Synyster Gates

Brian Elwin Haner, Jr. (July 7, 1981), better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn or "Gates", is an American musician. He is the lead guitarist for the American rock band Avenged Sevenfold. Guitar World magazine has ranked him as one of the top 50 fastest guitar players of all-time.

Early LifeEdit

Brian went to Mayfair High School in Lakewood, California and also Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, California. He graduated from the Musicians Institute in Hollywood as part of the GIT program, studying jazz guitar. Up until that time he was primarily self taught by watching music videos and reading books, which is surprising because his father was/is a songwriter and guitar player, having played with Frank Zappa during his career, and currently touring with ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham under the stage name "Guitar Guy". After six or so months of being there, he got a phone call from The Rev (and the rest of the current line up of Avenged Sevenfold barre Johnny Christ) asking him if he wanted to join the band as lead guitarist. Brian joined up with them rather than continuing his education and becoming a studio musician.

Current events with Avenged SevenfoldEdit

Brian joined Avenged Sevenfold (band) when he was 18 at the end of 1999, right before the recording of the band's first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. He was featured on their EP, "Warmness on the Soul", and on the reissue of their first album. In the Avenged Sevenfold DVD All Excess, to emphasize the seemingly random placing of names, Brian stated that his name was thought of on a drunken drive through the park with The Rev. Also, his band members claim that he originally thought that he was too good to play for the band. He corrects them by saying he said no such thing. He has won numerous awards, including the "Young Shredder" award of the year in the Metal Hammer awards in 2006 and the "Guitarist of the Year" Award for Total Guitar Magazine in 2006.

Pinkly SmoothEdit

Brian along with the band's late drummer The Rev formerly played in an avant-garde metal band named Pinkly Smooth. They both however quit the band as they wished to concentrate full time on Avenged Sevenfold (band).

Featured Guest AppearancesEdit

  • Bleeding Through's "Savior, Saint, Salvation," track
  • Good Charlotte's "The River" music video
  • Burn Halo's "Dirty Little Girl" music video
  • Burn Halo's "Anejo" track
  • He and his father, Brian Haner Sr., recently wrote and recorded the theme song to The Jeff

Dunham Show

Personal LifeEdit

Brian has a younger half-sister named McKenna, brother named Brent, stepbrother Johnny, his step mom is Suzy Haner and his biological mom's name is Jan Gera. His father, Brian Haner Sr., is a musician and comedian known as "Guitar Guy" or "Papa Gates" and is currently on tour with Jeff Dunham. Brian cites Django Reinhardt, Dimebag Darrell, Eddie Van Halen, Slash and John Petrucci as his favorite guitarists and major influences. In June 2008, when Guitar World magazine interviewed Brian, reader Shawn Butterfield asked "You're one hell of a guitarist. But who do you really look up to?" to which he responded "Definitely Slash, the Ozzy guitar dudes, Eddie Van Halen, Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom, Jimi Hendrix of course, Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin a lot man!".

Guitar GearEdit

Brian is endorsed by Schecter Guitars as is Zacky Vengeance. Currently, his signature model is available in two different versions. The "Schecter Synyster Custom" which has the exact specifications of the guitar that he plays live (excluding the sustainiac pick-up fitted models) and the more affordable "Schecter Synyster Standard" which offers lower quality pickups and tremolo system. Before the production of his signature model, he played guitars of various brands. Here is a list of some of the guitars he used before the production of his signature model:

  • Ibanez S Series - As seen in an early performance by the band on the "All Excess" video.
  • Parker Fly - As seen on Warped Tour 2004
  • Gibson Les Paul - As seen in the "Unholy Confessions" music video
  • Schecter Hellraiser Avenger - As seen in the "Bat Country" music video
  • Schecter PT Blackjack - As seen on Warped Tour 2004
  • Schecter Banshee - As seen in the Bat Country instructional video
  • Schecter C1-FR - As seen in the 2005 San Diego performances
  • Schecter C1-FR Hellraiser - As seen on KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2005

Brian has different variations of his signature model. The "First Synyster Custom" that he played lacks the gothic "SYN" inlay and the "Deathbat" on the 12th fret, instead the "Deathbat" is located on the headstock. His other customs models that are not available to the public follow suits. Currently he plays the model which is available to the public that has the gothic "SYN" inlay and the "Deathbat" on the 12th fret. He also plays a white with gold stripes "Synyster Custom" usually during performances of "Dear God". This guitar is available to the public, but production was limited to only 100 models. Recently, one or two of his signature model that he uses live has a custom "Sustainiac Stealth Pro" sustainer humbucker pick-up fitted for its neck position which he would usually activate during his solo performance. It also can be heard during the solo of the band's cover of 'Paranoid' by Black Sabbath. Here is a list of the different variations of his signature guitar:

  • Schecter Synyster Custom (Black with Silver Pin Stripes)
  • Schecter Synyster Custom (White with Gold Pin Stripes) - First Release: Only 100 made / *Second Release: Limited Numbers
  • Schecter Synyster Standard (Black with Silver Pin Stripes) - Affordable version of "Synyster Custom"

Schecter Synyster Custom (White with Red Pin Stripes) - Only 1 was made The following guitars were made exclusively for Brian and are not available to the public. Much like the "First Synyster Custom", they lack the gothic "SYN" inlay and the "Deathbat" on the 12th fret with the exception of the Tune-O-Matic Bridge "Synyster Custom".

  • First Synyster Custom - As seen in the 2006 Graspop Metal Meeting
  • Rebel Flag Synyster Custom - As seen in the "Making of Avenged Sevenfold" video
  • American Flag Synyster Custom - As seen in the "Making of Avenged Sevenfold" video
  • German Flag Synyster Custom - Briefly seen in the "All Excess" video
  • Black with Red Stripes Synyster Custom - As seen in the "Beast and the Harlot" music video
  • Red with Black Stripes Synyster Custom - Used alot by his father (Brian Haner) in his youtube video 'Eileen' 
  • Tune-O-Matic Bridge Synyster Custom - As seen in the "Almost Easy" part of the "Making of Avenged Sevenfold" video
  • White with Blood Splats - Seen in Brian Haners youtube video "Blow-Up Doll" which features Synyster Gates
  • Burned Wood Effect Synyster Custom - Seen in Brian Haners youtube video "Saturday"
  • The Revs Face Burned In Wood Synyster Custom - Never seen in person but the link here

Amplifiers and Effect UnitEdit

  • Krank Distortus Maximus
  • Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
  • Boss CS-3 Compresser Sustainer
  • Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
  • Boss PS-3 Phase Shifter
  • Boss NS-2 Noise Supressor
  • Electro Harmonix Pog
  • MXR Carbon Copy
  • ISP Decimator
  • Dunlop Crybaby Rack Mounted
  • Fractal Audio AXE FX 2
  • Frantone "The Sweet" Distortion
  • Digitech Whammy Pedal
  • Dunlop Crybaby from Hell
  • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Fuzz Pedal
  • Sustainiac Stealth Pro Sustainer
  • Visual Sound H20 Chorus & Echo
  • Ernie Ball Wah Pedal
  • Bogner Uberschall - City of Evil Period
  • Mesa Boogie Rectifier - City of Evil Period
  • Marshall JCM 800 - Avenged Sevenfold Period
  • Marshall JVM 405H - Nightmare Period
  • Mesa Boogie 4x12 Cabinets - City of Evil Period
  • Marshall 4x12 Cabinets - Nightmare Period
  • Hellwin USA 100 - Current Tour
  • Hellwin 4x12 Cabinets - Current Tour