Photo courtesy Dixon Christie
Avenged takes a moment to stop and provide us with insights about their relentless touring, life on the road, and more. Thanks to April and Sevenfoldism!
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Dixon: Alright, we're here at the Avenged Sevenfold show, backstage with Johnny Christ, how are you doing?
Very good. Last time we spoke was about 6 months ago, you were talking about getting fucked up on the road.
(Johnny laughs and grins)
. . .non stop partying, non stop touring. Can you tell us how the tour has been going and about life on the road?
Ya. The tour has been going great for the last, like 2 years, and we kinda slowed down on the partying a bit. . . We definitely had our fair share of fun on the road but (pause) a lot of the press has been fabricated on a lot of what we do. We're not a Motley Crue by any means. . . We're just out there. . . We are just 5 great friends that get along together and like to have a few drinks. But you know, touring has been great, we have had a lot of fun and we are all getting excited to get home and get started in writing our next album.
(Dramatically) I talked to the Rev, and he told me first hand that it's hard core partying on the road for you guys.
So maybe you are fabricating this right now. (joking)
The Rev! (laughing) Well, The Rev, well, he's the wild one. That's the truth.
So now we know the truth. Can you tell the kids coming up in bands how important whoring the band is? How important touring and non stop promotions is for a band? (I was referring to MySpace whoring, like the previous comment, may have come off a bit more serious that I intended, oh well, Johnny was a great guy, and tried to roll with it.)
Non Stop promotions is definitely good, but it has to be the right promotions but I wouldn't necessarily say that whoring yourself out is good at all but you do want to get your name out there by consecutive touring like you say. You want to get out there and gave your name be heard by, and have it actually affiliated with the band, you want to have your image affiliated with it, and to take as many tours as you can to get your name out there.
Can you tell us a little bit about your MySpace? You guys are up to 7 million profile views. At some point, it must get weird, and surreal.
You know what? It's really cool actually. It is a little bit surreal to see that there are 7 million people that are fans on MySpace and for records and we have only sold, like a million worldwide, so, (both laugh) it's definitely a little weird to see that. . . But it's definitely cool.
(Speaking of which) Do you think that at some point, there's a ratio of kids that way more kids are listening to the music than are actually going out and buying it, so does it become a downside? Ya, you have all these promotions and YouTube plays your video a million times but if it only translates to 10 million listens and 1 million purchases. . .
Ya, that's kind of the bum out of the internet situation as a whole. That's kind of a bum out but, I think that we think of these potential listens as potential fans so. . .
Speaking of fans. How important is it for you to stay on top of your fans? You must get like 10 thousand emails every day, how do you get back to them all?
Actually, for a while we were getting back to like every single one. It did, as it turns out, become very overwhelming, so we kinda have them screened through by our management team, and we some people that oversee the emails, and we try to get back to as many as we can, but it can be very overwhelming.
so your current video on MTV and Much and your MySpace is "Seize the Day". Can you tell us about how important that philosophy is for the band, and living every moment to it's fullest, and really seizing the day?
Ya, if we didn't do that as a band, you know, it'd be very different with the guys, you know, living together with 5 dudes in such close quarters. Doing your best every day, we have been doing this for 8 years now, and it just wouldn't be the same. . .
Would get boring very fast?
Ya, live life to the fullest and just don't take any of it for granted.
Can you talk about your Canadian fans. We have a lot of readers that are from Canada, what has Canada meant to you guys?
Canada has been great. We come out the first couple times on Warped Tour, and that was really great for us. And we still to this day get lots of people that come up to us and say, "Ya, the first time that I saw you was on Warped Tour on such and such year, and you guys won me over in like 30 seconds". . . So it's really awesome that a lot of the Canadian fans here saw us on tour rather than just on the radio. . .
Well, I saw you the first time on Warped Tour and actually, that blew me right away.
Thank you very much.
You are welcome. I was there to see punk rock bands and these guys kick fucking ass live. So I just want to talk about the spiritual iconography of the band, and that message. . . with the designs, graphics, book of revelations, can you tell us about the spiritual message for the band?
There's not really so much of a spiritual message from the band. We area band that grew up with many of the heavy metal bands like the Metallica's, Iron Maidens and everything that did use that imagery for their stories. There are a lot of great stories in the bible and a lot of it can be taken into context today. Like in Beast and the Harlot, City of Evil, that's Babylon falling, you have a lot of cities today that are filled with that kind of decadence.
Modern day Sodom and Gomorrah?
Like Los Angeles?
Ya, but more like Vegas. (both laugh!)
But you LOVE Vegas!
Ya, we love Vegas! That's not to say that it is a bad message about it, we love it all!
Just being. . . Recognizing it. Kind of a social commentary. . .
Pretty much, we just use it as for story telling.
Good. So you have been touring the album for 2 years. Obviously you are planning to get back into the studio soon to work on a new album? (Avenged actually cut their tour short a week after this interview to get into the studio and start working on their new album) Do you have a tentative title, do you have a concept in mind? Are you going to write in the studio, what have you got planned for that?
We are going to write when we get home to our houses, we are going to do what we usually do; just get into someone's garage and start the writing process there. Ummm, we usually try and write in the moment, so I can't say anything about it right now. All we have is ideas shooting back and forth, like, "what are we going to do?" It's always scary. . .
Ya. It's pressure to write the record that we want to write. Not so much pressure from anything, like for successful reasons. We just want to be able to get all of our ideas out on the table and put together the best record that we possibly can. And that's where the pressure comes in, just outdoing ourselves every time.
Well now that you have sold over a million records, the pressure is considerably bigger.
(looks astonished) Ya. . .
But no pressure, dude!
Alright, we got 2 more questions. First of all, which of the following experiences have you had and can you tell us about it. A brush with God? An alien experience? Or a supernatural Ghost experience?
I don't think that I have had any of those. . . Actually, a brush with God. I have probably need drunk a few times and was cursing at God, that's probably the closest that I have gotten.
But you have never met Him.
No, no, can't say I have.
Alright, the final question is, tell us what would surprise kids most to learn about Avenged Sevenfold or about Johnny Christ?
Probably that we are not as drunk as we were pretending to be.
Any final words for the kids?
(giggles) Ya. Thank you guys very much, we love you all.
Interview by: Dixon Christie, PunkTV.ca