Country Of Seven Demons

Country Of Seven Demons

Selasa, 08 Februari 2011

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-

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