By John Wiederhorn and Katherine Truman
Avenged Sevenfold have always occupied a weird space in the annals of OC metal, or metalcore, whatever you want to call it. Despite being rejected by some old-school metal fans (i.e. anyone with a sleeveless denim jacket, a Napalm Death concert stub and tattoos older than you), Avenged Sevenfold have one of the most rabid young fan bases in the game. Their power could be resurfacing again with the release of their sixth album, Hail to the King, on August 27.
Coming up alongside the brutal shredding of colleagues like Eighteen Visions and Atreyu, the band dubbed A7X were one of the first bands to really embrace a more glammed-out '80s resurgence of noodling guitar riffs, guy-liner, and a ghoulish identity. Despite the untimely death of drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan, vocalist Matthew “M.Shadows” Sanders and company have persevered. To date, they've sold more than 4 million albums worldwide. While on tour during their City of Evil era, their idea of a good time often meant leaving a trail of drugs, destruction and piss (like, R.Kelly amounts of piss) in their wake. To learn more, once again we decided to bust open a copy of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal by John Wiederhorn and Katherine Truman to let you hear about their insane antics in their own words. (Nate Jackson)
From Louder Than Hell:
M. SHADOWS: The last time we got into a bar fight we were just sitting there drinking and some asshole goes, “If I don't get a drink in the next five minutes, I'm gonna punch the next person that walks in the door.” So he doesn't get his drink and my friend walks in, so the guy shoves my friend. The Rev walks up with a beer bottle and just, boom! across the guy's face. All I remember is kneeing someone in the face over and over and not stopping.
JOHNNY CHRIST: I got arrested for a DUI in 1994. I had just bought my Crown Victoria and I went out. I wasn't planning on going anywhere. I just had a bottle of Jack sitting next to me and I was drinking, watching TV, and a friend came over. I had just got back from a tour. So I showed him the car and I was drinking some more. I ended up blacking out. And for whatever reason, I wanted to go for a spin. Next thing I know, I wake up and I've driven my car underneath a parked Dodge pickup truck. I found out later I had put the pedal all the way down and at the last second I fishtailed and went right underneath the truck. So I'm trying to back out and this guy runs out in his underwear and starts screaming. I tried settling it, but there was already a cop there. I went to jail and had a pretty hefty fine.
ROXANA SHIRAZI (groupie, writer): [One time], Synyster put down his beer and unzipped his heavy metal pants, full of chains, studs, and assorted accessories. He unleashed his hot pee like a fountain all over my breasts. I held my head back to expose my neck. [Back on the band's bus] the Rev tried to fuck me. M. Shadows watched. When Synyster showed up, though, the Rev's dick died. He kept trying to fuck, but his dick was spaghetti limp. He tried to shove it in again and again. Because of all the chemical substances he'd consumed, he began foaming at the mouth. All of a sudden, his face went pale and twisted in deranged psychosis, and he slammed me onto the ground. I hit my head, then stood back up in a daze. I was angry, but mostly because I hadn't gotten proper sex.
SYNYSTER GATES: When we went to Atlantic City on the City of Evil tour there were a couple of girls we met at our meet-and-greet. We were supposed to play strip poker, and while we were there, we got a little crazy. We filled up a bucket with urine and dumped it all over one of the girls and she was freaking out. She was soaked head to toe in the band's urine. So Johnny said, "Don't worry, baby. It's just alcohol.” So she picks up a bottle of Patrón [tequila] and says, “I can't believe you wasted this bottle of Patrón on me.” We're just busting out because she's covered with piss.
THE REV: We had a day off in New Mexico [i[in 2006]nd there was nothing to do, so me and [g[guitarist]acky [V[Vengeance]ere drinking. It was just me and him in the bathroom at this tequila bar. We got drunk to the point where it felt like we were on crazy drugs because it was, like, 100 degrees outside and we were out of our minds. So Zack thought it was fuckin' hilarious to start pissing on the floor. I was like, “Yeah!” I fuckin' dropped to my knees and started fuckin' lickin' it up.
THE REV: I'm not a drug addict, but I'm a total sex addict. I'm also probably an alcoholic. I mean, shit, when you're sitting around the tour bus every night driving to the next town, what the fuck else is there to do but drink and take drugs? But I'm not into ruining my life. I never had to go to the hospital or anything. The closest I got was being on a lot of cocaine and then snorting Oxycontin pills. That was really dumb, and I don't remember anything after that.
ZACKY VENGEANCE: I once saw Jimmy walking down the street holding his arm up and fucking wheezing. Like, “I gotta put my arm up, it's hurting my heart. It hurts really bad.” Like the dude's about to have a heart attack. Then he walked back to the room and I see these lines of coke cut on a mirror that are literally the size of four pencils stuck together. Each line was seriously like a gram and a half. I looked at him and started laughing. I'm all, “That's enough to last a fucking month.”