The Pop Culture Road Trip

The Pop Culture Road Trip

In Defense of Avenged Sevenfold Fans

Briefly – I wrote several weeks ago about the many heartfelt notes and letters I’ve received this year in regards to some articles I wrote about Jimmy Sullivan, the drummer from the band Avenged Sevenfold. They’re based here in Huntington Beach where I live, and the Sullivan family are friends of ours.

There was some controversy this week after a Los Angeles Times review of the band’s new album, “Nightmare,” closed with this thought: “”With imagery haunted by death and lyrical allusions to alienation and
angst, Avenged Sevenfold’s fifth full-length is almost impossible to
appreciate unless you fit the prime demographic: tormented teenage
Understandably, many fans of the band took issue with this gross generalization. The points I want to make are, after coming in contact with hundreds of fans this year, that:
1. about 70% of the communiques I received were from females – and not just teenagers
2. I would not describe any of them as “tormented” – Upset? Sure. Devastated? Absolutely. Passionate about a band they revere? Yes.
In my opinion, that line in the Times piece is the sort of crass, off-the-cuff crack that serves nobody except the writer – it ‘s a cheap shot – nothing more, nothing less, at the expense of  a fan base that endured an epic loss this year but pulled together in support of the music (and the band) that they love.
Photo – the new CD – right where it belongs – connected to one of its creators
Comments read comments(33)
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Victoria DeRoy

posted July 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

Thank you, Chris. Thank you for supporting us as well as supporting them. It means a lot to know that people outside of the community itself understand and know that we are going through something. That this isn’t just another band; that these men have stolen our souls and that we’d do anything for them (like drive across the country to see their first show).
It means a lot and I wanted you to know that. From the scrapbook team, the Wild Ride team, from the entire family. It means more then you can possibly imagine. You’ve really been here for us. Thank you for everything.

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posted July 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

Short and to the point. Thank you for this.

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Nikka Manwarren

posted July 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Thank you so much, at least someone understands us :) A7X means alot to alot of people and what they said was just plain awful and wrong!!

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Thank you so much Chris! i couldn’t have said it much better myself. thank you for standing up for us fans and for the band

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm

You’re the bomb, Chris Epting, and I totally agree. It’s disheartening to see the kind of unjustified animosity fostered by the anonymity of the internet leech into actual printed publication, but not only that it’s disgusting to see it aimed avenged sevenfold fans. That comment was not only a wild generalization, but petty, unprofessional, and frankly, embarrassing. The author’s inability to understand the evolution of A7X’s image and sound that has changed for more than a decade is more a disservice to himself than it is to the fanbase. I’ve been to a handful of avenged shows since warped 05, not to mention fostered relationships with other fans (both younger and older than me) through websites like Deathbat News, and I can honestly say that we are the most supportive and kind people to each other, which is something most bands can’t say about their core audience.

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I’m a 35 year old single father and I love and am as passionate about Avenged Sevenfold now as I was about Nirvana in 1991. The music they make not only transcends but bridges generational gaps. Thank you so much Chris for having our backs. It has been a horrible 8 months as a fan of this band with the loss of Jimmy and this album is so very important to us fans. It is a big part of the healing process and we believe it to be the bands crowning achievement. Again thanks for backing us up and…Welcome to the family!

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Thank you.

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Thanks for understanding Chris. Some people just don’t understand the fact that not only has the band itself lost someone important to them, but important to the fans as well. I may be saying this because I’m a fan of Avenged Sevenfold myself, but I believe A7X has one of THE BEST fan bases compared to any other. We wanted them to continue on even after The Rev had passed and I’m glad they decided to get back out on the road as well because they can still have fun and The Rev’s gonna be there the entire time anyway. I know what it’s like to lose a family member so I pretty much know what they went through. Once again thanks Chris for backing us fans up and the band itself.

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I don’t think anyone could have possibly said this better. I’m a girl and I listen to Avenged Sevenfold. They are my top favorite band. Just because the lyrics aren’t singing about drugs and sex like most music is now does that make it for tormented people? No! It’s easy to relate for almost everybody. And why would you say that about Avenged Sevenfold when you probably haven’t listened to the lyrics. We suffered the loss of the Rev last December and still pulled through it and are still dedicated to the band. How many bands could seriously survive something like that? Not many. Avenged Sevenfold foREVer!

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Thank you for this Mr.Epting. I hope that writer wouldn’t have put my father, who happens to be 51 and a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, in the group of “tormented teenage boys”. Haha but thank you.

