2010, Guitar World Listed Brian as on of the 30 greatest shredders of all time. They discribed him as being able to perform finger-twisting licks, acrobatic sweeps, devilish chromatics and towering dual-harmonys


"I am an intelligent drunk because an intelligent drunk carries his liquor with him" House of Blues Myrtle Beach, SC 11-28-2008

"I really pride myself that my band has not changed. We're still the same group of guys that goes home and has dinner together and gets drunk together and does the same stuff. When we bought our homes, our nice, big houses, we still moved close to mom's house. Mentally, we're the same; it's just what we do for a living."

"I think all of our personalities in the band are pretty eccentric, in a way. Just a little bit out there."

"I've never heard the man not be able to talk. We actually flew out to do the gig knowing there was some underlying problem. He made it through the first show and was a bad ass about it. But woke up the next morning and couldn't physically talk. So he pushed himself way too far and went home and he was really rough for a couple of days. And his vocal coach and his doctors and different propel prescribed him four weeks of vocal rest. So he walked around with a chalk board. He would write letters to us." referencing Matt’s Vocal strain and subsequent cancellation of tour dates in October 2008

"We worked out asses off for this record we were in the studio for three months working 12 to 14 hour days until our fingers were falling off, or until our vocal cords were toast. That's just how we do things. The DVD (All Excess) represents us perfectly, because it has excerpts from the last 10 years of our lives, being with friends in the biggest partying situations and the biggest workaholic situations that we put ourselves in. If you take that and listen to our music, you can tell we are a dead serious band. We grew up together and we love hanging out with each other. Things get a little wild sometimes but that’s what you get" Referencing Avenged Sevenfold the album

"Oh I love illegal down loading! It's brought us awareness, enabling us to go on tour. Where kids have no money to buy music, they download it, and that helps to spread the word."

"When people tell me I am better than I think I am I feel good about myself."

"I think we have just become a really fearless band that pretty much does what we want to do. Now we are not afraid to experiment with anything"

"I do my best to concentrate on the day. Even if it's kind of a bad day. I don't spend the time wishing for the next day to come. Cause if the next day is fucking bad, then I’m just wasting my life wishing for death."

"This is a tight unit-we'll hang-out with you but......"

"There have been physical assaults. I've been kicked and called names."

"There are definitely people out there that would kill us."

"I've been awake for 4 days straight on drugs. That was the longest."

"We are so passionate about this band that we don't want to fuck up".

If I had to do anything else in this world I would be a failure. I was an honor student until 4th grade, when I got a guitar in my hand. Then I quickly became an educational failure. This is all I can do now and I want to do the best."

"I'm totally going to do a big line of coke off my first gold record".

"Our biggest fear is to be lumped into one category. We first got labeled as a metalcore band. So we quit screaming. Now we're bringing all these influences together to forge an A7X style."

"When we started out on "City of Evil" we were like if it happens, but we didn't expect any of this stuff. I'm just really proud that we wrote the album that we did and that it did cross-over, because it's pretty ridiculous, crazy, ambitious album. For it to be accepted in the world of radio and MTV and to win the VMA. It's pretty insane!

When you play A7X music, your fingers are going to get sore and your drummer is going to have leg spasms."

"Being different is curtail these days but it gets harder all the time to get there sanely".

"I love jazz from a metal stand point crazy arpeggios with tons of altered holes but equally palatable as the straight ahead stuff. Anything to make it heavier, goofier, funnier. I'm a big climax guy. I want every song to be a roller coaster ride, but to never forget about structure and melody. You broaden fans horizons if you do it right."

"The .50 caliber is the loudest, craziest thing I've ever shot or heard or seen in my entire life. That and the .45 are my 2 dream guns. I've got tons of other guns from my grandpa but those are my babies. Some people give you shit about having guns but I don't give a fuck. It's my right and responsibility." Note* Syn's Smith & Wesson .50 Caliber hand cannon, a revolver has 3x the stopping power of a .44 magnum.

"When I joined the band I couldn't play rhythm guitar worth a shit".

"Playing with a good drummer like the Rev makes out lives easier. We've been playing with the Rev practically our whole lives and he's always had a great groove."

"We can lay back and play a great show for ourselves and our fans, without having to look back at the dickhead ruining the song".

"We seem to know the difference between polishing a turd and having something really good".

"As a band, we think similarly even though we come from such vastly different genres".

"My number-one favorite metal lead guitar player of all time is Dimebag Darrell. Slash is also one of the tastiest players ever".

"Welcome to Casa de la Syn"

"I know we have this reputation of partying but I think we have all grown up alot over the last few years".

“We work our fucking asses off and then partying comes second".

"I've been with my girlfriend for 3 years and I decided that I wasn't going to do anymore fucking around because this girl’s rad. God bless the groupies but I'm in a different stage of my life now. I feel bad for them. They'll be waiting a lot longer than they thought they were gonna".

"When you're out there riding fast and you feel the wind in your face it's so exciting and invigorating. I'm all about it."

"Harley-Davidson is the epitome of cool. That H-D Logo has always represented the American bad-ass."

"We never slide by unnoticed, that's for sure. People either hate everything about us-the full 10 minute songs, all the guitar solos, the singing, and the lyrics, the crazy drumming-or they have absolute undying love for us. There's no middle ground."

"Were just so fuckin proud of what we accomplished with this record. We really worked together as a
group, as songwriters, as players. To come up with the best and most diverse stuff we have ever done.
What anyone else says doesn't really matter.-referencing "Avenged Sevenfold" the album-

"Music is pretty much in my blood and it’s definitely in my environment."

"I like fingering as opposed to palming, it was the smart choice to make." -Quote provided by Rachel Gates-

"I thought it went down great. It was a very difficult show, it’s one of our bigger ones so they put us in places not so acoustic friendly so it’s really hard to hear shit, but listening back I think we’re all pretty much in tune, solos turned down alright, Shad sounds awesome, and drumming’s amazing. I mean, I’m pretty proud of it ‘cause up there I had to drink a little bit more to make things a little more comfortable ‘cause the in-ears where definitely a little ambient."-Commenting on the Live in the LBC DVD-

Avenged Sevenfold

Every band, whether they became hugely popular or not, has had one thing in common, a beginning. However, one thing that sets Avenged Sevenfold's beginning apart from most, if not all other bands, is that before there was ever a band created there were 5 friends. Over-time they became best friends and better still a very tightly bound brotherhood; a relationship that far exceeded a typical band. A very strong family bond arose and created an ultra unique, very dedicated, and talented group of young men who in the beginning struggled to become what we all now see.

The creation of an unbreakable bond:

All the members of Avenged Sevenfold are from the Huntington Beach, California area and they all maintain permanent residences there.

