Interview with Avenged Sevenfold drummer The Reverend and bassist Johnny Christ
Take Action Tour
September 17, 2003
Birch Hill Nite Club
Old Bridge, NJ
S&S: Your band name and some of the names you go by are religious references, yet your music is not religious. Is this so your music can reach people of all faiths?
Rev: We don’t discriminate between faiths at all. We’re not deliberately doing anything. We got the name because we just thought it was cool. Also, our singer wrote the lyrics to “Chapter Four” in Genesis just because he thought it was a good idea; not for any religious reasons. We’re not a religious band. I think that if your music is good enough, it should be able to reach people of all faiths.
S&S: Since some of your songs are kind of long, do you cut them down for shows or play them as is?
Rev: We definitely play them as is.
S&S: How old is everybody?
Rev: [Johnny Christ is] 18 now. The rest of us are 22 now.
S&S: Do you want to do music for the rest of your lives? You’re all really young. Is this pretty much what you want to do?
Rev: Definitely. We’re trying our hardest to make a career out of this.
JC: If it’s possible, this is the only thing I’ll become. If not, I’m going to be a bum.
Rev: If we weren’t playing music for a living, we probably would be so depressed. I wouldn’t be able to do much. I would turn into this bad alcoholic on welfare or something.
S&S: Were you ever in any other bands, and if so, what kind of music did you play?
Rev: We all played in tons of different bands; mostly punk bands here and there, just jamming with funk and jazz. We’ve all been in punk bands since we were 16 or whatever. This one was the latest one. The singer, the guitarist, and me – we’ve been best friends since 7th grade, but we’ve all been in separate bands our whole lives, and this is where we all came together. We said it was time to start the band we always wanted to start.
S&S: How did you come into the band? How did you meet the guys?
Rev: I was friends with his older brother, actually. I used to pick on him when he was in kindergarten. He played bass.
S&S: Do you ever play any cover songs?
Rev: No. That would be fun, but no.
S&S: What would you want to play?
Rev: We wouldn’t want to cover anyone, so I don’t know.
JC: It would definitely be from some of our collective influences like Silverchair or Pantera, Metallica or Megadeath.
Rev: I would personally like to cover Richard Marx, but my band will never let that happen. Some things are forbidden.
S&S: What do you write first, lyrics or melodies?
Rev: Melodies. Definitely melodies.
S&S: So, you try to match the words with what you’re feeling when you’re doing the melodies?
Rev: Yeah. Matt does most of the melodies, and he really gets intense with his lyrics by himself. Sometimes, like with the old album, he had lyrics that he put to a melody. He picks up on the vibe of the song and just goes with it.
S&S: What do you like to do after shows?
Rev: After shows? We like to drink profusely and hang out with girls. Every night, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
JC: That’s what we try to do.
Rev: I know we’re scumbags, but that’s all we ever do.
S&S: Do you have girlfriends or are they random girls?
Rev: Some of us have girlfriends. I said “hang out” with girls.
JC: I wouldn’t do anything bad with them. We’re just hanging out and having a good time.
Rev: I love to hang out with our guy friends. Anyone who will come take a shot with me is cool.
S&S: What has been the biggest change in either your music or your lives since you’ve recorded your first album?
Rev: Probably that I almost never see home anymore. I’m now dedicated to something that I love, and it’s actually going somewhere. Whereas, before we recorded that first album, none of that was really there. Everything changed. Now, we’re touring non-stop. We have to look at life differently. We completely dove into this band head first, and now there’s no turning back.
JC: We’ve got nothing to lose.
Rev: With the whole lifestyle of touring and everything, we’re 100% with it. We just leave everything behind. I love it. We all have a great time together.
S&S: Favorite color undergarment to wear?
JC: I like a good pink. Pink silk boxers. I have a couple of them with black lipsticks on them.
Rev: I can’t wear underwear. It gives me a rash. That’s not true, but you can put it down. It’s too late now. They’re like purple, yellow rashes. And there are boils.
S&S: Favorite color undergarment on the opposite sex?
Rev: That’s really hard.
JC: Black or red.
Rev: Black g-strings.
S&S: What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever done, or are there too many to list?
JC: I drank his spit one time.
Rev: What about satisfying your hunger for puke? That would be a good story. One day in my apartment, I decided to start a revolution with my friends for satisfying our hunger for puke because we were really bored. We all made ourselves puke and wiped it all over each other and stuff.
S&S: Oh, I thought you were going to say you made each other puke and then ate everyone else’s!
Rev: No, we should say satisfy our hunger to puke.
JC: It’s good to puke. You get all of those toxins out of your body. It makes you feel so good.
Rev: Nothing sexual is gross. What do I do that’s gross? Once I let my nails grow three days past when they were supposed to be trimmed.
JC: I went two days without a shower.
Rev: I wore the same socks for a day and a half. I drank some strange blood one time, too, and that scared me.
S&S: Did you know who it was from?
Rev: I knew who it was from – I just didn’t know him that well. He had tattoos and everything. But it’s not a good idea to drink blood anyway.
JC: It’s ok to drink blood if you know who it’s from though.
Rev: You’re asking the wrong members of the band about drinking blood. You’d get conservative answers from everyone else.
S&S: Beer or mixed drink?
S&S: How many beers do you drink a night?
Rev: Depends on the situation. Anywhere from six to 20.
JC: When we’re on tour, we try to kick it back a little.
Rev: The 20 only happens in crazy situations.
JC: When we have a day off on tour, like the next morning and shit, we’ll probably drink 45 beers.
Rev: The best, honestly, is mixing drinks with beer. I quit smoking four months ago. I quit for life.
S&S: That’s awesome. So, you don’t feel pressured when you’re around anybody?
Rev: Well, I smell them or see people smoking, and I remember that I liked to do that, but that was a different time. I’m over it.
S&S: If you could have a button next to your bed that would do one thing, what would you want it to do?
Rev: I would have a button that would change me into a different animal every time I pushed it for a three-hour period.
JC: I would have a button next to my bed that every time I pushed it, it would dispense a six-pack of very expensive beers every morning for me, to get me going for the rest of the day.
S&S: So, it’s not coffee. It’s beer that gets you going every morning?
JC: Yeah. Decaf. (laughter)
Rev: I think the animal thing is cool though. It’s better than money or naked girls or beer.
JC: I was actually thinking if I had a second button…
S&S: Oh, you’re pushing it now.
Rev: Pushing it. Get it?
JC: I’m a little slow, but I got it now. I’d probably have a naked woman dispenser, and anything I’m thinking, that button will give me.
Rev: See, these are standard answers. These are the ones that went through my mind at first, then I decided against it. I decided I’m going to turn into a wolf or a gorilla for a few hours. That would be pretty cool.
JC: That would be pretty cool, actually.
S&S: Do you have any questions for me?
JC: What color underwear are you wearing right now?
Rev: On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your enjoyment of our interview?
S&S: Negative 15.
JC: We suck!
S&S: I would definitely rate it at least an 8.59.
JC: Ooh, she’s specific.
S&S: 8.72. That’s why I try to put the funny questions. We like to make it interesting.
Rev: Girls are waiting their whole lives for the 10. (laughter) That’s my parting comment.