Know the Band: Avenged Sevenfold

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Know the Band: Avenged Sevenfold

Post  Malevolent Reverend on Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:54 pm

Info from Wikipedia



The Band
Avenged Sevenfold (also known by the abbreviation "A7X"), is an American hard rock band from Huntington Beach, California. They have achieved mainstream success with City of Evil, which spawned singles such as "Bat Country", "Beast and the Harlot" and "Seize the Day".

Early years
The band was formed in 1999. Avenged Sevenfold's first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, was recorded when the band members were eighteen years old and in high school. It was originally released on their first label, Good Life Recordings. After lead guitarist Synyster Gates joined the band, the introductory track "To End The Rapture" was re-recorded with Gates playing, and the album was re-released on Hopeless Records. Their follow-up album, entitled Waking the Fallen, was also released on Hopeless Records. Shortly after its release, Avenged Sevenfold were signed to Warner Bros. Records.


Mainstream success
City of Evil, the band's third album, was released on 7 June 2005. Propelled by the success of the first single "Bat Country" and its accompanying music video, the album sold well and became Avenged Sevenfold's first gold record. City of Evil strayed away from the band's previous metalcore sound and M. Shadows chose to abandon the screaming vocals from the first two albums. Although Shadows acknowledges that he sustained throat and vocal cord damage after Waking the Fallen and later required surgery to help correct the problem, he states that the change in vocal style was not a result of this issue. In their DVD All Excess, Mudrock, producer of Avenged's second and third albums, said prior to Waking the Fallen, Shadows had stated that he wanted a CD with half-screaming, then one with no screaming, which was achieved in City of Evil. Shadows maintains that he's able to scream even better than before since the surgery and training with vocal coach Ron Anderson, who worked with various artists, from Axl Rose, to Kylie Minogue, and Chris Cornell.

Characteristics

Band name and lyrical content
The band's name is a reference to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, where Cain is sentenced to live in exile for murdering his brother. God marked him so that none would kill him on account of his sin; the man who dared to kill Cain would suffer "vengeance seven times over" (KJV). The abbreviation for Avenged Sevenfold came from Zacky Vengeance as A7X, which the A stands for 'Avenged', the 7 stands for 'seven', and the X stands for 'fold' because of the X forming a "folding" formation and sevenfold is like 7 multiplied, which is X in mathematical terms. The title of Avenged Sevenfold's song "Chapter Four" references the fourth chapter of Genesis, in which the story of Cain and Abel takes place. The song's subject also appears to be this story. "Beast and the Harlot", yet another song derived from the Bible, comes from the book of Revelation only it is written in the first person and refers to the punishment of Babylon the Great, world empire and seat of false religion. Another biblical reference occurs in the song "The Wicked End". In this song, several times it is said "dust the apple off, savor each bite, and deep inside you know Adam was right." making reference to Eve eating the forbidden fruit. Although the band's title and members' stage names make references to religion, Shadows stated in an interview that they are not a religious band. "Anyone that reads the lyrics and really knew anything about us, they would know we're not promoting either," he said. "That's one thing about this band that I love is that we never really shove any kind of, like, political or religious beliefs on people. We just, the music's there to entertain and maybe thought-provoking on both sides, but we don't try to, like, really shove anything down anyone's throat. There's too many bands that do that nowadays, I think."[6] The band has a few songs that are somewhat political in nature like "Critical Acclaim" and "Blinded In Chains".


The Deathbat
The band sports a logo known as the "Deathbat". The Deathbat is simply a winged skull, which was created by Micah Montague. It has appeared on all of the band's album covers since "Warmness on the Soul," as well as the covers of a number of singles such as "Bat Country" and "Critical Acclaim."


Genre
Avenged Sevenfold's material ranges across many genres, often leaving the concept of genres altogether (especially in their most recent album). For example, Avenged Sevenfold's debut Sounding the Seventh Trumpet consisted almost entirely of a metalcore or post-hardcore sound, however consisted of several deviations to these genres, most notably in "Streets" which adopts a Punk style, and "Warmness on the Soul", which consists of mainly piano, and could be considered soft rock. Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album, again, consists of several deviations to less consistent genres and styles, most notably in "Dear God", which adopts a country style, and "A Little Piece of Heaven", which includes elements of Broadway show tunes, using primarily brass instruments and stringed orchestra to take over most of the role of the lead and rhythm guitar. The band has, though, changed considerably since its first album, which was characterized as very heavy, to being more of a hard rock type band.
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M. Shadows

Post  Malevolent Reverend on Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:38 pm

M. Shadows


Shadows (born Matthew Charles Sanders on July 31, 1981) (also known as Shads or Shadow), is the vocalist/lead singer for the American heavy metal/metalcore band Avenged Sevenfold. He is from Huntington Beach, California and still lives there.