-Matt and Jimmy have known each other since they were around 10 years old and they played basketball together.

-Matt took piano lessons for at least 4 years. His mom made him but he was more interested in the guitar and although he tried he just couldn't play on the guitar the songs by the bands he really liked.

-Matt made the decision to begin a band called "Successful Failure".

-Matt knew of Brian and his talents on the guitar but he also knew Brian wasn't really interested in being in a band or writing songs. Brian at that time had aspirations of becoming a Jazz guitarist and/or a studio guitarist.

-At this time Jimmy was playing drums with older kids.

-Brian and Jimmy met in a really interesting way. Brian was new in Huntington Beach at the time both of them were in the 8th grade. Brian had saw Jimmy around school and Brian had basically decided he wanted nothing to do with Jimmy. In his mind, Jimmy was loud and obnoxious. He just basically wanted to avoid Jimmy at all costs. Both of them had woodshop together and on one particular occasion Brian was waiting in line to hand in his project and Jimmy just happened to be standing in front of him. His first thought was ah fuck! So Jimmy turns around and by then it was to late for Brian to do anything Jimmy had officially spotted him. So Jimmy proceeds to start poking Brian and Jimmy asks him; "What you thing you're doing?" Brian replies with hitting Jimmy as hard as he possibly could. Brian's thought process was just nipping the situation in the bud and make an "I take no shit kind of impression" so leave me alone not only to Jimmy but to the entire school. He just didn't want to be picked on. So they were sent out into the hallway and basically started talking. Jimmy wore a particular hat that annoyed Brian it said drum workshop on it. So Brian asked him what that meant and Jimmy proceeded to tell him he played the drums. Later that day they went to Brians house. His little brother had a set of drums and Jimmy started playing them. Brian was quite blown away by what he heard that day. Here is what he said about it in the Revolver special A7X Edition: "He just blew me away. I mean, he played like he did the day he died when he was in eighth grade. He just matured. But he could do all the double-bass shit and all the freaking crazy fills. Just a monster in his funk drums and his ability to groove, and his layering and all that kind of shit. He was one of the tastiest drummers, if not the tastiest drummer I had ever heard up to then."

-Matt's band "Successful failure" started trying to generate interest by putting out flyers and by playing with a bunch of different bands at the local library and at the park.

-Matt and Zacky met through playing shows. Zack's band "MPA" (Mad Porno Action) opened for "Successful failure".

-Zacky met Jimmy at a "Successful Failure" concert. He was sitting watching the band. He estimates there was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 people there and 1 was likely the bartender. He said all he really remembers was he was watching the band and suddenly a tall, skinny, scary-looking kid came up to him and grabbed him and said;"Get up and mosh, you pussy." He was horrified. Jimmy just pulled him up and everyone started moshing. He laughingly says a 9 person mosh pit. But he goes on to say how awesome it really was the first time he laid eyes on Jimmy.

-Eventually as time passed and graduation drew ever closer members of both bands "Successful Failure" and "MPA" made decisions to head to college. So both bands broke up.

-Matt spoke to Zacky and told him he would try to get Jimmy to play drums with them and they could all get together and make a metal band. Zacky agreed.

-But Matt said they had a hard time getting Zacky to show up for practice. Zacky had another punk band he was into at the time but eventually they got him to show up some. They added a bassist and thus began the band we now know and love as AVENGED SEVENFOLD.

Facts From The Beginning

* Avenged Sevenfold was formed in 1999 when the bands members were still in high school. (Zacky V.'s 6661 Logo was formed reversing the year the band formed 1999. His explaination of what it means is as follows 666 represents the devil, #1 represents won, when combined meaning the devil won.)

* M. Shadows created the name Avenged Sevenfold. He was basically thumbing through the Bible and came upon the story of Cain and Abel. The passage in the Bible is Genesis Chapter 4 verse 15. The verse is as follows: "And the lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, Vengeance shall be taken on him Sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."

* In order to shorten the bands name because its often misunderstood and has to be repeated Zacky came up with a shorter term for it. As M. Shadows has said "Zacky was being a little smarty pants and came up with it." The Acronym or shortened version of the name is A7X meaning A is for Avenged, 7 standing for Seven, X meaning times or fold ie., Avenged Sevenfold.

Quotes Pertaining To This Era

"We were just a group of friends and I met everyone in high school and we all just hit it off and had an idea of playing heavier music that had a new twist to it,’ Vengeance said. ‘Our goal was to always be true to ourselves and try and write stuff that we love." -Zacky V.-

Stage Names

Sometime before the completion of "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" the members of Avenged Sevenfold decided they wanted to create stagenames for themselves just like some of their idols had done before them for example Slash and U2's The Edge. They made the decision that if the names were put on the album cover then it had to stick and there was no going back on it. So below is a breakdown of whose who and why they decided on these names:

Avenged Sevenfold is:

matthew-charles-sanders--large-msg-120976079622.jpgMatthew Charles Sanders is M. Shadows: Matt decided on the name Shadows because he always viewed himself as kind of a dark character. He didn't want Matt in his name so he shortened it to M. (Click here for Matt's Bio.)

Brian Elwin Haner Jr. is Synyster Gates: The story goes that Brian and Jimmy were driving through a park drunk one night and Brian saw some gates and they looked Sinister. So right then and there he declared himself Synyster fucking Gates. He created his own spelling to make it stand out. (Click Here for Brian's Bio)

Zachary James Baker is Zacky Vengeance: Zach had a little trouble with people in high school so he declared he was going to make something out of himself and get vengeance on all who doubted him. (Click Here for Zack's Bio)

Jonathan Lewis Seward is Johnny Christ: Johnny really didn't have a stage name for sometime. He had kind of resolved to call himself say Johnny Walker and just be a drunk but Zacky decided he should become Johnny Christ just to piss people off. (Click Here for Johnny's Bio)

James Owen Sullivan is The Rev or The Reverend Tholomew Plague: Jimmy had this name before the band began so he stuck with it. (Click Here for Jimmy's bio)

Sounding the Seventh Trumpet

Released January 31, 2001 by Goodlife Records

Sounding the Seventh Trumpet...Getting started

-Matt and Zacky wrote Sounding the Seventh Trumpet basically in their guitar class. They admit its probably one of the only times they showed up for school. Playing those songs that eventually were recorded on the album was how they got their grades.

-During guitar class they decided to make their band sound like a kind of combo or hybrid of metal or hardcore and punk rock. So they decided to make it screaming combined with singing. They really wanted to keep an element of metal and be as technical with is as possible.

