Avenged Sevenfold has posted a lengthy message online to fans following the news that a 16-year-old boy in the U.K. had been listening to the band's music and watching their videos before taking his own life. The group wrote in its statement, "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."
The statement added, "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 statement added that the news of the fan's death had "shaken all of us," continuing, "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."
- Avenged Sevenfold is in fact performing on May 10th in Bangor, Maine at the Rise Above Fest, an event created by Seether's Shaun Morgan in memory of his brother, who also committed suicide several years ago.
- Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows told us the band was glad to participate in the show: "We got a call from them, they're obviously friends of ours and we wanted to do the show, and we don't get to play up there that often, to be honest. So yeah, I mean, it's a great cause and we're glad to help and be able to play."
- The show, which will also feature performances from Seether, Hellyeah, Black Stone Cherry, Trivium, Kyng, Devour The Day and more, will raise money and awareness for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).
- The British teenager, Oliver King, hanged himself to death last year. His parents, who are separated, claimed that his demeanor changed after he began his first relationship with a girl, saying that he altered what he wore and the music he listened to.
- King's father said, "I think the music did contribute to his state of mind. He was hanging out with the wrong crowd and I believe this lifestyle was more to blame than anything else."
- But Oliver's girlfriend denied this, saying that the boy "did not feel comfortable at home" and has been stressed by schoolwork.
- A final report by the coroner suggested that Oliver had been going through a "rocky patch" with his girlfriend, and that the relationship had come at the expense of family and friends.
CHECK IT OUT: Read the entire report on poor Oliver King here
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Is this another case of people trying to link heavy rock music to a terrible personal tragedy?
- Why do they constantly turn to music as a scapegoat?
- If heavy music was so detrimental to people, then why are these more or less isolated cases?
- Does it sound to you like the boy was more troubled by his relationship and did not know how to handle it?
INTERNET COMMENTS at DailyMail.co.uk -- agree or not?
callumfletcher wrote: "This has nothing to so with music. Look deeper."
treek wrote: "Coincidence is all. If he'd been searching for The Carpenters or Perry Como for three hours, would there be a suggestion of a causal link there ...?"
Tezz wrote: "Poor young lad - so tragic, but it was his broken home life that lead to his suicide, not heavy metal music.....my son took to wearing dark clothes, long hair, listened to heavy metal and played in a heavy metal band....it was part of his growing up and he's turned into a lovely young man...to suggest any kind of music or video game leads to suicide is ludicrous."
Rebecca wrote: "Stop demeaning depression in this way. This poor boy did not kill himself because of the music he listened to. Because he wore black. Because he listened to heavy metal. And the things said about his girlfriend/ex (it's unclear) are shameful."
llkw wrote: "Journalists are still back handedly blaming music for peoples deaths, its lazy and it's nonsense."
Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows On Playing Seether's Benefit Show