Brian Elwin Haner, Jr.

Synyster Gates in 2009
Background information
Birth name Brian Elwin Haner, Jr.
Born July 7, 1981 (age 29)
Huntington Beach, California, United States
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock, avant-garde metal, post-hardcore, punk rock
Occupations Musician
Instruments Guitar, vocals, piano
Years active 1999–
Labels Good Life Recordings, Hopeless, Warner Bros., Bucktan
Associated acts Avenged Sevenfold, Pinkly Smooth,
Notable instruments
Schecter Synyster Custom

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 of the metal band Avenged Sevenfold.

Early life

Haner attended Mayfair High School in Lakewood, but he later transferred and graduated from Fountain Valley High School in Fountain Valley, California.

He studied at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood as part of the Guitar Institute of Technology program, studying jazz guitar. After six or so months of being there, he got a phone call from The Rev asking him if he wanted to join his band, Avenged Sevenfold, as lead guitarist. Haner joined rather than continuing his education and becoming a studio musician. Up until that time he was primarily self-taught by watching music videos and reading books. His father, Brian Haner, Sr., is a songwriter, and guitarist.

Avenged Sevenfold

Gates joined Avenged Sevenfold 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 the EP Warmness on the Soul, and on the reissue of the band’s first album.

Gates became the band’s official lead guitarist. After Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, the band has released 4 studio albums: Waking the Fallen, City of Evil, Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare and a live DVD/CD Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough.

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

He has won numerous awards, including the 2006 Metal Hammer “Young Shredder” award and the 2006 Total Guitar Magazine “Guitarist of the Year.”[citation needed]

In Revolver magazine, the Avenged Sevenfold special edition that was released the same day as the Nightmare album, Gates stated that he originally started out writing the song “So Far Away” in honor of his grandfather, it later on became to also honor his late bandmate The Rev as well.

On April 20, 2011, Gates won the Revolver Golden God award for Best Guitar along with band mate, Zacky Vengeance. Avenged Sevenfold picked up numerous other awards and delivered the headlining performance of the night.

Pinkly Smooth

Haner, along with The Rev, played in an avant-garde 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 avant-garde. Former Avenged Sevenfold bassist Justin Meacham 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, Synyster Gates has said that he would consider remastering the tracks from Unfortunate Snort and re-releasing the album.

Featured guest appearances


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