-In guitar class they would write say 15 riffs and put them into one song then the next day do the same thing and write a new song. "That's why the songs are so incohesive; They're just all over the place." -M. Shadows-Referencing Sounding the Seventh Trumpet's sound.

-The were really trying to emulate the sounds of "Poison the Well", "Nevermore" and other bands they liked during that time on this album.

- So after wrting the album they created a demo and basically sent them to every label they could find. Goodlife Records signed them and gave them like $2000 to record a record. Donnell Cameron (at West Beach Records) agreed to do the record for the $2000.

- When they got into the studio, Jimmy recorded the drums in one take. "There is no drum editing. Whatever he laid down this one time through was it." -M. Shadows-

- The guitar, bass, and vocals were added to whatever Jimmy put down. A little later Brian came along and suggested they play to a click. The rest of the guys not knowing this is standard, kind of scoffed it off, until he said almost all bands play to a click, go check it out. When they did they realized he was right.

- While talking to Matt, Brian complimented the album by saying; "You know, you guys have some really cool songs." and "Dude, I love the record. It's so different than anything I've heard."

- A little later on they had to return to the studio to do some more work so they decided to invite Brian along. Before they went they asked him to be the lead guitarist for the band. He answered them with "Of course, that would be great. So we rehearsed and it was really really fun." -Synyster Gates-

Brian not really of the mindset yet of being in a Metal band and not really sure where he fit in decided he wanted a gimmick to use onstage. You see Brian and Jimmy had a side band called Pinkly Smooth together along with a couple other guys. In Pinkly Smooth, they wore costumes and makeup and just had a really awesome time dancing around playing heavily Danny Elfman influenced music. By the time Brian joined Avenged Sevenfold he felt the make up and costumes were his kind of shtict. So he told the guys in A7X that he wanted to paint his face purple and be kind of like Wes Borland of Lip Bizkit fame. So the guys were like dude that'll be cool. So at the first show Brian paints his face purple and he realizes it looks stupid so he tries to remove it. So we decided somewhere, when my whole face was painted purple, that it was a bad idea.So I tried to take it off and I just looked like a bright green fucking oompa-loompa, It just turned into a greenish, reddish, weird sort of glowing thing. That was my first show....and the last one with the makeup. -Synyster Gates-

So now that the band had an album they realized the need to go touring and promoting it. They performed at small venues with small crowds. At that time their major dream was to sell out Showcase Theatre or Chain Reaction the local club scene. After the band had been tourning the album for about 2 years their bass player wasn't really working out so well. Johnny Seward was a kid the guys knew through one of his older brothers. Johnny would come to Matt's parents garage where the band practiced and just hang out. Johnny found out the band was having issues with the then bass player and offered to come play with the band so they wouldn't have to take time off. A couple of days later he got the call of a lifetime. It never really felt right with Dameon (A7X former bassist). He didn't fit in, the touring wasn't for him. So when he pretty much left in the middle of the night,we never heard from him again, we didn't care. So we called Johnny, We're like; "Hey, Johnny, Can you fucking learn these songs in a few days and drop out of high school, and go on tour?" He's like; "fuck yeah!? -Zacky Vengeance-

Facts from Sounding the Seventh Trumpet Era

* "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" sold 300 copies the first week of its release. It has now sold in excess of 200,000 copies

* "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" was later sold by Goodlife Records to Hopeless records and rereleased by them March 19, 2002.

* Brian only performed lead guitar on the first track of the record "To End the Rapture".

* Throughout "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" Zacky played lead with the exception of "To end the Rapture".

* The guys realized they needed a logo. They paid Mika Montigue about $20 to draw them a very realistic skull with skeletal wings. They named it the Deathbat. The logo caught on and its still the same after all these years.

* The band knew early on they didn't want to be pigeonholed into any specific musical genre, so they created their own sound.

* Johnny Christ who is about 3 years younger than the rest of the members of the band was underage when he joined the band. He however enjoyed getting used to the rockstar lifestyle and inbibed in alcohol at around 18 years of age because the band vouched for him.

* The band originally toured in a van they nicknamed "The Road Dog".

* During this era Avenged Sevenfold decided to accept Larry Jacobson's offer to become their manager.

* During this era the band filmed their first video. It was for the song "Warmness on the Soul".

* The band filmed live footage of their 2003 Warped Tour video for "We Come out at Night". It however was not released until 2007.

* Prior to Johnny Christ becoming Avenged Sevenfold's permanent bassist the band had 3 others. They were Dameon Ashe, Matt Wendt, and Justin Sane.

* Avenged Sevenfold did 4 total Warped Tours in their early yrs. Johnny Christ only did 3 of those 4.

* In the thank you's list on "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" which is located under the disc in the jewel case are 2 somewhat unusual additions. They are to Duke Sanders and Sparky Sullivan, M. Shadows and The REV's pets respectively.

* Matt's now wife, Valary did the female screams on "The Art of Subconscious Illusion."

* When A7X was signed to Goodlife Records Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan didn't sign his name, he signed his friend ky Petersons name instead.

* During this era Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance were signed to Schecter Guitars. Here is the story of how it came to be. Avenged Sevenfold were slated to open a show called "The K Rock Almost Acoustic Christmas" they showed up and noticed that the crew were running around crazily because Zacky and Syns' guitars never showed up from the storage place. There were no guitars to be found of theirs nor could they use just anyone elses because of Zacky being a lefty. So Schecter showed up and delivered them two new guitars. Thus signing them to Schecter.


Quotes from the Sounding the Seventh Trumpet Era

"We had no expectations for "Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet", we were young and we wrote it in high school, and we definitely grew a lot and we had a ton of new ideas.

Waking the Fallen

Released 08/26/2003 by Hopeless Records

Waking the Fallen.....learning how to make an awesome album.

One night Avenged Sevenfold was playing a pretty big show at Showcase Theatre when Hopeless Records approached them and wanted to sign them with their label. They offered them $30,000 to make a full length album. So they signed with Hopeless Records. Avenged Sevenfold's new manager Larry Jacobson sent Second Heartbeat, which had been included in a compilation album for Goodlife records, to a record producer, Andrew Mudrock, who admitted to laughing at it while listening to the song. He pretty much beat Jimmy up over not knowing how to play to a click, overplaying the drums, and his drum fills. So Jimmy had to agree to learn how to play to a click and they were gonna teach him how to get into a groove basically before Mudrock would agree to do their record. Understandably Jimmy was upset about it but he and the band decided it was for the best so they agreed with the terms and went into the studio to create "Waking the Fallen" their second full length album.

