Synyster Gates Biography

Brian Elwin Haner, Jr., better known by his stage name Synyster Gates, is an American guitarist currently affiliated with the heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. With a background in various genres of music, including metal, jazz, classical, gypsy jazz, and avant-garde, Gates brings a unique and diverse musical influence to his work. He honed his skills at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California, where he pursued degrees in jazz and classical guitar. Since joining Avenged Sevenfold in 2001, Gates has contributed to the band’s extensive discography, which includes seven studio albums, one live album, and one video album. Additionally, he was part of the collaborative project Pinkly Smooth with his former bandmate James “The Rev” Sullivan. Throughout his career, Gates has been recognized with numerous accolades, including Golden God and Kerrang! Awards.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Brian Elwin Haner Jr., Synyster Gates, Syn, Gates
  • Age: 42 Years, 42 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Michelle DiBenedetto (m. 2010)
    • Father: Brian Haner Sr.
    • Mother: Jan Geras
    • Siblings: Brent Haner, McKenna
    • Children: Nicolangelo Saint James Haner
  • Guitarists
  • American Men
  • Height: 5’10” (178 cm), 5’10” Males
  • U.S. State: California
  • Education: Mayfair Middle/High School, Musicians Institute, Ocean View High School


In 1999, M. Shadows founded Avenged Sevenfold along with Zacky Vengeance, The Rev, and Matt Wendt in Huntington Beach, California. The group was named as a reference to the story of Cain and Abel from the Bible. They released their debut studio album, ‘Sounding the Seventh Trumpet’, in 2001 through their first record label, Good Life Recordings. Gates joined the band soon after, and the album was re-released in 2002 through Hopeless Records. Avenged Sevenfold gained considerable popularity after the release of their first extended play, ‘Warmness on the Soul’, in 2001.

In August 2003, Avenged Sevenfold released their second album, ‘Waking the Fallen’, with a new bassist, Johnny Christ. The album received positive reviews from Billboard and ‘The Boston Globe’ and attracted media attention. Their album, ‘City of Evil’, released in June 2005 through Warner Bros. label, is one of their most successful albums to date. It has been certified platinum by RIAA and gold by BPI and MC. Their self-titled fourth album was released in October 2007, followed by their fifth album, ‘Nightmare’, in July 2010, which topped the US and Finnish music charts and was certified platinum by MC and gold by BPI and RIAA.

Avenged Sevenfold’s album ‘Hail to the King’ (2013) was their last one released through Warner Bros. before signing with Capitol Records. It topped charts in the US, Canada, UK, Finland, and Ireland and was certified platinum by MC. They also released a soundtrack album titled ‘Hail to the King: Deathbat’ in 2015. Their most recent album, ‘The Stage’, was released in October 2016 and reached the top spot in the Canadian chart. In addition to their studio albums, Avenged Sevenfold has released one live album, two compilation albums, and one video album.

Personal Life

Synyster Gates was born on July 7, 1981, in Long Beach, California. His father, Brian Haner, Sr., is a musician, comedian, and writer. Gates drew inspiration from his father and developed a love for heavy metal as well as other genres like jazz, classical, and avant-garde. He attended the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, where he studied jazz and classical guitar.

Gates married Michelle DiBenedetto in 2010, and they have a son named Nicolangelo “Nicci” Saint James Haner, born in 2017.

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