Biography

Early years
In his youth, Matthew Charles Sanders was notorious for his disorderly conduct and misbehavior. He was quoted as saying "I was in between being a good kid & a bad kid - I had a good heart, but a bad attitude." He was expelled from two different Huntington Beach schools, one for smashing a woman's car windows after a sixth-grade pizza party and another for defacing campus property in seventh grade. The latter event culminated in the untimely death of the school principal due to a heart attack, which earned Sanders the nickname "the kid that killed the principal." On the All Excess DVD, while all of the members were talking about how they got their stage names, M. Shadows said that he got his name because when he attended and graduated Huntington Beach High School and the band was just starting out, he was a darker kid (hence the name "Shadows") but he also wanted to incorporate his name, Matt, into his stage name. Matt was reduced to M and since has been known as M. Shadows.


Music career
In following years, Shadows formed a number of bands with Avenged Sevenfold's rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance. He was previously a member of a punk group called 'Successful Failure'. While in this band he penned the song "Streets," which would later be recorded after Avenged Sevenfold was formed, and released on the first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet.

Shadows feels a strong support for the troops serving the United States, having very close friends who are currently in service in Iraq. The song "M.I.A." ("Missing In Action") was written in tribute to these friends. The song "Gunslinger" from Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album further expresses these feelings (though it was stated in the album's extra MVI that it's not just about troops - "it can be about anyone away from home, missing their families.") The song "Critical Acclaim" is an attack on people who criticize the soldiers fighting in Iraq.


Vocal style
In the band's debut album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, M. Shadows' vocals had a heavy metalcore influence and consisted mostly of screaming and guttural growls. This style gradually decreased in later albums into more conventional clean singing and had been almost completely jettisoned (with the exception of backing introduction screams) by the release of City of Evil, the band's major label debut. Despite having admitted having minor throat surgery this was not a cause for change and in an interview on All Excess, manager Larry Jacobson states that Shadows had decided several years before the making of City of Evil that it would be an all singing album. He had made it clear to their producer, Mudrock, that the album they were working on at the time Waking the Fallen would be half singing and half screaming, and that the next would be all singing. In the past Shadows would sing on all parts of the songs during live performances, supporting the theory that he was no longer able to scream or growl. Perhaps becoming fed up with those claims, Shadows has resumed screaming again during live shows, this can be seen in the band's new live video for the single "Afterlife". Some of Shadows' biggest musical influences are Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Pantera, and Guns N' Roses. He is also very fond of Phil Anselmo's super group Down as well as strongly appreciating their first album NOLA.

Guest Appearances

Code:
Year  Song Name                        Artist                                          Album
2007 "Buffalo Stampede"              Cowboy Troy                                  Black in the Saddle
2007 "The River"                      Good Charlotte (with Synyster Gates)    Good Morning Revival
2007 "Like Always"                    Kisses For Kings                            Demo
2006 "Falling Away from Me" (Live)    Korn                                            Download Festival 2006
2002 "Savior, Saint, Salvation"        Bleeding Through                            Portrait of the Goddess


Last edited by Malevolent Reverend on Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Synyster Gates

Post  Malevolent Reverend on Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:39 pm

Synyster Gates


Instruments:
Schecter Synyster Custom Electric Guitar

Biography

Synyster Gates, born Brian Elwin Haner, Jr. on July 7, 1981 and also known as "Syn", is an American musician and is the lead guitarist for Avenged Sevenfold and the son of Brian Haner Sr.

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.

Synyster Gates attended Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, California and Mayfair High School in Lakewood, California as a teenager. According to him, he met the rest of the band through The Rev (Jimmy Sullivan). The Rev and Synyster Gates 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 inseperable.