While Mudrock was really pretty tough on them the band credits him with teaching them the ropes. He taught them how to make a really good album and help build the framework they would later use to produce their own album. It was during the creation of "Waking the Fallen" that the guys came to realize they didn't need to scream. Matt had an awesome voice and they decided he should do alot more singing. Sadly this was their first taste of the whole "you've sold out" term so many young kids like to throw around. But being the Avenged Sevenfold we all know they made thier minds up never waivering and became bigger and more popular than they were just screaming. They got on Warped Tour and kept moving up almost every night to a larger stage. They started developing dedicated fans while on Warped Tour and they also got the word that year that their album had sold 100,000 copies.

While things were getting better for the guys there were still some really major hardships they were having to endure. Not the least of which the lack of funds for necessities like food. They also were very sleep deprived. They had to drive to all the venues, some being hours away, through the night, unload all of their equipment, merchandise, perform, and then sell the merch, load it all back up and head out for the next gig. When they did sleep, they all slept in the little van they rode in. Sometimes as many as 8 of them in sleeping bags. To say they were roughing it would be an understatement but by being in such close proximity to one another it helped them to learn to get along and live together. It also progressed that family bond that is so strong today.


The Band was booked again for the 2004 Warped Tour. This was when all the major record labels came around. The band talked and enjoyed some wonderful treatment from many labels but in the end decided Warner Brothers Records (known at the time as Warner Imprint Reprise) was the best fit for them. They allowed them total creative control which was and still is very important to the band. They have always held a very clear vision of their music.

Facts From the "Waking the Fallen" Era

* They filmed the "Unholy Confessions" video which included actual fans in it. They planned on doing something else but it just didn't fit. This video aired on Headbangers Ball continuously for months and was their first video ever played on any of the music networks. The band also rocked out during the sound check at the concert where "Unholy confessions" was filmed just to get extra footage for the video. When the band arrived at the venue the trailer came off the hitch in front of all the fans lined up outside. Synyster Gates who was driving simply said Hey to all the fans and went about his business like nothing had happened.

* The band was so broke they basically lived on Ramen Noodles while touring. They had like a dollar a day food budget and were starving to death. Synyster Gates claims he would eat basically anything during that time including pickled pigs feet.

* On July 28, 2008 "Waking the Fallen" went gold. This is awesome considering the album only sold 3000 total cd's the first week it was released.

* During the making of "Waking the Fallen" M. Shadows discussed with Mudrock the bands plans to no longer scream.

* During this era M. Shadows had a polyp removed from his vocal cords. So many rumors have been circulated that this is the reason why he/the band decided to no longer scream. This is an absolute lie! There is no truth in it whatsoever. This polyp removal also doesn't prevent him from screaming as you can now hear very well on the song "God Hates Us" as well as other songs on the "Nightmare" CD. He also DID NOT rupture a vocal cord. The choice to not scream all the time was a decision made because the band wanted to change their sound. It is as simple as that.

* During this era, Greg Pirciato of Dillinger Escape Plan deemed A7X a "terrrible band" and called the O.C. crew "assholes" and accused them of the deadly sin of pride. Noting that "this scene is based on Humility".


Quotes from the "Waking the Fallen" Era

"We went back more to stuff we grew up loving. We started pulling out the Pantera and Metallica albums and realized that was the stuff that we really enjoyed and it would be fun to use our real influences instead of trying to be something different. "Waking the Fallen" came out exactly how we wanted and we are really happy about it."-2003 interview with Zacky V.-

"Whenever someone asks us what kind of music we play, we just say "heavy metal", because it's easier." -M. Shadows- November 2003 issue of New Music Magazine "On the Verge".

"As soon as we started selling a certain amount of albums, all the hardcore kids hated us. If you like us, you can be anything you want, but if you don't like us then that's fine too, just don't complain about it." -M. Shadows- November 2003 issue of New Music Magazine "On the Verge".

"We've always carried ourselves as a band that was going to do better things. We didn't make this band to impress you. We do this for ourselves." -M. Shadows- November 2003 issue of New Music Magazine "On the Verge".

City of Evil

Released June 7, 2005 by Warner Brothers Records

City of Evil.....No More Screaming

Decidedly Avenged Sevenfold put their metalcore days behind them as they went into the studio to record their third album. Their focus this go around was to create a full on metal album. They really wanted this album to be awesome and they poured thier hearts into it partially because it was their major record label debut. The band worked really long hours. Zacky Vengence says the band worked in the neighborhood of 15 or 16 hours a day for an unknown length of time and the studio was in one of the worst areas in Los Angeles. They couldn't even go outside for fear of what may happen to them.

The band was striving to acheive an American metal album with a euro style. They pulled from all their faves such as Metallica, Pantera, Children of Bodom, and the list goes on. M. Shadows had this to say about the album in hindsight; "It's insanity, everything's too fast but it's awesome, you know? I listen to it now and I just think, What the fuck? How do you even play that fast? Like it's just silly."

Sadly when "City of Evil" was released it didn't do as well as they had hoped. The album only sold 35,000 copies the first week. The band released "Burn It Down" first to a negative response from their fans. The band just couldn't understand how it had all gone so wrong. To them at the time it just didn't really seem that different than their previous album "Waking the Fallen". But 6 months later sales had fallen to as low as only 1,500 copies a week.

Finally the record label became interested in a song from the album that would finally put Avenged Sevenfold on the map. They decided to put "Bat Country" front and center. The band put out a video for the song and suddenly it was getting played on radio and being played on MTV and hitting #1 on TRL of all things. Something the band never fathomed happening. It sure wasn't their aim, they were a metal band after all. Suddenly they were selling close to 40,000 albums a week. The "City of Evil" Tour was strong and the band finally had their name out there and the fan base started growing quickly which kind of alarmed the band because they just weren't sure with their MTV status if these new fans were really A7X fans or are they just a fan for the day type thing. Happily most fans stayed with the band because they had excellent taste in music of course.

City of Evil

Avenged Sevenfold's first plantnium record

Facts From The "City of Evil" Era

* City of Evil" went certified gold January 2006 and certified platnium August 27, 2009

* Avenged Sevenfold was the mystery band in the 2006 Ozzfest Tour

* During A7X's tour on Ozzfest the power went out in San Bernardino during the bands preformance. When the fans started chanting A7X and fires broke out, security was concerned that a riot would start before the power came back on. Instead of seeking refuge on their tour bus, the band stayed backstage in the heat just like the fans.

* Avenged Sevenfold opened for their first time for Metallica on their 2006 tour.

* To increase Jimmy "The REV" Sullivans speed and stamina on the double kicks he would sit for hours playing video games and his pedals in front of him and just do it for hours until he was up to 210 beats per minute so the band could play faster stuff.

