AVENGED SEVENFOLD has released a lengthy statement regarding reports that a 16-year-old teen in the United Kingdom had committed suicide after listening to the band's music and watching their videos, as well as the group's older project, PINKLY SMOOTH, before ending his life.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD's statement appears in its entirety below.
"To all of our loyal fans, friends, followers and supporters.
"Recently we heard about the tragic suicide of a 16-year-old from the UK who was listening to music and watching videos of, among others, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and an older project of some band members, PINKLY SMOOTH, in the hours prior to his death.
"We want you all to know that we are devastated and heartbroken for his family, friends and community. Their pain must be unimaginable and our condolences go out to them.
"Experts in the field of suicide have assured us that there are always 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, especially not alone. Research shows that 90% of those who take their life have a brain illness, or a mental illness, going on at the time of their death. This is something most people don't want to talk about and that keeps them from getting the good help and treatments 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. It has also made us more committed than ever to do something about it so that it doesn't happen again.
"If you've been among our faithful followers, you know that we are part of a huge event coming up on May 10th — the Rise Above Fest. We couldn't be more honored and happy to be part of this event in support of SEETHER's efforts to help raise awareness about the realities of suicide. They have partnered with a great non-profit organization that is dedicated to suicide prevention — SAVE. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, is one of the leading organizations of its kind in the world. We have reached out to SAVE and will do our part to join their fight against the stigma of suicide and mental illnesses. We want to make a difference and you can too.
"If you are in the Bangor, Maine part of the country on May 10th, come to the festival. If you can't be there, check out the online auction where you can find some autographed items that we have provided to help raise money for SAVE. Your donation will go directly to helping prevent another tragedy leaving so many to question 'why.'
"If you want to learn more about suicide prevention, visit www.save.org.
"On behalf of all of us in the band, our management, crew, and our families, please know that you too can get through it. Don't ever give up! Together, let's make sure no one else dies this way."