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Thank you so much, it’s good to hear people that understand A7X’s fans. We’re a family, and Jimmy’s passing as only grown us closer and stronger.

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posted July 29, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Thanks for the article and backing up the band and music that we all love. Tell the Sullivans that they are in our prayers!

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posted July 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm

i cant believe they said that, it proves they don´t know anything about avenged sevenfold and they didn´t really put atention to the songs because you can see that Jimmy was in their minds and is in fact a great cd, they don´t apreciate great music because even though its long you never get bored and describes the feelings of the band something that many pop music sometimes they write songs only to sell and empty.
thanks for the support. :)

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posted July 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Thank You for this article, my friends and i really look up to Avenged Sevenfold and their music and most of all the great/talented Jimmy Sullivan. I, along with alot of people I know were devastated and disappointed that yet another young music talent had to go way too soon. His family in A7X and friends are in all our prayers

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posted July 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for defending us! My niece is 2 and likes Avenged (we pick and choose songs based on how much Matt swears, of course =)….), so she’s not in that category, either. A7X fans are kind of like the mafia…we take care of our boys!

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posted July 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Chris Epting i love you! cuz you are awesome and an understandable man with a heart therefore you are part of this a7x family 😀

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posted July 29, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I agree full-heartedly. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the statement was rude and juvenile coming from older, “more experienced” adults. I’m glad that people are starting to see this. You continue to support Chris and we all love you for that!

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posted July 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Its amazing how some of the critics/reporters just say whatever is on their mind, without doing any sort of research on what they are writing about. I can see how some people might not like a7x’s music…but that doesn’t give you the right to talk ill of their fans. as for me 22/F I absolutely love the new album, can’t get enough….and im not even tormented…

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Khaled Abdullah

posted July 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm

i’m 16 years old anf avenged are my fav band, i’m a very happy individual and am in no way tormented,jimmy meant the world to me and other fans, he was an incredible person, amazingly talented in eveything he did, and let’s face it a funnyass guy, so i suggest that the l.a times reporter does a little research before going of and saying hurtful things like that, the album was the result of pain after losing a brother at the age of 28, not teenage angst

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posted July 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Thank you a lot for this. You have no idea how much we all appreciate it =).

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posted July 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm

i 100% agree with this. much appreciated!
chris your are awesome:D

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posted July 29, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Thank you Chris, for pointing out the obvious, and coming out in defense of Avenged Sevenfold for what was nothing but a cheap shot by this hack writer. Everybody has got an opinion, but when you’re reviewing something that you are obviously completely ignorant of you should just keep your mouth shut…and I bet this writer realized that after the first hundred “hate mails” he received. Last time I checked rock/metal/hardcore…what ever little package you want to put Avenged Sevenfold in….this music isn’t about bling, drinking Krystal, bitches, and cars…its about life, and life is unkind at times, life makes you angry at times, life kicks the crap out of you and then watches to see if you’ll fold and give up or stand up and keep fighting. All of these things and so much more, is what Nightmare is about. This LA Times writer in short is just a moron.

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posted July 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm

What is amazing is how narrow minded people are. I’m attacking the critics of course, not the fans. We ARE a family..brought together by the common bond of LOVING a band. I know when I was in highschool, these guys saved my life. I was ABSOLUTELY miserable and I mean miserable. I hated myself..and they helped me overcome it, making me embrace myself for who I was. When Jimmy passed away..we lost a brother. We lost a family member. See, what these critics don’t understand is that Jimmy was THEIR brother. These critics know NOTHING of Avenged Sevenfold..they don’t know what they’ve been through and they don’t realize how much of an impact they have made on kids and adults alike. Their music is LIFE, it’s about life. They hardly sing of anyhing less or anything else. And as for “tormented teenage boys”..let me say this again. THEY LOST A FAMILY MEMBER. We lost a family member. They are taking it better than most bands would. Most bands would give up, but not our boys. They are hanging on..Jimmy would want this. These crtics know NOTHING of music. After all, everyone worships a “little girl” who flauts around in bird feathers and acts MUCH beyond her age. Does she know little girls admire her? But of couse, sex sells and little miss 17 just happens be a hooch. But I’m nt here to talk about crappy music. I’m here to defend MY favorite band and that’s what I shall do. You can’t do anything BUT to appreciate this album. It has heart, feeling and emotion. It’s about life and what people go through. KNOW your subject you’re bashing about. BURN THEM DOWN, ANYWAY.