* The video for "Bat Country" was filmed in Vegas. The song/video is based on Hunter S. Thompsons' novel "Fear and Loathing". Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan read the novel in it's entirety. The Band requested permission from Mr. Thompson's (Mr. Thompson had commited suicide just prior to the bands concept for the video being completed) estate to use references to his book and imagery. They were given one stipulation for it's use from the estate that being the band give them 2 copies of the album for which the band happily agreed to do.

* "Bat Country" was the bands first number 1 single.

* The "Bat Country" video also won the band an MTV Moon Man for the best new artist in a video for 2006.

* The video for "Seize the Day" also charted heavily on TRL.

* The band didn't like the actor known as D. Light in the "Seize the Day" video. They thought he was obnoxious.

* The car used in the get away scene for "Seize the day" kept breaking down.

* The band also created a making of video for "Seize the Day" which originally aired on Fuse TV's d'fused show. The making of video is available on the "All Excess" video along with the video for "Seize the Day" which has accompaning band comments available as well.

* Just a couple days prior to doing the video shoot for "Seize the Day" Johnny Christ got his first DUI.

* Avenged Sevenfold's least favorite video they ever made was "Beast and the Harlot" Because of the smell of the black makeup used on the extras

* The actress who played in the Beast and the Harlot video is named Jeanine.

* The band liked the guy who took the shot from The REV in Beast and the Harlot video. They said he was alot of fun.

* "City of Evil" appeared on Guitar Worlds list of 100 greated guitar albums of all time.

* During the bands 2006 tours they used a huge animated metal deathbat for their back drop. It was very sharp and many people were cut on it causing it to get the very sarcastic title of fluffy.

* Mudrock also produced "City of Evil". He said the band had learned so much from their previous venture into the studio making "Waking the fallen" that he had very little to change in the producing of "City of Evil".

* Ron Anderson, M. Shadows vocal coach, produced the vocals for "City of Evil".

* In October 2006 Avenged Sevenfold walked off stage at Fall Fest in San Antonio, Texas. M. Shadows explained in detail on the Avenged Sevenfold forum what happened. In short, he said there were terrible sound issues. The individuals who wired the sound system for the stage had it wired incorrectly. The band waited 15 minutes on the guys who wired it along with A7X's own sound guys to try and fix the problem. When the guys attempted to play it was just horrible. They couldn't hear each other. Everything was mixed up and backwards. Basically M. Shadows said he wasn't going to put on an extremely bad show and embarrass the band and its fans in doing so. He estimated it would take 35 minutes to rewire the system and the management wouldn't go for that or they would've gladfully put on a complete show. The band was escorted from the property just after they left the stage.

* In late 2006, Avenged Sevenfold cancelled several UK shows. Originally they announced it was because they needed to go and do another album but in truth the band was simply exhausted and honestly were having issues with getting along. Later, in an interview M. Shadows admitted that they were as close as they had ever been to actually breaking up and if they hadn't taken time off their likely wouldn't have been a band anymore. He went on to say that the band would choose their friendship over the bands existance any day if it ever came to needing to make that decision.

* During this era, Everytime I Die Singer Keith Buckley described glammy images as a form of "lying" and singled out A7X presentation as "a total front".

The 2006 MTV Music Award. Best New Band in a video

A very proud and maybe unexpected moment for A7X

Quotes Related to the "City of Evil" Era

"We have that traditional classic sound that bands like Metallica and Megadeth paved the way for a while ago. That sound crosses over and the extreme metal doesn't. When we wrote this record it was because we love classic traditional metal and we just wanted to write a record that came straight from our influences."- M. Shadows referencing City of Evil-

"At first there were a lot of perks because there was more money. You can write the album and record it the way we wanted because we had 100% creative control and they would pay for everything. They also have lots of people working your record and they have a lot of old ways they like to break bands, but we’re not a band that’s going to break by the typical ways. We don’t want to break by Pure Volume or by the Internet and we definitely don’t want to break by throwing ourselves on the radio. We don’t consider ourselves one of those bands. We consider ourselves a band where the kids are going to get it, or they’re not. Pantera wasn’t on the radio and they grew from underground and had a great career. When you’re working with a major label, all they want to do is get you on the radio and we have to keep reminding them that we’re not the next My Chemical Romance, we’re a completely different band. We have to remind Warner Bros. that we’re not a radio band." M. Shadows on being signed to Warner Bros.

Story behind the naming of the Album "City of Evil"

Originally, we wrote ‘Beast And The Harlot’, the first track on the album, and lyrically it was about the fall of Babylon and it being called a city of evil. At the same time, Zacky was working on the artwork, which was a city with our bat character riding out of the city, so we decided to call it that because the album artwork looked like the city of evil burning. We had the song about Babylon as the first track, so we just called it City Of Evil. -M. Shadows-

The story behind the "Bat Country" Video


Well we've had a lot of Hunter S. Thompson [enthusiasts] e-mail us and say they totally hate it. But we go to Vegas all the time and when we go there we party like it's the last day of the world. So we were writing the song and I was like, "Let's just have a desert vibe and let's just write about our own experiences and kind of base it off 'Fear and Loathing,' " and so we did that. And then Hunter died and then we talked to the Gonzo Trust [a group of three trustees who oversee Thompson's estate] and they were super cool about it. They're like, "Yeah, it's cool you guys are doing a song, all you have to do is send us two CDs and you can have our approval to use quotes and stuff from the movie." It just came about because the whole last record was very gothic-feeling and we wanted this record to have a lot of different aspects. There's the Danny Elfman vibe, there's the rock and roll vibe and we wanted to have that desert vibe and we felt "Fear and Loathing" was just the perfect thing. Driving down in 110 degree weather in a convertible Cadillac and you're just going to get screwed out of your mind as told by -M. Shadows-

Avenged Sevenfold at the 2006 Chainsaw Awards

They performed "Bat Country"

Story behind the song on the Album "City of Evil" entitled "The Wicked end."

That originally started out with us wanting to do a thrash song and just go somewhere with it that we’ve never gone before. We’re all huge Danny Elfman fans, he did the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack, and whenever we do the introduction to our live show, we always have Edward Scissorhands playing. We wanted to do one of our own, so we wrote the score first, and then based the rest of the song around it. When you listen to Danny Elfman, he always has a boys’ choir, so we went to the label and asked if we could hire a boys choir and they said we could, so we just went with it. It was one of those things where we tried to branch out and do whatever we wanted. -M. Shadows-

The story behind the song from the Album "City of Evil" entitled "Strength of the World"

Recording of the Huge vocals on "Strength of the World"

We weren’t trying for a hardcore song, but it just came to me that maybe we could have a group thing in there. Just to throw a group vocal in the mix. We thought that it was a weird song to do it in, but we just decided to do it. It’s one of those things that had a real whiny vocal after it, so we wanted to have a real tough vocal before it, just to have the contrast. We weren’t trying to throw back the old school, we were just going crazy. -M. Shadows-

All Excess DVD --A7X's First DVD Ever released

Released July 17, 2007

All Excess DVD....Getting to Know Avenged Sevenfold

In the summer of 2007, Avenged Sevenfold released their much anticipated first DVD. They decided they wanted to give the fans a look at the history of Avenged Sevenfold and to answer so many questions. There is also bonus footage hidden (Easter Eggs) in the content of the DVD. Click here for a synopsis of the DVD contents. If your new to the Avenged Sevenfold Family of Fans I highly recommend you purchasing this DVD. It's full of all things Avenged and things you should know as an Avenged Sevenfold dedicated fan.

