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 American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold.

Early lifeEdit

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 and classical guitar. After a year or so of being there, he got a phone call from The Rev asking him if he wanted to join his band, 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 SevenfoldEdit

Gates joined Avenged Sevenfold when he was 18 in 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 band's first album.

Gates became the band's 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."

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, but now honors his late bandmate The Rev as well.

On April 20, 2011, Gates 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.

Pinkly SmoothEdit

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 appearancesEdit

  • Bleeding Through's "Savior, Saint, Salvation," track (with M. Shadows ).
  • Good Charlotte's "The River" track and music video (with M. Shadows).
  • Burn Halo's "Dirty Little Girl" track and music video.
  • Burn Halo's "Anejo" track.
  • Brian Haner's "Blow-Up Doll" music video.
  • The Jeff Dunham Show intro song (with his father).



Synyster Gates uses mainly Schecter Guitars. Schecter Guitar Research has been sponsoring him and he has signature Avenger models. He has also been seen using ESP guitars when A7X were recording Waking The Fallen and City Of Evil

  • Schecter Synyster Gates Signature Special model with Seymour Duncan SH-8 Invaders and Sustainiac neck pickup sustainer
  • Schecter Synyster Gates Signature Custom models with Seymour Duncan SH-8 Invaders and Sustainiac neck pickup sustainer
  • Schecters custom models with Rebel flag, American flag, German flag, Black with Red Stripes, Red with Black Stripes, White with Gold Stripes, and one with Tune-O-Matic Bridge.
  • Schecter Synyster Gates Custom with "REV" inlays on fret board instead of "SYN" featured on the So Far Away music video
  • Schecter Synyster Gates Custom Prototype
  • Schecter Synyster Special Prototype
  • Schecter Synyster Deluxe Prototype
  • Schecter Synyster Special
  • Schecter Synyster Deluxe
  • Schecter Avenger
  • Schecter C-1 Classic - Transparent Blue
  • Schecter Custom C-1 FR
  • Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR
  • Schecter PT Fastback
  • Schecter S-1 loaded with Seymour Duncan JBs
  • Schecter Banshee
  • Gibson Les Paul in arctic white, this was used in the video for Unholy Confessions
  • Parker Fly
  • Ibanez - RG Prestige
  • 1957 Fender Stratocaster Deluxe (With Humbucker Pickups)

Amplifiers & Effects UnitEdit

He has used Bogner, Marshall, Mesa/Boogie and many more amps in the studio, but until late, has been mostly seen with Bogner live.

  • Marshall JVM205H (for Nightmare )
  • Krank Distortus Maximus
  • 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
  • Frantone "The Sweet" Distortion
  • Digitech Whammy Pedal
  • Dunlop Crybaby from Hell
  • Dunlop Crybaby RackWah
  • Budda Custom Wah
  • MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal
  • MXR Carbon Copy Delay
  • MXR Custom Comp
  • Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier
  • Visual Sound H20 Chorus & Echo
  • Ernie Ball Wah Pedal
  • Sustainiac Stealth Pro Sustainer
  • Bogner Uberschall
  • Bogner Uberschall Twin Jet
  • Mesa Boogie Rectifier
  • Marshall JCM 800
  • Mesa Boogie 4x12 Cabinets
  • Marshall 4x12 Cabinets