Whether you know them as Avengen Sevenfold or the shortened version, A7X, you’re probably reading this because you consider yourself a huge fan of the Huntington Beach heavy metal band. Let’s just see about that – read on below to see how much you actually know about the group’s current lineup. Formed in 1999, the band is about a couple of decades late to the scene after founding legends like Metallica.
Born as Matthew Charles Sanders on July 31, 1981 in Huntington Beach, California, he’s one of the founding members of the group. Seeing himself as the “darker character” of the group, he chose the name M. Shadows, with the first letter representing his real name. Claiming piano had a huge influence in his musical upbringing, he briefly played in a high school punk band called “Successful Failure”. Shortly after, he formed Avenged Sevenfold with friends Zacky Vengeance and Matt Wendt. While rumors arose that he had throat surgery after he changed his singing style from screaming to singing, they were quickly put to rest, explaining that he was simply taking better care of his voice.
Zachary James Baker, better known as Zacky Vengeance, is another founding member of the band, born on December 1981 in Olympia, Washington. Like many other musicians before him, he played in other bands including ‘Society Down’ and Mad Porno Action (MPA). His chosen stage name was a shot to those who had doubted his potential. His creative juices kept flowing when he bestowed the stage name Johnny Christ to fellow band member and he’s also responsible for coming up with ‘A7X’.
Called a couple of different names including “Syn” or his birth name, Brian Elwin Haner, Jr., Synyster Gates is considered to be number 87 on Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time. Half German and Spanish, he’s the son of Brian Haner, Sr., a popular author, comedian and musician. “So Far Away” is a song he originally wrote to commemorate his grandfather, however, it’s now more widely known as a tribute to his former band mate and best friend, The Rev, who passed away in December 2009. The two played in a band called ‘Pinkly Smooth’ which was formed in the summer of 2001. They released one album but was unlikely to continue due to the Rev’s death.
As the fourth bassist to the band and a replacement to Dameon Ash, Johnny Christ’s real name is Jonathan Lewis Seward, who was born on November 18, 1984. The replacement was quite fitting since he would always fill in wherever Dameon couldn’t attend in the band’s earlier days.During his senior year in high school, Johnny took some time off to step in for Deamon which led him to officially drop out when the gig became permanent, as he’s known as the band’s bassist today.
Brooks plays the drums for a couple of other bands including Avenged Sevenfold. Formerly Bad Religion’s drummer, he also plays for the band Mass Mental. He stepped in for Arin Ilejay who departed from the band on November 4, 2015 citing he had trouble fitting in. When he left Bad Religion, he had surpassed the title for the band’s longest-standing drummer, having played for more than 10 years. As a teen he was part of a group called Bad4Good and later substituted for the Vandals drummer, Josh Freese.
With this brief insight into the band’s current members, I hope you’re able to appreciate Avenged Sevenfold a bit more. Who’s your favorite member and did you learn something new about him?
This blog dives into the world of heavy metal music. The type that young, angry teenagers love to put on full blast or any self-respecting adult may opt in for if they’re having a bad day.