Deathbat News: Celebrating 3 Years. - Avenged Sevenfold

Deathbat News: Celebrating 3 Years.

Today, Deathbat News turns a mere 3 years old though it feels as though it’s been around forever. I have no one to thank but you guys for the success of Deathbat News. And to thank you, I’m opening up completely and sharing my recap of the past year as not only ‘DBN Lady’ but personally as well. It’s long, so be prepared.

I run Deathbat News because I respect Avenged Sevenfold and they gave me a reason, years ago, to be passionate about music. This is done because since I’ve become a fan they’ve gone from just a blip on the radar to blowing the entire place up, from playing small clubs to playing in front of 60,000+ people and selling out arenas, from debuting at a decent position on Billboard to debuting at #1, from overcoming tragedy and owning triumph. The one thing that’s never changed as I’ve watched the band grow? How loyal they are and how much they respect their fans. There is no other reason I run Deathbat News than wanting Avenged Sevenfold to have all of the success in the world. Because they deserve it more than anyone.

The three most important thank you’s are here, the rest can be found at the end of the post.

Avenged Sevenfold – You are the most humble, down to earth, respectful group of men I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Since the first time in 2006 to 2010 – none of you have ever changed. And, that’s such a refreshing thing these days. It can never be put into words how incredibly thankful, grateful, honored, I am for not only the things you’ve done for me within the past year but since I’ve become a fan. You’ve inspired me since the beginning and you continue to do so every day.

The Fans & Deathbat News Readers – It’s the most truthful thing I can say – Deathbat News would be nothing without you. Whether you joined in November 2007, over the past few years, or just recently you are the strongest link. Deathbat News is for YOU. I know how you feel about this band. The band that, at one point or another, have given us the strength to move through rough times in our lives and come out on top. I am one of you. And I thank you all, so much.

Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan – Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.


2010 started off on a tragic note. I never spoke openly with anyone about Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan‘s passing. I guess it’s just not the way that I grieve. When something like this happens, I shut down and act like I’m strong but on the inside I’m breaking down. I had the honor of meeting Jimmy a few times, hanging around him on occasion and all I can say is that when the room was pitch black you could count on him to be the shining light. I’ve made many posts within the past three years that I didn’t want to put up (i.e. the band canceling tours or tour dates, band members being taken to the hospital, band members being sick, etc.) but the post I had to make on December 28th, 2009 was by far the hardest thing that’s had to be published. I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to believe that it was true. The one positive thing I can say is that never in my life have I seen a fan base come together like this one did to be there for one another, for the band, to mourn, to comfort, to remember, to celebrate one man’s life. While the band remember Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan in their lives and every night on stage they give us the chance to do so as well. For that, I think we are forever grateful and will continue to celebrate his legacy.

Knowing that a brand new Avenged Sevenfold album had already been written and was ready to be tracked when the event happened, I think we all collectively held our breath. In that moment, we were all behind the band 100% to do whatever they felt was right. Mr. Mike Portnoy was welcomed with open arms by the Avenged Sevenfold family for helping the band get this album out in honor of their best friend and a drummer we had all come to love and respect over the past 10 years. The album was tracked, recorded and ready to be released. We knew Avenged Sevenfold would not let us down, as this album would probably be the most important album they would ever write. And they gave us everything and more.

There were also highlights. On June 5th 99.7 The Blitz conducted an interview with M Shadows & Synyster Gates and a reader sent in a question about Deathbat News that got an incredibly honoring response from M Shadows. When I heard it I was pretty stunned. Not only did I think it was awesome that a reader had sent in a question to them that involved the site but that they knew about it, read it, and loved it, was amazing. It made me happy to know that the fans were being heard.

