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Brian Elwin Haner, Jr.
Lead Guitarist Backup Vocalist
Synyster Gates was born Brian Elwin Haner, Jr on July 7, 1981
Synysters parents who are divorced now are Brian Haner, Sr and Jan Gera
Brian Haner Sr., Syn's father, is an author/comedian/guitarist who has quite an interesting history in music himself and is married to Brian's step mother, Suzy, who is mother to Syn's half sister, Mckenna. They were married in 1994 according to Suzy.
Syn is the eldest of his siblings which includes a brother, Brent, a half sister, Mckenna (father) and a step brother, Johnny (Mother by marriage).
Syn stands 5'10" and has brown eyes.
Pictured above, from Left Synyster Gates with his step mother, Suzy Haner and his father, Brian Haner Sr. In the middle, Syn with his half-sister, Mckenna. The guitar she is holding was one he gave to her as a Christmas present in 2011 and to the right of that photo, Syn's mom, Jan with her husband and continuing right Johnny Salas, who is often mistaken for Syn's step-brother Johnny Gera and Syn's younger brother, Brent Haner.
(To date there are no authenticated photo of Johnny Gera available .)
Synyster Gates estimates that he began playing the guitar at around 9 years old but didn't get serious about it until he was around 11 years old.
The first song Synyster Gates learned to play was an 80's pop song by Tiffany, "I think we're Alone now".
Synyster Gates was in two bands prior to joining, Avenged Sevenfold they were, Pinkly Smooth and Silver. The Rev was in both of those bands with him.
Synyster Gates says his all-time favorite Queen song is Bohemian Rapsody.
Synyster Gates loves the Beatles and he shared that he thinks they are his all-time favorite composers. One of his favorite song of theirs is 'When I am Sixty-four.
Two of Synyster Gates all-time favorite bands are Oingo Boingo and Mr. Bungle.
Synyster Gates favorite guitarists are Dimebag Darrell , Slash, and John Petrucci.
In a September 2012 interview, Synyster Gates shared that while he was at NAMM a few years ealier he had been kicked out of the Ernie Ball Booth for being drunk, loud, and obnoxious. He shared that he was there to meet one of his favorite guitarist John Petrucci who was there doing a signing.
Synyster Gates originally intended to become a studio guitarist like his father but changed his mind once he became involved with Avenged Sevenfold.
Synyster Gates hates to restring his guitars and instead of doing them himself he will send them back to Schecter for restringing. This particular issue had all but stopped production in the past for the band.
Synyster Gates nicknamed himself the 'Lazy German' because he openly acknowledges that he is indeed lazy. He is also of German descent.
According to Synster Gates father, at one point Syn had to be hospitalized for having pericarditist, which is an infection in the sac that surrounds the heart. He of course made a complete recovery.
Synyster Gates attended the Musicians Institute in California for a short time. He says he study mostly jazz during that time. Syn recieved no other formal training on the guitar. The rest of his knowledge came from his father, Brian Sr. who is a studio musician and who has worked with big names in music throughout the years.
A few years ago the Musicians Institute created a scholarship in Syn's honor. The scholarship is awarded to those who show excellent musicianship in the genre of rock or metal guitar.
The Rev taught Synyster Gates how to play the drums. Syn says he has been playing since he was 16.
The Red and Black guitar that Synyster Gates played in the Beast and the Harlot Video was given to his father who used it in one of his own video's.
Synyster Gates taught himself how to speak Spanish during the Avenged Sevenfold/Self Titled/White album's tour run.
Synyster Gates would much rather be touring than recording an album in the studio. He says that toward the end of recording it gets boring.
Synyster Gates is described by his bandmates as a calm drunk, so calm in fact that even if he's blitz out of his mind you would never know it. Q and A WBR August 2013.
As far as guilty pleasures are concerned Synyster Gates says his number one would be the movie 'Point Break' although he added that he really didn't feel guilty about it but people tended to give him crap over his adoration for the movie.
He also listed his other favorite movies during the August 2013 radion station interview they are the following:
'God Father' 1 and 2.
Synyster Gates is also a pretty big fan of the 80's band Duran Duran and in his youth he was quite obsessed with the video for 'Wild Boys'. His obsession actually got him in trouble with his mother when during a reenactment of the video Syn broke his closet door and in turn his mother banned him for the term of one year from the band and its video's. Synyster Gates told the story during the Q and A at WBR's August 27, 2013.