He openly admits that he didn't do well in school. Brian was expelled but mostly likely acquired a GED, and then attended the Musicians Institute in Hollywood as part of the GIT program, studying jazz guitar. Up until that time he was primarily self taught by watching music videos and reading books, which is surprising because his father was/is a songwriter and guitar player, having played with Frank Zappa during his career. 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.

Gates joined Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) when he was 18 at the end of 1999, right before the recording of the band's first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. He was featured on their EP, "Warmness on the Soul," and on the reissue of their first album. He also plays piano for the band on songs such as "The Beast and the Harlot" and "Sidewinder," though a former member of the band, bassist Justin Sane, played the piano on Warmness on the Soul.

In the Avenged Sevenfold DVD "All Excess," to emphasize the seemingly random placing of names, Gates stated that his name was thought of on a drunken drive through the park with The Rev. His exact words were, "I am Synyster Gates, and I am awesome!"

Gates cites Django Reinhardt, Adam Aparicio, Dimebag Darrell, Slash, John Petrucci and Francis Canavan as his favorite guitarists and major influences. He has won numerous awards, including the "Young Shredder" award of the year in the Metal Hammer awards in 2006 and the "Guitarist of the Year" Award for Total Guitar Magazine in 2006. In June 2008 Guitar World magazine interviewed Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold, reader Shawn Butterfield asked "You're one hell of a guitarist. But who do you really look up to?" to which he responded "Definitely Slash! the Ozzy guitar dudes, oh yeah Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom! Jimi Hendrix of course, Dimebag Darrell from Pantera, Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, a lot man!"

Synyster Gates was also a member of the "Goblin Metal" side-project Pinkly Smooth with The Rev and Justin Sane. Pinkly Smooth was disbanded because Gates and The Rev wished to focus full-time on Avenged Sevenfold, although when asked recently, they both revealed there is a new side project being planned, featuring the two playing older Pinkly Smooth tunes.


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Zacky Vengeance

Post  Malevolent Reverend on Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:39 pm

Zacky Vengeance


Zacky Vengeance (born Zachary James Baker on December 11, 1981) is the rhythm guitarist and back up vocalist for the band Avenged Sevenfold.

Biography
In the Avenged Sevenfold DVD "All Excess" he recalls that before Avenged Sevenfold, he played in a one time punk band called MPA*, which stood for Mad Porn Action. The Music Of Mad Porn Action comes through in A7X's music at least the style. He implies that they were not successful. He and M. Shadows (who at the time was singer for the band Successful Failure) formed Avenged Sevenfold. He took the name Zacky Vengeance, stating that he had grudges against many people who doubted his success. He was also responsible for the creation of the acronym "A7X". Stating that the 'A' stood for avenged, and then the 7 stood for seven and the X was for fold . He is also left-handed. He taught himself how to play the guitar when he was thirteen. The guitar he first learned on was actually his dad's. He has a brother named Matt Baker who is with the band The Dear and Departed. He has a sister, named Zina Baker, and he is currently dating hairstylist Gena Paulhus. Zacky is half-German and half-Italian. He has a dog name Ichabod, for whom he made a Myspace page. Zacky formerly worked at a coffe shop, and while he was in high school he played baseball, stating that if he had not pursued a career in Avenged Sevenfold, he would have gone on to professionally play baseball.

Zacky University
Zacky released a clothing line called "Zacky V. Presents...". The current design features the popular "Vengeance University" logo, which Zacky designed himself. The line currently features t-shirts and belt buckles, featuring his trademark "Est. 6661" tagline on it. 6661 is 1999 flipped upside down and backwards, which is the year the band was formed.


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Johnny Christ

Post  Malevolent Reverend on Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:39 pm

Johnny Christ


Johnny Christ (born Jonathan Lewis Seward November 18, 1984) is the bassist for the Hard Rock band Avenged Sevenfold, from Huntington Beach, California, in Orange County.

He is the third bassist for Avenged Sevenfold, following the departures of Daemon Ash and Justin Meacham (Sane). He is also the youngest member of the band.

Early Years:

Johnny Christ attended Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California. He proceeded through high school and eventually formally met M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates, and The Rev (the latter of the two which he already knew from school) through his older brother. He also is friends with Zacky Vengeance's younger brother Matt Baker from the band The Dear and Departed.

