As far as the four surviving members of Avenged Sevenfold are concerned, everything they do from here on in is for Jimmy. Zacky recalls the day when his friend appeared with the word 'Fiction' tattooed across his sternum: when the guitarist asked Jimmy why he'd chosen this tattoo, the drummer replied, 'Because if anyone were to hear the story of my life, they wouldn't believe it.' The band's mission now, as Zacky sees it, is to ensure that the world now hears that story at maximum volume.
"The day before he died, Jimmy fucking quoted Winston Churchill, that famous quote where Churchill was asked if history would be kind to him, and he said, 'It will be kind to me, for I intend to write it,'" says the guitarist quietly. "Jimmy did it in an English accent, with a cigar in his mouth and he was right: he left us, his best friends who he put all his faith and trust in, to write the fucking book on him. The way he is going down in history is the way that we get to tell his stories. And I think that's unbelievable."
"So if we're going to be a band," says Synyster, picking up on his friend's thoughts seamlessly, as all his bandmates seem capable of doing for one another, "and if we're going to push Jimmy's legacy and tell Jimmy's stories, then we're going to have to do stuff like this: we're going to have to do press, we're going to have to do photos, we're going to have to do all the politics that go along with being a band.
"After Jimmy died, we were fucking done," he continues. "For the first week we were done. We all sat down and said, 'We gotta throw in the towel, without Jimmy there is no Avenged Sevenfold.' But when we sat and talked with Jimmy's family they were like, 'You guys have gotta do this.' His sister Katie said, 'If it were one of you guys, what would you want from the other guys? You've gotta keep going. Jimmy left you a bunch of gifts, and he'd want you to do it for yourselves, but from us, the Sullivan family, do it for him, please.' They kinda kicked us in the ass.
"So now we're getting pushed by his family, by our friends, by our own families, by the label, by management, by the press, everything. At times it's a little tough. At times it sucks. But overall, I'm glad we're being pushed to do this."