|James 'The Rev' Sullivan|
James "The Rev" Sullivan in 2007
|Birth name||James Owen Sullivan|
|Also known as||The Rev, Rat head, The Reverend Tholomew Plague, Jimmy Sullivan|
February 9, 1981|
Huntington Beach, California, United States
|Died||December 28, 2009
Huntington Beach, California, United States
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal, metalcore, avant-garde metal|
|Instruments||Drums, guitar, bass, piano, vocals, keyboards|
|Labels||Warner Bros., Good Life, Hopeless,Bucktan|
|Associated acts||Avenged Sevenfold, Pinkly Smooth, Suburban Legends|
James Owen Sullivan (February 9, 1981 – December 28, 2009), more commonly known by his stage name The Reverend Tholomew Plague, generally shortened to The Rev, was an American musician, best known as the drummer for the American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. He was also the lead vocalist/pianist in Pinkly Smooth, a side project where he was known by the name Rat Head, with fellow Avenged Sevenfold member and childhood best friend, guitarist Synyster Gates, and he was the drummer for Suburban Legends from 1998 to 1999.
Sullivan grew up and lived in Huntington Beach California. He received his first pair of drum sticks at the age of four and own drum set at the age of ten. In high school, he started playing in bands. Before leaving to join Avenged Sevenfold as one of the band's founding members, Sullivan was the drummer for the third wave ska band Suburban Legends. At the age of eighteen he recorded his first album with Avenged Sevenfold titled Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. His early influences included Frank Zappa and King Crimson. The Rev said in a Modern Drummer Magazine interview that "I was raised on that stuff as much as rock and metal."
Later in life he was influenced by drummers Vinnie Paul, Mike Portnoy, Dave Lombardo, Lars Ulrich, and Terry Bozzio. He even had a "visual influence", Tommy Lee, on which he commented that "I never thought I'd have one of those." Sullivan had a signature ability called 'the double-ride thing', "just for lack of a better definition". 'the double-ride thing' is a technique that can be heard on tracks such as "Almost Easy", "Critical Acclaim", "Crossroads", and "Dancing Dead" in which Sullivan doubles up at a fast tempo between the double bass and ride cymbals.
The Rev was also a vocalist, songwriter, and pianist for Avenged Sevenfold. His piano-playing can be heard on the tracks "Seize the Day", "Fiction", "Save Me" and "Warmness on the Soul". His vocals are featured in Avenged Sevenfold's "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Brompton Cocktail", "Critical Acclaim", "Crossroads", "Gunslinger", "Lost", "Scream", "Afterlife", "Save Me", "Eternal Rest", "Flash of The Blade", "Strength of the World", "Bat Country", "Almost Easy" and "Fiction". He also wrote the songs "Almost Easy", "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Afterlife", "Fiction", "Welcome to the Family," the piano part of "Save Me", "Demons", "Fiction, and more.
Avenged Sevenfold also released a demo version of Nightmare, featuring The Rev on an electric drumset and some vocals of his.
At the second annual Revolver Golden God Awards, The Rev won the award for Best Drummer. His family members and Avenged Sevenfold received the honor on his behalf.
The Rev was found dead in his home on December 28, 2009. Police ruled out foul play and noted his death appeared to be from natural causes. An autopsy performed on December 30, 2009 was inconclusive, but toxicology results revealed to the public in June that he died from an overdose of Oxycodone (Percocet), oxymorphone (a metabolite of oxycodone), diazepam (Valium), nordiazepam (a metabolite of diazepam) and alcohol. The coroner noted cardiomegaly (enlarged heart) as a "significant condition" that may have played a role in Sullivan's death.
On January 6, 2010, a private funeral was held for Sullivan, and then he was buried in Huntington Beach, California. Shortly after his death, Avenged Sevenfold dedicated their fifth studio album Nightmare (released that same year) to him, as well as several songs, including "So Far Away", which had been written by band mate Synyster Gates; and "Fiction", which was the last song written by The Rev himself (finished by the band later), three days prior to his death.
His drum kit is now on display at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. His kit from the 2008 "Taste of Chaos" tour is on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
With Suburban Legends
- Origin Edition (1999)
With Pinkly Smooth
- Unfortunate Snort (2001)
With Avenged Sevenfold
- 1999 Demo (1999)
- 2000 Demo (2000)
- Sounding the Seventh Trumpet (2001)
- Waking the Fallen (2003)
- City of Evil (2005)
- All Excess (2007)
- Avenged Sevenfold (2007)
- Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough (2008)
- Nightmare (2010)
- "MTV Newsroom". Newsroom.mtv.com. 2009-12-29. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- "Huntington Beach Independent". Hbindependent.com. 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- "''Modern Drummer Magazine Interview Oct. 2006''". Moderndrummer.com. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- "January 5, 2010". Allcurrenthotnews.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- "DRUM! Magazine Interview Nov. 2007". Drummagazine.com. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- "Revolver Golden Gods Awards 2010: The Winners | Latest News". Metal Injection. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- Jon Wiederhorn. "Avenged Sevenfold Drummer Died of Accidental Overdose". Rolling Stone.
- "The Good Shepherd Cemetery". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- "Has The New Avenged Sevenfold Album Been Given A Title?". Metal Hammer. May 14, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
- "Avenged Sevenfold: The Rev's Passing Steered Album's Lyrical Direction | Interviews @". Ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved 2011-09-20.