According to M. Shadows Synyster Gates does not own a computer which allows him to come to the writing process on during the writing of new albums unincumbered by world events or what's being said about the band on the web. The Irish Mirror interview with M. Shadows September 2013
When asked during a radio station interview in September 2013 what he would be doing if he hadn't became a musician he said he would be in contruction since that is what he started out doing and that was the family business. He went onto say he would be pouring concrete in his construction profession.
Some television shows that Synyster Gates mentioned in a September 2013 radio interview that he and his wife Michelle enjoy together are 'Breaking Bad', 'Dexter', and 'Game of Thrones'.
Synyster Gates says he really began transcribing the guitar parts when he heard Led Zepplin because he loved the band's music.
November Rain by G N R was when Syn really fell in love with Slashes guitar playing.
Synyster Gates mom was pretty strict when he was growing up so he really didn't do many concerts as a young fellow. The few shows he attended was normally put on by the local library, Central Library.
Synyster Gates was never really a fan of Metal Core music as a teenager yet somehow ended up in A7X at the beginning when they were more metal core.
After dating over 6 years, on May 7, 2010, Brian and Michelle were married in Mexico.
Syn did a cameo in his dad's, Brian Haner, Sr. video, Blow-up Dolls
The end dialogue of the video by the two is as follows:
Brian Haner Sr.: "I wanted you to know, no rockstars were harmed in the making of this video."
Synyster Gates: "Yep, just my dignity."
You can find this video along with more of his dads video's at Youtube.com.
Synyster Gates along with M. Shadows sang and participated in the Good Charlotte video 'The River' in 2007.
Synyster Gates helped write the Burn Halo songs, "Anejo" and "Dirty Little Girl".
Synyster Gates did a cameo in the Burn Halo video for 'Dirty Little Girl'.
Synyster Gates also did a cameo in his father's video for "Blow up Dolls". Photo's above are from that video.
Synyster Gates also produced his father's recent album titled, 'Alone'.
Synyster Gates co-wrote the theme song for the Jeff Dunham show with his father.
Synyster Gates did an amazing guitar solo for Axewounds song 'Vultures' which was a song from their debut album. Axewound is a side project of Matt Tuck of Bullet for my Valentine.
Synyster Gates did a guitar solo for Machine Gun Kelly's song 'Save Me' from his album 'Lace Up'. M. Shadows did vocals on that song as well.
Synyster Gates played with Danny Elfman on the movie 'Wanted' Soundtrack.
Synyster Gates produced a single, 'N'Braska' from his dad's 2013 album 'Perfect World' which was released December 1, 2013. He also played drums on the single 'Rockstar' on that same album. His father commented that Syn can play the drums well.
Synyster Gates Visits his Sister's School
On October 29, 2013, Brian Haner, Sr, Synyster Gates dad posted the following on his Facebook in regards to Syn popping in that day unexpectedly at his sisters, Mckenna's school.
Below the photo is the story
This is what I call a good day. I was asked to do a master class for my daughter's high school conservatory. Planned on doing a 2 hour class about my life as an entertainer and studio musician. Talk a little, play a little, etc. Instead, my son showed up and we put together an impromptu band with two student volunteers and jammed for the kids. 70 very lucky kids in a small room got to see Syn shred up close and then explain exactly what he was doing.
(They got to see me shred, too - but I have a feeling they're not talking much about that right now. lol)
So much fun!!!
In July 2012, A Synyster Custom Guitar was used in an Ad for Vitamin Water.
on August 25, 2012, Synyster Gates did a photo shoot with U! Creative for an ad that would be used to promote his Seymore Duncan Invaders.
Above is the finished ad that was unvaled at the 2013 Winter NAMM.
In 2006, Synyster Gates was awarded the Dimebag Darrel Young Shredders Award.
In 2006, Synyster Gates was chosen guitarist of the year by Total Guitar Magazine.
In 2008, Synyster Gates was chosen sexiest male by a Kerrang! Readers Poll.
Synyster Gates was chosen one of Guitar Hero's 50 Fastest Guitarists.
In 2010, Synyster Gates was chosen by Rock One Magazines readers poll as the #3 Best Musician in the Industry.
In 2010, Synyster Gates was chosen one of 'Guitar Worlds' 30 Greatest Shredders of all Times.
In 2010, Synyster Gates was chosen by Guitar Worlds Readers poll as the Best Metal Guitarist and the Snappiest Dresser.
