AVENGED SEVENFOLD's SYNYSTER GATES: EDDIE VAN HALEN Was 'The Godfather Of Metal' GuitarFebruary 3, 2023
In a new interview with Pablo of the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X, AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Synyster Gates (real name: Brian Haner, Jr.) was asked about his biggest guitar influences. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Jimi Hendrix, chordally most especially — what he was doing with his chords at that time. Taking R&B and fusing that with rock was just absolutely legendary. George Harrison is super underrated. That guy could write as great a melodic solo as any of his actual melodies in his greatest tunes. An absolute freak. And I think a lot of people know that Slash [GUNS N' ROSES] changed my life as far as actual note choices and tone; that's incredible. Dimebag Darrell [PANTERA]. If I could play like anybody, it would probably be Dime. That's just the thrashiest, most fucked up raping and pillaging of an instrument I've ever heard. It's so beautiful how he just mastered this feel. You can't sound like him, no matter how hard you try; it's impossible.
"[Eddie] Van Halen, once he passed, unfortunately, it took me a second to kind of revisit some stuff," Synyster added. "I wasn't the biggest VAN HALEN fan as a fan, 'cause I guess the songwriting didn't speak to me as much. But my good God, that's the godfather of rock and roll, or certainly metal. The art of guitar was this, and he just fucking skipped 10 lines and went 50 years into the future in a single breath. I've never seen anything done like that since Django Reinhardt, the godfather of gypsy jazz. Freaks! What he was doing in the '30s and what Van Halen was doing in the '80s? Freak shit."
Almost a decade ago, Gates was asked by Maniacs which guitar player he would have liked to have taken a master class with when he was growing up. He responded: "When I was young, probably Dimebag Darrell. That was my guy. I respected Steve Vai's playing technique a little bit more, but just to be able to meet Dimebag would have been phenomenal. He could have shown me so much cool stuff. That's the guy.
Gates also talked about his songwriting chemistry and twin-guitar sound with fellow AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Zacky Vengeance, particularly during the band's formative years. He said: "I don't know if that kind of perspective was there, but definitely it was a guitar-driven band. When Matt [M. Shadows, vocals] writes songs, he's writing on guitar. When [late drummer] Jimmy ['The Rev' Sullivan] was alive, he was writing for AVENGED on guitar, mainly. I mean, we borrowed some elements from our old band PINKLY SMOOTH — songs like 'Fiction' or 'A Little Piece Of Heaven' are very much him on the piano doing his thing."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD recently completed work on the long-awaited follow-up to 2016's "The Stage" album for a tentative early 2023 release. The LP was once again produced by Joe Barresi, who previously worked on "The Stage".
AVENGED SEVENFOLD's upcoming effort was mixed by legendary producer Andy Wallace. Wallace has mixed all of AVENGED SEVENFOLD's studio albums since 2005's "City Of Evil".
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