Avenged Sevenfold’s Johnny Christ On Band’s #1 Debut, Nightmare

'It's a testament to the fans about how much they care about what we do,' bassist Johnny Christ says about topping the Billboard albums chart.

It looked as though Eminem’s Recovery would be spending most of the summer at the top of the Billboard albums chart, at least until Katy Perry got around to dropping Teenage Dream later this month. But as we learned this week, you should never count out the savage power of California punk-metallers Avenged Sevenfold, who stormed the top of the charts with their fifth album, Nightmare.

It’s the first trip to the top of the chart for the band, and they celebrated appropriately. “I got the call from my manager last night,” bassist Johnny Christ told MTV News. “Unfortunately, Matt [Sanders, better known as M. Shadows] and Zack [a.k.a. Zacky Vengeance] were doing press in L.A., but me and Brian [a.k.a. Synyster Gates] went out to celebrate and had some dinner together. It was pretty fun. It was more about the drinks. We were just drinking, having a good time. We should have been being good boys and not drinking last night, but it’s the first time we’re on the top of the Billboard, and that only happens once. We had to do something.”

Of course, the chart victory is bittersweet for the men of A7X, as the celebration had to happen without drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, who passed away in December 2009 of an accidental drug overdose. Christ (born Jonathan Seward) thinks of it as the latest in a long line of tributes to Sullivan. “The only thing we were worried about was getting it done and doing the best job we can for our brother,” he said. “We wanted to make this record as big and strong as possible. We wanted to make this a really huge record and get it out there to as many people as possible to extend Jimmy’s legacy.”

In addition to the need to carry on Sullivan’s legacy, the men of Avenged Sevenfold were also fueled by their ever-growing fanbase, which has made them incrementally larger with each release. “We have the greatest fans in the world, and our growth has been so organic. It’s online, it’s out at the shows. It’s a big family, and they know we’re going to do our best, and we know they’re going to give it their best.

“It’s a testament to the fans about how much they care about what we do,” he continued. “It’s not as much about the numbers as much as it is that our fans made a mark on this world for us.”

Avenged Sevenfold are about to begin rehearsing for the Uproar Tour, which kicks off August 17 in Minneapolis and also features Disturbed, Stone Sour, Hellyeah and Halestorm.