Synyster Gates's dad, Brian Haner Sr., is better known as "Guitar Guy" or "Papa Gates", warm-up act and musical accompaniment for Jeff Dunham, in addition to having done some work with Frank Zappa. He actually has a cameo in almost every album of the band.
The Rev's first kit was a series of toy drums till the age of 13 when he got a real one.
Author Existence Failure: Jimmy died leaving only demos and blueprints of his drum parts for the Nightmare album. In the end they were recorded by his idol Mike Portnoy.
Creator Backlash: Matt admitted that he's not too fond of "Girl I Know" and "Unbound (The Wild Ride)" nowadays, finding them a bit too cheesy.
Creator Breakdown: Before the album was produced at that. Suffice to say, when Jimmy passed away, the band was horribly devastated, working on the album without not just their drummer, but best friend. These emotions, as well as the immense shock of Jimmy's passing is what lead to arguably their darkest album, Nightmare.
Lying Creator: In late 2016 wrestling star (and friend of the band) Chris Jericho "leaked" a date for a new album called Voltaic Oceans, coming out in December. The album came out in October and was actually called The Stage. It's because they wanted to surprise the fans and give away as little as possible before the album's release. Then they lied again in several interviews in June 2017, claiming that they would never cover a song again. A few weeks later, they started to release a whole series of covers.
The bassist on their first album, Justin Sane, is not Anti-Flag's guitarist who uses the same stage name.
Likewise, Johnny Christ (b. Jonathan Seward) is not to be confused with John Christ (b. John Knoll), who played guitar for Samhain and Danzig in the '80s and '90s.
Newbie Boom: City of Evil really revealed them to a wide audience after a few years of relative confidentiality. Hail to the King also did that to a lesser extent, despite being one of their more contested efforts among fans.
Promoted Fanboy: Arin Ilejay was a fan of the band before being recruited for session playing in 2011 and becoming an official member in 2013 when Hail to the King was made. Alas his tenure was short-lived, as while all his bandmates acknowledged his skills and human qualities, his style and artistic vision didn't quite mesh with the other members'. He later described it as being "inside the band, but outside at the same time."
Mean Character, Nice Actor: The members often have a gangster/thuggish persona − at least they did in the '00s −, but are actually very down-to-earth and friendly (Zacky Vengeance and Johnny Christ, in particular).
The Pete Best: The band's first three bassists (Matt Wendt, Justin Sane and Dameon Ash) are very often forgotten. Justin did in fact play on Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, but the band didn't gain any mainstream success until Johnny Christ joined the band. Justin had to be let go because he suffered brain damage in a suicide attempt, and M Shadows has described his post-recovery persona as "constantly on an acid trip".
Subverted by Zacky. Avenged Sevenfold were a four-man band on the original release of Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, with Zacky playing lead guitar. Syn wasn't added until the re-release (where he only played in To End the Rapture), although fans tend to assume he was always the band's lead guitarist and Zacky was always the rhythm guitarist.
Scully Box: Johnny Christ had to stand on one for the video of Nightmare.
Song-wise, "A Little Piece of Heaven" was not planned to be part of the Self-Titled Album. It was through persuasion from Shadows, on the condition that The Rev (who created the rough ideas for the song in the first place) would be the one to fully-supervise the production, made sure that it did.
Nightmare was originally planned as a dark concept album about people in, well, nightmarish situations. After The Rev's death though, most of the original lyrics were discarded, leaving "Nightmare", "Danger Line" and "Fiction" the only songs left untouched.
According to this interview, the spoken part on "Exist", which closes The Stage, was initially supposed to be a recording of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot speech. When that fell through, they contacted Neil Degrasse Tyson instead. M. Shadows also wanted the song to be entirely instrumental, but Gates insisted on having vocals.
"Fiction" had long been planned before Jimmy's death and it's inclusion on Nightmare: Jimmy had written it and had been working on it during his tenure in Pinkly Smooth and wanted to include it on the self titled, but the other members had already included the songs on that album. This lead to Jimmy finishing it up and perfecting it (with his vocals too) for Nightmare and had told Matt that that was "the last song on the record", under the name "Death". And then three days later, he passed. Ouch.
Word of God: The song and video for "Bat Country" are both confirm to be based on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This should be obvious to anyone who's seen the movie or read the book, even if the title of the song didn't give it away.