In 2011, Synyster Gates along with Zacky Vengeance were chosen Epiphones Best Guitarists on Revolver's Golden Gods.
Synyster Gates was chosen the 17th best guitarist in the Burn Magazine's Readers Poll.
September 2011 Synyster Gates was chosen one of Guitar Worlds '30 Coolest Guitarists of All-time'.
In 2011, Gibson Guitars chose Synyster Gates as their #1 favorite guitarist stage name.
In 2011, Metal Sucks chose Synyster Gates as their 23rd favorite Metal Guitarist out of 25.
On July 6, 2013, Synyster Gates was listed by Noisecreep as one of the sexiest men in rock.
On February 11, 2014 Synyster Gates was chosen Best Rock Guitarist of 2013 by fans who voted on the 3rd Annual Loudwire Awards.
March 2014 Synyster Gates was listed in Guitar World magazine as one of the '50 Fastest Guitarist of All Time' with his solo for "Eternal Rest".
Along with Zacky Vengeance Synyster Gates won the 2014 Dimebag Darrell Best Guitarist Awards on the Revolver Golden Gods Awards.
Synyster Gates at his Guitar Center Master Class
April 3, 2014
Go here to see the footage from the class.
On the Left the 12 winners of the contest who attended the Master Class pose for a pic with Mr. Gates
On the right the winners tour Schecter Guitar Research
The Hellwin Amp's cabinent is made of all birch and it is completely American made.
James Brown who is well known for his expertise in sound helped Synyster Gates create the amps.
The amps are now available at your local Guitar Center.
The Hellwin Amp was developed in conjunction with legendary amp creator James Brown and former exclusive Peavey Amp creator.
It took two years to develop the amp.
"This is the beginning of a long line of amps.I want to put out great jazz amps, punk amps, whatever I am feeling.
I really want to start the next level of live amps."
Total Guitar October 2013
Synster Gates is sponsored by Schecter Guitars.
He now has five custom guitars in his line.
Above is his Black and white striped custom which is his first design and is well known and recognized by the Avenged Sevenfold Fan base. There are a few more of his guitar designs past and present above as well.
Coincidently, when Synyster Gates started creating his signiture line of guitars for Schecter that particular body style was called The Avenger.
The Schecter Guitar Syn used in the 'Bat Country' Video was created and used before he even had a signiture line with them.
(The Red and black design above was the one used in the 'Bat Country Video in 2006)
Some specifics related to Syn's guitars:
Pretty much the feel. I'm definitely a tone guy as well, but I just like things that play well. I think if you've got a style, you end up sounding like yourself no matter what, good or bad. I just like the comfort in knowing that I'm going to pick up the instrument and it's going to play amazingly.
Syn's response to the Question: What drew you to Schecter Guitars?
Source: Musician's Friend Interview November 2013
I wanted to do something of my own, and I like flashiness.
So we worked on different paint jobs, and I thought that the pinstripe thing was cool and felt pretty iconic, so we went with that. We've been mixing it up, matching different colors and stuff. We get really cool combinations like the white and the gold. The black and the gold are probably my favorite at this point.
Syn's response to his designing of his signature guitar line.
Source: Musician's Friend Interview November 2013
Probably about a month. It wasn't incredibly long. We developed that whole guitar in a few months and had prototypes shortly thereafter. I definitely wanted to go for the flash, but keep it classy, or as classy as it could be [laughs]. In my eye, it had all those things. It stood out from the crowd, but didn't look like a pimped-out '57 Chevy.
Syn's response to how long did it take him to come up with the paint scheme.
Source: Musician's Friend interview November 2013
Synsyter Gates uses a custom version of the Seymore Duncan Invaders on his guitars
Synyster Gates is also endorsed by Seymore Duncan
If you know anything about Synyster Gates besides his amazing guitar talents then you know how absolutely hilarious he can be. On stage Syn brings his humor along with him. He often makes faces at the crowd, flips them off, tells individual fans he loves them and so much more. If you get a chance to go see an Avenged Sevenfold live show do pay just a little bit extra attention to the guy standing on the right side, Synyster Gates, I promise you won't be sorry you did but instead be entertained in a brand new way.
Pinkly making her acting debut in the 'Dear God' video. Pinkly sitting on her mom Michelles lap. Pinkly snuggling up to M. Shadows in the 'All Excess' DVD
Synyster Gates created a clothing store, Syn Gates Clothing a few years ago which sold his original designs. The items available included tshirts, beanies, hoodies and more. In 2008, for unexplained reasons the store was closed however Syn said he hoped to reopen it. Unfortunately, it has never been reopened and all of the sites related to the store have been deleted/removed.
