Synyster Gates was born Brian Elwin Haner, Jr. in Huntington Beach, California on July 7th, 1981. He was born to Brian Haner, Sr and Jan Gera, with whom they had one other child, Brent. They split when he was younger and his father remarried Suzy Haner, and had one child with her, McKenna, younger than Brian. His mother has a child from her second marriage, named Johnny. He's played guitar since he was young, when he picked up a guitar and started to try and learn Jimmy Page's solos, ignoring his father's warnings. His father is a studio musician, working for bands such as Frank Zappa.
Background in music: His father is a studio musician, so he's been around music his entire life. He went to Music Institute of Technology, was accepted into the guitar program, but he dropped out when The Rev recruited him to play lead guitar in Avenged Sevenfold.
Instruments played: Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals, Piano
Preferred gear: Schecter Synyster Custom, Gibson-Les Paul Custom, Bogner amp, Jim Dunlop picks
First band/big break: His first band was with The Rev and two members of Ballistico and the former bassist of Avenged Sevenfold, Justin Sane (not to be confused with Black Flag's Justin Sane), called Pinkly Smooth, which he refers to as "Goblin metal with Danny Elfman influences," and they put out a six-song album called Unfortunate Snort before disbanding so the two members could focus on Avenged Sevenfold.
Other career highlights/lowlights: He won Metal Hammer's "Young Shredder of the Year" award in 2006, and "Guitarist of the Year" from Total Guitar in the same year of 2006.
How he/she joined the band: He was recruited by The Rev, after being swayed by the alluring creativity he felt Sounding the Seventh Trumpet had. the album was later rereleased with Syn playing "To End The Rapture (Heavy Metal Version)"
Musical influences: Dream Theater, Pantera, Guns N' Roses, Oingo Boingo, Django Reinhardt.
Best known for...His unique solos, and shredding guitar
- 2006 "Guitarist of the Year" for Total Guitar magazine
- "Young Shredder of the Year" at the Metal Hammer awards in 2006.
Upcoming plans: When asked recently, Both Gates and The Rev, their new side project being planned featuring the 2 playing old Pinkly Smooth songs.
Side projects: He was in a band called Pinkly Smooth with fellow bandmate, a7x drummer, The Rev. Both him and The Rev later quit so they could focus on Avenged Sevenfold. The have also mentioned that he and The Rev were planning to work on yet another side project, which as of now is unnamed.