Avenged Sevenfold--The Self-Titled Album

Released by Warner Brothers October 30, 2007

Avenged Sevenfold.....Self-Titled and Self-Produced

Avenged Sevenfold's 4th trip into the studio would prove to be one of the bands greatest accomplishments to date. When the touring was finished for "City of Evil" the guys felt they had enough experience to produce their own album (something rarely attempted by bands) and make it their self-titled. By making it their self-titled album they really wanted it to have a mature sound mixed with what they liked most about music, for it to have a somewhat slower beat, and to make each song have its own vibe. The guys had a wonderful time making this album. They feel like its a happier album because of that and their ability to relax while doing it.

When the album was released it was received well, selling 94,000 the first week. Their touring schedule grew greatly as did the attendance which sometimes measured into the tens of thousands. The comforts of traveling as true rockstars came calling and the band felt like all their hard work had finally paid off.

Facts From the "Avenged Sevenfold" Era

* In 2008, Avenged Sevenfold headlined the Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour.

* Before solidifing their decision to producing their own album the producers they spoke to only seemed interested in making a live album but the band wasn't interested at the time at presuing that course.

* During the writing of the album "Avenged Sevenfold" the band had no contact with fans or press. They prefered it that way and announced in the Revolver magazine that they would not be in touch for a while.

* The band literally went back to their roots. They wrote the album and demo'd it in Matts parents garage, the place they began it all in. They wanted that sound and feeling they could only achieve in that place The band also began their touring cycle at smaller venues to further return to their roots with more intimate shows.

* There was a special addition MVI (Music Video Interactive) version which is no longer available sold along with the "Avenged Sevenfold" Album. The MVI (DVD) included behind the scenes footage of the making of "Avenged Sevenfold", a cartoon of the making, the making of the cartoon, studio tour, and other hidden extras. Click Here for a synopsis of the MVI.

* Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan wrote four songs for this album. They are "Afterlife", "Almost Easy", " "Brompton Cocktail", and the awesome epic "A Little Peice of Heaven".

* During the making of this album M. Shadows and Synyster Gates became engaged to (twins) Valary and Michelle Debennedito respectively.

* Avenged Sevenfold opened for Metallica in Mexico during this era. The band was treated in a disrespecting manner by the crowd having bottles, batteries, and other objects thrown at them as well as being flipped off and called names.

* In 2008, the band won the Kerrang award for the album of the year, the award they give out is solid gold.

* "Avenged Sevenfold" the album went certified gold September 23, 2008. The album also debuted at number 4 on billboards top 200. Three of the songs on the album also crack the top five in the UK. The album topped the alternative, Rock, and hard rock charts. It achieved the highest sales week during its debut that the band had accomplished to date.

* "Almost Easy" was the first song released from the album. In less than a month, the single had entered into the top 10 on the rock charts and the top 20 on the alternative charts. The video for "Almost Easy" at one point was the most played video on Fuse and was charted on MTV's Rock the Deuce Countdown.

* In 2008, while touring singapore Zacky, Syn, The Rev, and Johnny performed a song called "Quack Quack". They wrote the song on the plane during the flight over.

* In 2007, Avenged Sevenfold was a surprise guest on Warped Tour at the California show.

* During this era Hit parader's readers voted on the top albums of the decade. Avenged Sevenfold ranked #37th with "Waking the Fallen" and #4 with "City of Evil".

* During this era Kerrang readers voted on the 50 greatest album's of the 21st century. Avenged Sevenfold ranked at #27 with "City of Evil".

* In 2008, Avenged Sevenfold had to cancel several shows. After experiencing problems with his voice during a show on September 6th in Huntington, WV, M. Shadows went to see a doctor who diagnosed him with vocal fatigue and ordered him to let his voice rest in order to do no further damage to it. Synyster Gates was reported as saying M. Shadows couldn't make a sound that's how bad his voice was. His only communication during this time was with a dry erase marker and board. In an official statement released by the band, M. Shadows said the following about the issue: "I feel as if I'm letting so many people down, especially the fans we were supposed to see this month, but after a little rest it'll be back to the usual craziness everyone expects of A7X." They toured the US in November that year more than making up for the few missed dates.

* In 2008, Avenged Sevenfold made the decision not to tour the UK or Europe because of problems with the management over there.

* In 2007, while touring Indonesia The REV, Syn, and Zacky went with some of the locals to a bar where they serve King Cobras. The cook prepared the meat after spending 30 minutes trying to catch the snake without being bitten. All 3 guys ate the meat and drank the blood mixed with some kind of alcohol. The REV said it tasted bad and did absolutely nothing for any of them.

* Avenged Sevenfold toured Europe extensively during this era as the opener for Iron Maiden.

* In 2007, while touring in Maryland M. Shadows experienced facial paralysis. After spending many hours in the ER the doctors had no real answers as to what had happened. The doctor however told him whatever he did he wasn't to perform that night. Being our awesome unyielding frontman, of course M. Shadows didn't listen. He performed to a very patient and anxious crowd in Baltimore, Maryland that night calmly explaining what happened in his usual jovial fashion. He laughingly told them that if his face got stuck it would be okay in a few minutes. It has not been said whether he has experienced any futher issues or not.

* Heart breaking as it is during this era Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan performed his last shows. In the United States, they were in Michigan and in Ohio at Rock on the Range, May 2009. Then a few weeks later he and the band performed as openers for Metallica in Ireland and finally Sonisphere in the UK which was his last show behind the kit. We will love and miss you Eternally!! RIP Jimmy!! Our hearts are with you always!!

Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan

Jimmy's last concert--Sonisphere in the UK

Quotes from the "Avenged Sevenfold" Era

No Avenged Sevenfold album has ever been released in Indonesia. Although most of the kids can't even speak English they know the lyrics to every song. The first time A7X went there touring they were sold out in Jakarta. This is a testiment to the internet at getting information out to these isolated areas. Most bands won't travel into places that their albums have never been released but A7X says: "Fuck that! "we don't care so much about the money because CD's don't sell anymore." They just enjoy seeing the look an their fans faces.