Time was quickly winding down to July 27th and I was invited out to Los Angeles, California to listen to and review “Nightmare.” The day was started off at the home of Zacky Vengeance where I was welcomed in and spent the morning sharing stories, laughs and listening to a few songs off of the album. I have to be honest and say that it was a little nerve-wracking sitting in his studio and hearing these songs with one of the men who had gone through all of this and made the album. However, in a way it was also comforting. As I said goodbye I walked away with a much more intense respect for this album. Warner Brothers Records was next and I was introduced to the an amazing group of people. All of which made me feel like part of the team as I soon as I walked into the doors. This is where I was to listen to “Nightmare” in it’s entirety and write my review. Of course thing’s don’t always go as planned. About halfway through the album the session was stopped and I was informed I would be moving to The Collective, the bands management company, to listen to the rest with Larry Jacobson. I’d met Mr Jacobson before and had finally gotten a chance to meet the rest of the group. Again, all amazing people. Here I was sitting in his office, a man that I have an immense amount of respect for, listening to this incredible album. I don’t like to cry in public, or cry at all, but it was a little hard not to while listening to “So Far Away” and “Fiction” with my eyes fixated on a pair of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan‘s drum sticks sitting in a glass case. Once my time at the Collective was up it was time to end the day but not before a surprise appearance by M Shadows was made. More laughs and stories were shared and it was a perfect way to end an unbelievable day. The next morning I got on my flight out of California and had a lot to reflect on.

And then personal tragedy struck. Two hours after I arrived home I got a call that my uncle had passed away unexpectedly. A shock to my entire family, as we’re a very big close-knit group. The most amazing 24 hours were quickly met with my own personal nightmare. The following week went by slow and with a lot of tears and led into the release of the album. Now all of a sudden, some of these songs were hitting deeper and closer than ever.

Just a few days after “Nightmare’s” release, on July 29th, Avenged Sevenfold hosted their very first live chat with fans where questions were submitted and answered. A fan had written in to ask them about what they thought of my experience out there. This time around Zacky Vengeance spoke on behalf of Deathbat News making me feel honored once more. By this time, it was known that the band visited Deathbat News and liked to read the comments to see what their fans were saying, to keep in touch with what the fans thought and wanted, but I never thought that they would speak about it again, and so well of it at that.

A few days later after all of the hard work that the band, Warner Brothers Records, The Collective, publications and the fans put in Avenged Sevenfold debuted at #1 on Billboard. This was a feat that critics laughed at, something they said would never happen, even the man behind Billboard himself thought so – And there we were as a team, as a family, prouder than ever that we had accomplished this.

A few months passed and by this time the band had gone through a good portion of the Rockstar Uproar tour when my date rolled around. I got a chance to meet some of the crew behind the tour including the two men who joined forces to make it happen and it made me so happy to see their dedication and how wonderful they were. This was also where I got the chance to meet some Deathbat News readers in person and talk with them. Such a great experience. The band received rave reviews from publications all over the US and Canada while on the tour and as they make their way through Europe and the UK the positive reviews aren’t stopping.

Avenged Sevenfold have told us that we’re the reason behind them having the strength to record this album, to get back on stage to honor Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan every night by sharing this masterpiece of an album with us. All I can say to that is, this band is the reason behind the fans being strong enough to be there every single night. In all honesty, seeing the band perform on Uproar was hard for me without seeing the one I was so used to behind the drums. I’m thankful for the group of fans who were with me at the time, including my own mom, who shed a tear and enjoyed the show. When the fans walk through those venue doors, when the band walks out on stage, we’re not fans seeing a band we love, we’re a family supporting Avenged Sevenfold. We’re not strangers to each other, we’re brothers and sisters. The band have constantly given to us, and now we give back.

To continue the thank you’s:
The WBR & The Collective Family – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the way you all made me feel like a part of the team is something I’ve never felt before. And something I’ll always be thankful for. It really does change things to know that you’re a part of making a difference. Thank you, thank you, thank you – for everything you’ve done and for being an amazing group of people.

Mike Portnoy – The fans could never thank you enough for the what you’ve done for Avenged Sevenfold. From going into the studio with them to help them make this record to filling in on stage every night everything you have done has been with such grace, poise and respect. Thank you.

The Rockstar Uproar Crew – You all welcomed me with open arms at my show and treated me greatly and I thank you all for that. But the most important thank you goes to the fact that you gave this band a comfortable place to return to the stage and you gave the fans a way to show them how much we were behind them by showing up.

Revolver Magazine, Metal Hammer Magazine, Kerrang! Magazine, Big Cheese Magazine, Hopeless Records, MTV, Fuse – Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to work alongside publications, labels, tv networks that I have grown up on. To Cam Rackam, DCMA Collective, The Sirens – I respect you all incredibly. You’re all hard working people. Thank you for the support you’ve shown Deathbat News.

Chris Epting – I don’t know how I could ever begin to thank you for the beautiful things that you wrote regarding Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. You’ll never know how much you helped all of us fans heal through such a hard time. We are forever in our debt to you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.