Lucky 7 Choppers created Synyster Gates Custom Chopper
Synyster Gates has a large collection of fire arms.
Many in his collection were inherited from his grandfather.
One of the more impressive weapons he has in his collection is a 50 caliber hand cannon.
"The .50 Caliber is the loudest, craziest thing I've ever shot or heard or seen in my entire life. That and the .45 are my two dream guns. I've got tons of other guns from my grandpa but those are my babies. Some people give you shit about having guns but I don't give a fuck. It's my right and responsibility."
Note: Syn's .50 caliber hand cannon, a revolver has 3x the stopping power of a 44 magnium.
'When we started out on "City of Evil" we were like if it happens, but we didn't expect any of this stuff. I'm just really proud that we wrote the album that we did and when it did cross-over, because it's pretty rediculous, crazy, ambitious album. For it to be accepted in the world of radio and MTV and to win the VMA. It's pretty insane!
"We never slide by unnoticed, that's for sure. People either hate everything about us-the full 10 minute songs, all the guitar solos, the singing, the lyrics, the crazy drumming-or they have absolute undying love for us. There's no middle ground."
"My number one favorite metal guitarist is Dimebag Darrell. Slash is also one of the tastiest players ever."
"I've been with my girlfriend for 3 years and I decided that I wasn't going to do anymore fucking around because this girls rad. God bless the goupies but I'm in a different stage of my life now. I feel bad for them. They'll be waiting a lot longer than they thought they were gonna". Kerrang! Magazine
"Playing with a good drummer like the Rev makes our lives easier. We've been playing with the Rev practically our whole lives and he's always had a great groove."
"When I joined the band I couldn't play rhythm guitar worth a shit."
"I thought it went down great. It was a very difficult show, it’s one of our bigger ones so they put us in places not so acoustic friendly so it’s really hard to hear shit, but listening back I think we’re all pretty much in tune, solos turned down alright, Shad sounds awesome, drumming’s amazing. I mean, I’m pretty proud of it ‘cause up there I had to drink a little bit more to make things a little more comfortable ‘cause the in-ears where definitely a little ambient." Commenting on the Live in the LBC DVD-
"I've never heard the man not be able to talk. We actually flew out to do the gig knowing there were some underlying problem. He made it through the first show and was a bad ass about it. But woke up the next morning and couldn't physically talk. So he pushed himself way too far and went home and he was really rough for a couple of days. And his vocal coach and his doctors and different prople prescribed him four weeks of vocal rest. So he walked around with a chalk board. He would right letters to us."
referencing Matts Vocal strain and subsequent cancellation of tour dates in October 2008
"Well, we were playing them before they would even give us a deal. We actually tried to get a deal from these guys and they said no. All the stuff that I was doing on the record was Schecter. So I just tried and tried and tried and finally got a deal."
Referencing the journey for sponsorship from Schecter Guitars-Guitar Center Interview.
"I do my best to concentrate on the day. Even if it's kind of a bad day. I don't spend the time wishing for the next day to come. Cause if the next day is fucking bad, then I'm just wasting my life wishing for death."
Responding to the question reguarding his dad being an inspiration-Revolver Special A7X Edition.
"My dad was always playing, always touring. He's not the best teacher in the world. He used to get frustrated but I pulled it out of him. Things like "Black Dog", "Stairway to Heaven", the stuff I just learnt, it was from him. Its cool having him on the album with us, he likes doing it, and he's pretty darn good. I'm a little better but whatever! He's unreal and he's played with everybody and he's great in the studio. Plus with "So Far Away" I had to have my father with me on that song obviously."
"One of Jimmy's gifts in passing was definitely that we now appreciate everything alot more than we did before and it's really cool that we all came from childhood friends....to being in this band together."
Grand Rapids, Michigan interview-WGRD
'We know how lucky we are. We want to change peoples lives. I am not saying we are God's gift, but we're trying to make a difference. We're trying to leave no stone unturned, to push forward in every aspect of what it means to be a band. Because it really matters to us. Metal matters to us. And we know how much it means to be a kid out there too. The challenge is to move forward together. And that's what this tour is all about, taking things to the next level." Metal Hammer, UK December 2013
foREVer in Our Hearts
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