Synyster Gates

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Synyster Gates
Avenged Sevenfold-Rock im Park 2014 by 2eight 3SC7619.jpg
Synyster Gates performing in 2014
Background information
Birth name Brian Elwin Haner, Jr.
Also known as Synyster Gates, Syn
Born (1981-07-07) July 7, 1981 (age 33)
Huntington Beach, California, United States
Instruments Guitar, vocals, drums, piano, bass guitar, violin
Years active 1998-present
Labels Good Life Recordings, Hopeless, Warner Bros., Bucktan
Associated acts Avenged Sevenfold, Pinkly Smooth, AxeWound
Notable instruments
Schecter Synyster Custom
Schecter Hellraiser
Gibson Les Paul
Gibson Lucille
Fly Parker Deluxe

Brian Elwin Haner, Jr. (born July 7, 1981), better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn, is an American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band Avenged Sevenfold.

Early life[edit]

Syn is the son of musician, author, and comedian Brian Haner, Sr., who worked with Sam the Sham's band in the 1970s and has done session work for Avenged Sevenfold. Gates studied at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California, as part of the Guitar Institute of Music program, studying jazz and classical guitar. He cites Jimi Hendrix, Dimebag Darrell, Randy Rhoads, Tony Iommi, Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine, Alexi Laiho and Slash as his main influences.

Avenged Sevenfold[edit]

Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance performing in 2011.

He was featured on the EP Warmness on the Soul which contains select songs from the first album as well as Synyster's new version of "To End The Rapture". His name on Avenged Sevenfold's debut album was "Synyster Gates".

On the Avenged Sevenfold DVD All Excess, Syn claimed that his name was created on a drunken drive through the park with The Rev.

Gates was voted Sexiest Male in the 2008 Kerrang Readers Poll. In 2010, Guitar World listed Synyster Gates as one of the 30 greatest shredders of all time. They described him as being able to perform finger-twisting licks, acrobatic sweeps, devilish chromatics and towering dual-harmonies. Synyster was chosen as one of Guitar Hero's 50 fastest guitarists. On Guitar World's 2010 Readers Poll, Synyster Gates was chosen Snappiest Dresser and the Best Metal Guitarist. Rock One Magazine's 2010 Readers Poll voted Gates the #3 best musician in the industry. On April 20, 2011, Haner won the Revolver Golden God award for Best Guitarist along with band mate, Zacky Vengeance. Avenged Sevenfold picked up numerous other awards and delivered the headlining performance of the night.[1] In the Special Edition of Revolver magazine that was released the same day as the Nightmare album, Synyster Gates stated that he originally started out writing the song "So Far Away" in honor of his grandfather. However, the song is now primarily about Syn's former band mate, The Rev,[2] who died in December 2009. On December 15th, 2014, Synyster Gates was recognized for his outstanding guitar skills received an award for Best Guitarist of all time by a local, highly esteemeed fan-zine in San Francisco entitled "Good Muzik".[citation needed]

Pinkly Smooth[edit]

Haner, along with The Rev, played in an experimental metal band named Pinkly Smooth. Formed in the summer of 2001 in Huntington Beach, California, the band featured ex-Ballistico members Buck Silverspur on bass and D-Rock on drums. The band has released one album, Unfortunate Snort on Bucktan Records, which features a crossover sound of mostly punk, ska and Progressive metal. Former Avenged Sevenfold bassist Justin Sane played keyboards and piano on the album. There was speculation that Pinkly Smooth was going to produce another record, but due to the death of The Rev, it is highly unlikely that they will produce any more material. However, Brian has said that he would consider remastering the tracks from Unfortunate Snort and re-releasing the album.[2]


With Avenged Sevenfold[edit]

With Pinkly Smooth[edit]

Featured guest appearances[edit]



Synyster Gates uses mainly Schecter Guitars. Schecter Guitar Research has been sponsoring him and he has signature Avenger models. He has also been using Gibson Guitars when Avenged Sevenfold was recording Waking the Fallen and City of Evil. He has his own Seymour Duncan pickups, a custom SH-8 Invader, with Black, Gold, White or Chrome caps.

Schecter Synyster custom
  • Schecter Synyster Custom-S(Black with White pinstripes, Black with Gold pinstripes, Black with Red pinstripes, White with Gold pinstripes, White with Black pinstripes)
  • Schecter custom models with Rebel flag, American flag, German flag, Black with Red Stripes, Red with Black Stripes, White with Gold Stripes, White with Black Stripes, one featuring Jack Nicholson's Joker art and color scheme.
  • Schecter Synyster Gates Custom with "REV" inlays on fret board, instead of "SYN" featured on the 'So Far Away' music video
  • Schecter Synyster Custom
  • Schecter Synyster Deluxe Prototype
  • Schecter Synyster Special
  • Schecter Avenger
  • Schecter C-1 Classic - Transparent Blue
  • Schecter Custom C-1 FR
  • Schecter Omen-6 FR
  • Gibson ES-335
  • Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR(white, black)
  • Schecter Scorpion with Seymour Duncan JBs
  • Schecter PT Fastback
  • Schecter S-1 loaded with Seymour Duncan JBs
  • Gibson Les Paul Custom (arctic white)
  • Parker Fly
  • Epiphone Rockbass

Amplifiers and effects unit[edit]

Effects unit
  • Krank Distortus Maximus[3]
  • Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
  • Boss CS-3 Compresser Sustainer(2)
  • Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
  • Boss BF-3 Flanger
  • Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
  • Boss GT-8 Guitar Multi Effects Processor
  • Boss GT-10 Guitar Multi Effects Processor
  • Frantone "The Sweet" Distortion
  • DigiTech Whammy Pedal
  • Budda Custom Wah
  • MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal
  • MXR Carbon Copy Delay
  • MXR Custom Comp
  • Visual Sound H20 Chorus & Echo[4]
  • Sustainiac Stealth Pro Sustainer pickup
  • Dunlop Crybaby RackWah
  • Crybaby control pedal for the RackWah
  • Fractal Audio Systems Axe-FX II guitar processor
  • Fractal Audio Systems MFC-101 Midi Foot Controller


Other Equipment[edit]

  • Audio-Technica 5000 wireless system
  • Ernie Ball strings, gauged .010-.052. ('skinny top, heavy bottom')
  • Dunlop Gator Grip .96mm picks
  • Black Dunlop Gator Grip .96mm picks
  • Black Custom Graphics Dunlop Gator grip 2.00mm picks
  • Rebel Straps Skull Bottle Opener Strap
  • Rebel Straps Skull Pick Box Strap
  • White Get'm Get'm Sergeant Stripes Guitar Strap
  • Black Schaller Strap Locks
  • Levy's Boot Leather Guitar Strap With Metal Bullet


External links[edit]