Fat Mike of Nofx had this to say about A7X in a 2008 interview:

“They support Bush. Support the Iraq War. Wouldn’t accept a drink ’cause they have to play the next day, but tell everyone they party. And play to a f—ing DAT tape.” Rather than get angry with Mike, the band was crestfallen. “Their road manager is a friend of ours and he just said ‘dude, my guys are ruined. They love NOFX. They even used to cover ‘Linoleum’ every night. And then you f—ing rant about what posers they are and how they’re ruining rock and roll. It’s just, you ruined those guys,’” Mike recalls to NoiseCreep, sounding somewhat remorseful. “I didn’t mean to ruin them. You know, when I found out they were playing to pre-recorded music, I was like ‘that’s over the top. You guys are fucked.’”

"I think everyone can really play their instruments, so it just comes across like these guys practice all day. Ever since I knew [Avenged drummer] the Rev — which is when we were little kids — he was playing every Slayer song and every Pantera song in his room on the drums. And when you get a band [consisting of people who have] been trained as musicians or just practice their butts off, you're gonna get a band that can play. We wanna go out there and — call us image whores or whatever, but we like to put on a show, we want people to see a big show. We don't wanna go out there and just be like the normal dudes that just walked off the street and just played the show. You're there and you're paying money and that's what we love to do. We love to entertain." -M. shadows 2008 interview-

"We always write above our head and you can do a bunch of different takes and splice things together in the studio but live you have to nail it or else you’re a fraud [laugh]. And Avenged Sevenfold would hate to be ever fucking misconstrued as a fraud ‘cause we definitely go full-bore and put all our effort into recreating those songs live in their entirety just like you hear them on the album and I think we do a good job of it." -Synyster Gates 2008-

"I think the most important thing to putting on a good show is to always mix things up. Sometimes we wear makeup; other times we don’t. The point is, you’ll never get the same Avenged show twice. I think it’s really important to be theatrical. I mean, look at Iron Maiden! " -Zacky V. 2009-

"We try to keep our personal lives to ourselves. Maybe in 10 years we’ll write a book. Everybody likes to talk about our partying, but I can guarantee we’re not shooting up heroin like Mötley Crüe. Sure, we have our own personal vices, but we just do our own thing and try to keep it private. But we always wake up at a certain time to prepare for the show, ’cause that’s the most important thing. Business comes first, but when that’s done, whatever happens, happens." -Synyster Gates 2009-

2007 Scream Awards

They performed Scream off their then new album "Avenged Sevenfold"

Live in the LBC and Diamonds in the Rough

Released August 16, 2008

"Live in the LBC and Diamonds in the Rough"...Avenged Sevenfold's First Live Preformance DVD with B-Side Tracks

"Live in the LBC" was filmed during Avenged Sevenfold's headlining tour on Rockstar Taste of Chaos at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California, April 10, 2008. This particular tour basically unveiled Avenged Sevenfold's ability to put on a huge production oriented show with lots of pyro and lights, something that is very rare in todays rock/metal scene. They pushed the envelope and put on an awesome show worth viewing over and over. The songs they performed on the DVD span all their albums-to-date with the exception of Sounding the Sevenfth Trumpet, including a wonderful encore performance of "A Little Peice of Heaven" that is to be cherished. Click here for a complete list of songs included and screen capped pictures as well as other information about the DVD. Also included as a bonus to the DVD are tracks that just didn't make the cut and weren't included on the Avenged Sevenfold Album. There are 7 original tracks, a cover of Iron Maiden's "Flash of the Blade", Pantera's "Walk", as well as 2 unique versions of "Afterlife" and "Almost Easy" Note: "Live in the LBC" went Ceritified Platnium on 06/09/2009.


Released by Warner Bro. July 27, 2010

Nightmare.....A Bittersweet Dream Come True

When Avenged Sevenfold went home in 2009 to write their next album they were tired but on top of the world. Lots of wonderful things had happened for them in their musical careers as well as private lives. Two of the bands members (M. Shadows and Synyster Gates) had forthcoming numptuals ahead as well as their longtime friend and merch dealer (Matt Berry). There were bachelor parties to attend among other resting and recouperative matters to enjoy. Simply a leasure time spent reconnecting with their friends and family for a bit before getting back into the music writing and touring game.

Following M. Shadows return from his honeymoon in October it was time to start getting more serious about the new music. M. Shadows and The REV would spend hours in M. Shadows home studio messing around and putting down drum tracks. Many of these sessions ending in drinking and other debauchery. The REV was very excited about the way this album was going and M. Shadows has said there was never a night he wouldn't get a call from The REV speaking about how this album was going to change the world. When Christmas came to pass the guys were planning on enjoying the holidays with family and then heading into the studio after the new year to start putting down tracks for the new album. On Christmas Day, The REV handed M. Shadows a song that he titled Death but would later be changed to "Fiction" by the band telling him this was all he had left in him. Unbelievably, 3 days later (December 28, 2009) Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan was found dead at his home in Huntington Beach, California of what would later be learned was from an accidental overdose with likely an enlarged heart condition known as cardiomegally as a contributing factor.

With Jimmy's death, in the band's collective mind, the music died with him. He wasn't just their drummer he was their best friend and brother. How could they possibly consider going on without him? They felt this way for a couple of weeks then slowly they came to realize hey this album meant so much to Jimmy we must put it out there for the fans cause that's what Jimmy would've wanted. Katie, Jimmy's sister suggested to the band that they use some of Jimmy's drumming influences to do the album with the band. Jimmy had created a friendship with Mike Portnoy prior to his death. Mike expressed his sympathy to the band for Jimmy's loss. A bit later after Katie's suggestion the band decided to ask Mike to do this because of his very close similarities to Jimmy's style of playing. So they asked him and he was wonderfully down for it. So slowly apprehensively with the matra "Baby steps" in their mind and on their lips the band headed to the studio with Mike. The process while very painful for the band started to help them work through a little of their grieving. With the release date looming ahead the band wasn't sure if they wanted to even tour or even if they could step back out on that stage without their brother behind them. Once again the band went to Mike Portnoy and asked him to tour with them and he agreed to do so just to get them back out there. Pulling strength from somewhere deep inside them and sheer will to share Jimmy's music with the fans they decided to tour still not sure they could even do it. On July 25, 2010, the core fans of Avenged Sevenfold sending their strongest vibes and best wishs all watched as once again the band took the stage. While Mike Portnoy admitted to a few small hiccups the show went wonderfully.