Biography

He initially "took a few weeks" off of high school during his senior year to fill in for their previous bassist, Dameon Ash (who had left the band due to his struggle with bipolar disorder) during one of their tours. These "few weeks" would become permanent as Johnny dropped out of high school to become the band's current bassist after it was made clear that Ash could not continue to play in the band due to his health. Johnny first recorded on their second CD Waking the Fallen. He used to write only Johnny on his autographs until Zacky came up with the name 'Johnny Christ', and in All Excess he said, "That sounds... really ballsy. Everyone's gonna hate that, so... I should definitely go with that!" He resides in Huntington Beach, Orange County


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The Reverend Tholowmew Plague

Post  Malevolent Reverend on Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:40 pm

The Reverend Tholowmew Plague



The Rev (born James 'Jimmy' Owen Sullivan on February 9, 1981), short for The Reverend Tholomew Plague, is the drummer and backing vocalist of Avenged Sevenfold. He is also the oldest member of the band.

Biography

At the age of 10, Arron got his own triangle. He attended a Catholic school with M. Shadows, and was expelled in the 2nd grade. James was also expelled from Huntington Beach High School in 2000, and was then expelled from the reform school resulting in his dropping out. He was in and out of homes as a teenager living in his car and at a laundromat where he worked. At one time he lived with Synyster Gates, where Papa Gates has said Jimmy is eccentric to a nearly dangerous level and is the most natural musician he has ever met. His first record was released with the band Suburban Legends at the age of 18 .

He was also formerly the drummer for third-wave ska band Suburban Legends, and vocalist for Avenged Sevenfold side project Pinkly Smooth. The Rev took part in the band Ballistico as their guitarist and vocalist. On the Avenged Sevenfold DVD, All Excess, while discussing how each member got their stage names, it was stated that Sullivan attained his name via a shortened version of The Reverend Tholomew Plague. The decision was seemingly random, as there were no specific reasons stated as to the inspiration for the name. He had a tendency to wear eccentric outfits such as outrageously colored kimonos or bath robes, baggy shorts, and fluorescent socks. In the DVD, he was said to terrorize people on his campus while wearing the eccentric outfits , and rode around in a golf cart.

Some of his favorite bands are Rancid,The Transplants, Slayer, and Organized Riot. Sullivan cites his influences as being Vinnie Paul of Pantera, Dave Lombardo and Paul Bostaph of Slayer ,Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, and Terry Bozzio.

Sullivan uses and is sponsored by DW Drums, although he appears in advertisements for DW's budget company, PDP, his old tour set was a PDP. He is also sponsored by Sabian cymbals, Pro-Mark sticks and Evans drum heads.

Recognized for vocals in side project Pinkly Smooth, Sullivan is utilized as a back-up vocalist in Avenged Sevenfold. Besides screaming with M. Shadows in songs Chapter Four and Eternal Rest, the single from the band's eponymous album, Critical Acclaim features Sullivan at lead vocals during the chorus of the song, both singing and screaming. His vocals are also featured in other songs from the Avenged Sevenfold eponymous album.

The Rev is featured singing in the songs he wrote, "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Brompton Cocktail", "Afterlife", "Almost Easy". He also sang in songs he co-wrote such as, "Critical Acclaim", "Scream" and "Lost". All of which are from the eponymous album.


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Former Members

Post  Malevolent Reverend on Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:49 pm

Matt Wendt
Matt Wendt was the earliest bassist in A7X from 1999-2000

Justin Sane
Justin Sane played Bass and Piano on the Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and Warmness on the Soul EP.
He only served with them from 2000 - 2001

Dameon Ash
Dameon Ash was 3rd bassist for Avenged Sevenfold, who took the spot for the first bassist Justin Sane(who is known for being the guitarist for Anti Flag.)
He was only not with the band for to long due to his drug abuse and attemptive suicide.
The lyrics for "I Won't See You Tonight" part one and two were part of Dameon Ash's suicide note(Which resulted in failure)
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Other Members

Post  Malevolent Reverend on Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:51 pm

Brian Haner Sr.

Brian Hanar Sr. is Synyster Gates father and provided additional guitars and pedal steel on City of Evil. He is also known as "The Official Acoustic Guitarist" for Avenged Sevenfold. He is sometimes reffered to as 'Papa Gates' (PG for short) because of this.
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