AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Zacky Vengeance tells AOL's Noisecreep that when the band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, passed away last year, the group was finished. "When we called each other and got the call that Jimmy had died, literally it all ended right there," Vengeance, whose real name is Zachary Baker, says. "Everything we've ever known as human beings, everything we've ever known as a band, changes at that moment, and you can't think clearly. You can't see anything, you can't talk, you can't make any sense of anything. It was just done. You don't care about music, there's just nothing."As to what changed their minds, Zacky says, "I can honestly tell you if it wasn't for our fans, there would not be AVENGED SEVENFOLD right now. The fans would send in hundreds and thousands of letters, and they'd make books begging us to keep going and thanking us for what we have done and honoring Jimmy. They held vigils all over the world. . . If it wasn't for them, we certainly wouldn't have had the strength to get back there and basically walk through the fire at the hardest time in our life." AVENGED SEVENFOLD recently tapped famed video director Wayne Isham to helm the clip for the band's new single, "Nightmare". Wayne Isham, 52, is an American movie director who has directed music videos of many popular artists such as METALLICA, MÖTLEY CRÜE, SIMPLE PLAN, PANTERA, 'N SYNC, SHANIA TWAIN, GODSMACK, BRITNEY SPEARS, LEONA LEWIS, PINK FLOYD, SHERYL CROW, JOSS STONE, MADONNA, AVRIL LAVIGNE, DEF LEPPARD and BON JOVI, among others. "Nightmare" was the No. 1 most added track at Active Rock radio in the United States last month. It was also the No. 1 rock song on iTunes in the United States, selling over 23,666 units in its first day. Additionally, across the pond in the United Kingdom, "Nightmare" was the No. 1 rock song on iTunes. On the band's official web site, "Nightmare" premiered via a YouTube "lyric" Video that received over 275,000 plays in 24 hours.
The song is the title track to the band's upcoming fifth studio album, which will be released by Warner Bros. Records on July 27. "Nightmare" was produced by Mike Elizondo (DR. DRE, EMINEM) and mixed by noted engineer Andy Wallace (SLAYER, NIRVANA, DISTURBED, SEPULTURA). Drums on the record were handled by Mike Portnoy of DREAM THEATER, who will also perform with the band on all its 2010 tour dates. James "The Rev" Sullivan was found dead in his home on December 28, 2009 from causes that have not been released to the public. "Nightmare" will follow up AVENGED SEVENFOLD's self-titled 2007 album, as well as its breakthrough 2005 disc, "City Of Evil", which featured the hit "Bat Country". The band will co-headline this summer's Uproar Festival tour with DISTURBED, starting on August 17 in Minneapolis.