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Jack S

posted July 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Im 20 and im a guy and i was devastated when i found out The Rev died.
He was a huge influence in my drumming and a Hero aswell.
Guys who make comments like that arent taking anything into consideration about how long those guys had been together and how much time they spent together not just touring but outside of music life.
A very cheap shot on the bands part but your always going to get people like this.
Keep making the music guys.
a7x for life

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posted July 29, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Thank you so much for taking our side and sticking up for us Chris.
It sure does mean a whole lot.
We are constantly being bashed.
Probably because we are one of the most strongest fan bases out there.
FALLEN for life.
Avenged Sevenfold

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posted July 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Chris-You are THE MAN!!!! This “writer” from the LA times is a joke. For anyone to think that Avenged Sevenfold’s music could only appeal to tormented teenage boys is ABSURD!!! They are the last band in modern rock that could only appeal to one demographic!! I am extremely passionate about Sevenfold’s music. So passionate, that I feel the need to let everyone hear it. Any time I get an opportunity to show someone their music, I do. I can’t say everyone has gotten into them as much as I have, but usually everyone likes a few songs, if not more. I’m a veteran, 28 year old State Trooper. Raised in a loving family, well educated, quite normal, and I love A7X. Other people I know who like their music range from a 56 year old female Nurse, a 25 year old female teacher, a 29 year old male mechanic, a 30 year old male drug rehab counselor, a 36 year old male Parole Officer. This guy knows nothing, and like Chris said, this was a cheap shot and it’s unfortunate. People should understand the fragile circumstances surrounding this album, and if they don’t like it, then just keep their mouths shut. As far as I am concerned, this album is nothing short of AMAZING. They will have my unwavering support until the day I die!

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posted July 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Well put Chris, it was a cheap shot indeed…but this family, our family, is so strong, that shot didn’t even dent our armor. The reviewer obviously knows nothing about Avenged or what they stand for and it is quite insulting that he didn’t do his research, but what matters is what we feel and I know we are all very proud of what the guys accomplished. Jimmy is definitely rocking out to it in his little piece of heaven.
Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the fans and the family. You are an exceptional human being (and always write so eloquently). I ordered your book the other day and cannot wait to receive it so I can read all the essays, especially the one on Jimmy.
foREVer in our hearts.

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Chris Epting

posted July 29, 2010 at 7:25 pm

To all of you – collectively – individually – thank you

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posted July 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm

As a huge Avenged Sevenfold, Pinkly Smooth, and Jimmy fan, thank you.
Jimmy has been a huge influence in my life. His music is the soundtrack to my life.

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posted July 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Maybe the times should get a real writer like you on their staff… one who “knows music” but more importantly doesn’t have to rely on cheap shots to make their articles interesting to read.
Ugh… don’t even get me started… lol

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posted July 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Thank you Chris for stepping up and defending A7X fans…..
I can not believe a publication the likes of the LA Times would have such an uneducated ass for a writer, who obviously did not do his homework. He saw the word “rock band” and assumed that all the fans are “teenage boys”. The fanbase crosses every age and background. There is no one set type of person who listens to A7X. It a large mesh of people who make up the Deathbat family. I am a very passionate and loyal fan of the band and have been for years. I proudly show my deathbat ink and my memorial ink for Jimmy in my every day 8-5 corporate job. I am 35 and have a 10 year old who I am training to be just as passionate about the band.
I just pisses me off all the negativity that has brewed up this week. Why can people just let it go for once, this band has over come a great and devastating time to hand the fans one of the best cds ever to be heard in the world of music. Jimmy would be very proud of this accomplishment. Again Chris, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for the band, Jimmy’s family and us the fans. We appreciate it more than you will ever know.

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Norman Sanders

posted September 4, 2010 at 11:27 pm

R.I.P Jimmy “The REV” Sullivan your gone but not forgotten! i know your having the time of you life in Heaven teaching God how to drum like the best! maybe one day you can teach me too. every time i hear thunder i know it’s you playing your golden drum set with God. A7X FoREVer
you are the knife master!

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Viviana "blackmoon" De Vecchis

posted September 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

your death was a bolt from the blue but I am convinced that you watch from above
about who you are and love you including your fans … I think
that you have become a sort of my guardian angel … we miss you … rest in peace Jimmy
foREVer in my heart…

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