At midnight July 27, 2010 "Nightmare" thundered into release on itunes and before the night was finished commanded the number one rock new release spot. That week "Nightmare" would became the bands first number one album for the week ending and become number one in many other countries around the globe. The single "Nightmare" would ride the number one most played spot on popular radio for 3 weeks straight.

Avenged Sevenfold with Mike Portnoy co-headlined the inaugural Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar tour with Disturbed beginning August 17, 2010 crisscrossing the United States and Canada to outstanding reviews. Concert attendance by old and new fans (New fans being the dominating here and verified by M. Shadows question on stage) was huge and a sea of Avenged Sevenfold Tee shirts were reported at all dates. Radio stations and magazines clamored for interviews with the band. An unbelievable amount of junior and well-known photographers emerged to photograph them as if they had never saw them before. The attention while well deserved seem to come from everywhere at a sudden blurred pace.

Mike Portnoy will be touring with the band the remainder of their touring cycle which will end sometime in 2011. However there still has been no confirmation that he is a permanent member of the band so don't spread this rumor as that is all it is at the moment.

The band toured Brazil, Japan, Europe, and Australia selling out dates and having to move shows to larger venues to accommodate the voracious appetites of the new fans this album had generated. The long term fans were present as well eager to once again see and support the band they love.

The REV's kit in the Hard Rock Hotel in 2010

Facts from the "Nightmare" Era

* Following the filming of the "Nightmare" video The REV's kit was displayed in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel along with one of the platnium "City of Evil" plaques and his moon man from the 2006 Best New Band MTV video award.

* The "Nightmare" Video was filmed at Linda Vista Hospital in California. Linda Vista Hospital has a history of paranormal activity according to paranormal researchers.

* In 2010, Ultimate Guitar asked readers to vote on their favorite monster riffs. Avenged Sevenfold came in at #3 with "Afterlife" from the "Avenged Sevenfold" album and #10 with "Beast and the Harlot" from the "City of Evil album".

* Also in 2010, Metal Hammer put out a blog with a list of songs "that could reduce a man to a blubbering Mess". Avenged Sevenfold came in at #10 with "Fiction" from the "Nightmare" album. The song was written by Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan just prior to his death.

* While the band estimates Jimmy probably wrote somewhere around 60% of the album he did not actually record any of the drum tracks you hear on the finished album. He however put down some demo tracks that were a guide for Mike Portnoy whom the band asked to do the actual drum tracks used on the album. They meticulously recorded the drum tracks as close to what Jimmy had done or wanted as they possibly could.

* You can hear Jimmy's one of a kind voice on the album in the song "fiction" which he wrote 3 days prior to his death. You can also hear him say skull at the beginning of the song "Save Me". It was a random demo scratch the guys found after his death that they decided to use because it was so awesome. They however have no idea why he recorded it.

* M. Shadows wrote the single "Nightmare" the night before his wedding. By doing so he was very late in arriving in Palm Springs where the event was supposed to take place making his bride less than amused. He however snuck around so not to make her any more upset and showed Jimmy what he had been working on and Jimmy loved it. Later on that night they all got drunk and after urging from Jimmy he showed it to the rest of the guys. Needless to say they loved it as well.

* In honor of Jimmy, the band wears tiny vials containing small parts of Jimmy's drum kit on a chain around their necks.

* During the Uproar Tour the band traveled with Jimmy's metal locker full of his things which included his playing shoes, the tape he used, his drumsticks, all the stuff he used on tour.

* Mike Portnoy toured with and played Jimmy's favorite ride cymbal on the Uproar Tour.

* M. Shadows admits to getting teary eyed, which is totally understandable, on the Uproar Tour every night they displayed the picture of Jimmy, Syn, and Johnny on the now famous group hug photo originally taped at the end ofthe "All Excess" DVD.

* October 20, 2010 Avenged Sevenfold released "Welcome to the Family" as their second single on the "Nightmare" album.

* The art for the "Nightmare" album was generally thought up by Zacky V. The band chose Travis Smith as the Artist who did the album cover. The general concept for the album cover was of a little girl lying in bed with the Deathbat hovering over her like it was coming for her. The artist, Travis Smith, used an actual picture of his daughter lying in bed for the model of the little girl on the cover. He said she was very happy about being on the cover of an Avenged Sevenfold album. The concept for the cover was already created when Jimmy "The REV" Sullivan passed so they added the tombstone to communicate the feelings they were having at the time. Travis Smith said he used an old picture he had of a tombstone as his model for it.

* During this era, Warner Brothers submitted A7X to the Grammy Awards committee for a possible Grammy nomination for the following catagories: Best Album of the yr, Best Record of the yr, Best Rock Album, Song of the yr, Best Rock Song, Best Short-form video, and Best Rock performance. All submissions were related to the "Nightmare" album or single.

* In October 2010, Avenged Sevenfold cancelled two European shows due to unexpected illness. They were Munich, Germany on the 23rd and Brussels, Belgium on the 24th.

* In 2010, Total Guitar Magazine picked their 50 greatest riffs of the decade. Avenged Sevenfold came in #10 with "Beast and the Harlot" and #3 with "Afterlife".

* In one for the books, in October 2010 Avenged Sevenfold was included in a political campaign flyer which depicted them, Stone Sour, and Disturbed as criminals. On one side of the flyer were pics of Zacky and Syn with other members of the other bands and on the other side the flyer included the following message: "It's a fact: Steve Franzen has made a living defending criminals charged with: child pornography, unlawful transactions with minors, custodial interference, assaults on police officers, drug trafficking, and the list goes on. The individual who used this flyer without the permission of any of the members of any of the bands was Jim Daley. Mr. Daley was runnning for the office of county attorney. I think most people would agree an attorney should've heard of slander and copywrite infringement. Information obtained at

The Uproar Set,

The set included a memorial to The REV just to the left of the drum stand.

* On October 30, 2010 at Hammersmith Apollo in London, England, M. Shadows decided to crowd surf. Before he left the stage he commented that the crowd was to far back and that he was coming to join them. I believe this is the first time he has done this since the early days which is likely during 2004 at the latest.

M. Shadows crowd surfing in London.

* On November 19, 2010 Avenged Sevenfold had the honor of becoming an answer on Jeopardy. Here is the clue that was given: It's no Nightmare..MTV's 2006 Best New Artist was the Metalcore Band called Avenged This....

Quotes from the "Nightmare" Era

"I wanted to completely honor The REV and pay tribute to him and carry on the legacy that he intended with this record." -Mike Portnoy-

"One of my biggest concerns was how defensive the fans would be over The REV's drum throne. I'm grateful they have been welcoming." -Mike Portnoy-