Avenged Sevenfold have spoken out about their heartbreak at being told one of their fans had committed suicide.
Oliver King, 16, spent a night listening to A7X and other metal artists before taking his own life in February 2013. A coroner last week noted he’d been struggling in school for some time and ruled he’d been suffering from “dark periods” of depression, adding that he believed himself to be “trapped with nobody to turn to for objective advice.”
A7X admit Oliver’s death left them all “shaken” – and they want to do what they can to prevent further such tragedies.
They say in a statement: “We are devastated and heartbroken for his family, friends and community. Their pain is unimaginable.
“Experts in the field of suicide have assured us there are many things that go into a tragedy like this – and while music can play a powerful role in someone’s life it does not cause something like this to happen.
“Research shows that 90% of those who take their lives have mental illness at the time of their deaths that keeps them from getting the help and treatment that are out there.
“The news of this young man’s death has shaken all of us in the band. Fan or not, no one should have to feel such hopelessness.”
They’re are gearing up to appear at the Rise Above Fest in Wales on May 10, which was created by Seether following the suicide of frontman Shaun Morgan’s brother. The event raises funds for the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education charity (SAVE).
A7X continue: “We will do our part to join SAVE’s fight against the stigma of suicide and mental illness. We want to make a difference – and you can too.
“If you’re in the Bangor part of the country on May 10, come to the festival. If you can’t, check out the online auction where you can find some autographed items we’ve provided to help raise money.
“On behalf of all of us in the band, our management, crew and our families – please know that you can get through it. Don’t ever give up. Together let’s make sure no one else dies this way.”
Confidential help and advice is available via the SAVE website or by calling the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.