Today we will tell you about The Rev - who was, among others, the drummer of "Avenged Sevenfold" and one of its founders:
1. He was born in Huntington Beach, California on February 9, 1981. His full name is James "Jimmy" Owen Sullivan.
2. The musical influences on him were of Frank Zappa and "King Crimson" on one side and "Pantera", "Metallica", and "Slayer" on the other.
3. He noted that the drummers who influenced him the most were: Vinnie Paul Abbott, Mike Portnoy, Dave Lombardo, Lars Ulrich and Terry Bozzio. By the way, he also noted that drummer Tommy Lee had a visual influence on him.
4. Jimmy got his first drum set (a toy kit) already at the age of 5. His mother stated that they purchased the set for him to prevent damage to the furniture on which he was drumming around the house.
5. From an early age he was a prodigy in drumming. He transcribed and taught himself to play particularly difficult metal tracks, including of "Pantera", "Metallica", and "Slayer", when eventually he played pieces of "Dream Theater" and "Rush", all on the amateur drum set he got as a child.
6. His parents took him to see a live performance of "Metallica" when he was 12 years old.
7. He received his first serious drum set only at the age of 11, when by the age of 13 he was already able to play complex solo pieces he had written himself. See here:
8. Already in high school he started playing in several bands, but the first serious band with whom he also recorded an album named "Origin Edition" in 1999, was "Suburban Legends".
9. At the same year he also co-founded "Avenged Sevenfold", with M. Shadows who was his neighbor.
10. He released his first album with the band - "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" from 2001, when he was only 19 years old.
11. At the same time The Rev was a part of a side band called "Pinkly Smooth", along with guitarist Synyster Gates, his friend from "Avenged Sevenfold".
12. The band released one album in 2001 called "Unfortunate Snort". Jimmy was also serving as the lead singer and keyboardist of the band.
13. Jimmy developed a unique playing technique called "the double-ride thing" or "the Double Octopus" as he called it, which involves a quick double of the tempo between the double bass and two ride cymbals simultaneously. The technique can be heard in songs such as "Critical Acclaim", "Crossroads", "Dancing Dead" and more. Want to see why he called the technique "double octopus"? watch here for example in seconds 25 and 2:14 min. of the song "Almost Easy":
14. Beyond his amazing drumming Jimmy was also a singer and pianist in the band. His singing can be heard in a number of "Avenged Sevenfold" songs such as: "Afterlife", "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Almost Easy", "Scream", "Critical Acclaim" and more.
15. In addition, Jimmy was also a full partner in writing the songs for the band. He brought ideas for piano, lyrics, guitar riffs and more. For example, he wrote 4 of the 10 songs on the album "Avenged Sevenfold", including the ingenious and perfect masterpiece "A Little Piece of Heaven", which Rev wrote alone and also contributed singing, piano and orchestral arrangements.
16. Jimmy noted that over the years he received guitar lessons from Synyster Gates. He also knew how to play bass guitar.
17. He loved the 1990 film "Jacob's Ladder". The film would later be the inspiration for the video clip for the song "Nightmare".
18. His partner Leana "Silver" Mcfadden appears with him in the "funeral" scene in the clip for the song "Seize the Day".
19. Jimmy had a drum set that included three Bass drums. At one point the system also included 11 different cymbals and 7 toms.
16. Sullivan passed away on December 28, 2009. At first the cause of his death was unknown and investigators were unable to reach an unequivocal determination. But a year later it was announced that his death was the result of the use of a large number and variety of drugs and dangerous substances at once. It is not known if the drug use was done unintentionally, as a suicide attempt, or simply excessive consumption.
18. The band's fifth album - "Nightmare" was released about six months after his death and includes a number of tributes to Rev.
19. The moving ballad "So Far Away" was written entirely by guitarist Synyster Gates. originally the song was supposed to be written as a tribute to Syn's grandfather but in practice after Rev's death he changed the lyrics and dedicated the song to the legendary and beloved drummer.
20. The video clip of the song takes place in Huntington Beach, exactly where the band was formed and from there it moves to the studio where the rest of the band play, with pictures and videos of Rev in the background.
21. The songs "Victim" and "Save Me" are also lamentations and mourning for Rev.
22. Rev wrote the song "Fiction" only three days before his death. The song was originally named "Death", but band members changed it during the recordings. The last sentence he wrote in the song and is also the last he wrote before his death, is simply chilling: "I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you".
23. On the cover of the album there is a tribute to the legendary drummer, there is the caption of the word FOREVER with the letters Rev highlighted and prominent, on the tombstone that appears on the front cover.
24. The one who recorded the drum roles that Rev did not manage to finish for the album, is none other than Mike Portnoy who was then a member of "Dream Theater" and whom Rev admired.
25. After his death, Rev won the Best Drummer Award in the "Revolver Golden God Awards" competition.