Synyster Gates Talks Pinkly Smooth And More With Binaural. - Avenged Sevenfold

Synyster Gates Talks Pinkly Smooth And More With Binaural.

On Oct 20th while in Barcelona, Spain Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates sat down with Binaural for an interview. He talks about Pinkly Smooth, his father Brian Haner Sr (Papa Gates), the band’s he likes at the moment and more. You can read the translated version (thanks to Nicki) below. Thanks to Mariola for submitting this.

The first artist with whom we have been able to talk has been Synyster Gates, guitarist of Avenged Sevenfold who anwered and interesting questionnaire through which we have discovered the passion that Syn professes to his father (and also to The Rev) and various related items its evolution as a guitarist and musician. Whether you’re an A7X fan or not, from Binaural we sincerely hope you enjoy this interview.

Let’s start with the basics … How did you started playing guitar?
– Music has always been an essential part of my family. My father was a guitarist and got to play with a lot of known artists like Frank Zappa so this type of background was always there. That naturally led me to realize that I had complex and genetic deficiencies that made me sit in a room to play this instrument since I was nine. (he’s just being funny)

You also know how to play the piano, “did you learn to play it away from when you learned to the guitar”?
– My parents always wanted me to take piano lessons. I don’t know why they didn’t let me focus only on the guitar playing but the truth is that I now appreciate that in some way they forced me to it and that has helped me a lot in the process of songwriting. Yes, there are many things I learned at the time that I do not retain, but I got to learn to read music and that’s important.

What kind of songs were those you began to compose at an early age?
– When I was a kid I didn’t write too many songs because my father was a studio musician. I knew he had written some songs themselves but generally he performed songs of the best groups of 40 and stuff so this trend has influenced me too. I remember that he carried his personal project just before I was born but that was not something that really got to touch (affect) me, I knew from the beginning I wanted to be a studio musician like my father. Things began to change when I met The Rev in eighth grade. He opened me a world with a variety of musical styles as Mr. Bungle, Dreamtheater and stuff like that changed my perspective so I started writing music.

How did you and The Rev met at school? I’ve been hearing that throw the Internet there’s been much speculation with the idea that The Rev started bothering you.
– Yes. My parents got divorced so I had to move to Huntington Beach where I had to get used to a new place and new school. I remember that in the first two weeks of school I tried to avoid this stupid boy [The Rev] that was just trying to bother people but I soon saw that he was not someone malicious, the guy just didn’t know what he was doing ( laughs). It all happened one day that he started to bother me, I hit him and the two of us got expelled from class. That was when we started talking about music … the rest is now part of history.

Shortly after the two began to work in your first group: Pinkly Smooth – in which Buck and Silverspur D-Rock also worked. How do you see this project now, after all you’ve lived? Do you plan on doing something with the album from your old band?
– We launched a CD, but I don’t know wether to call it an LP or a CD ’cause it didn’t came out with any label and its quality is closer to a demo than anything else. Probably we will remix and remaster the album by adding some new parts, the truth is l would love to bring it to out now that we have the possibillity to get something much better out than the stuff that has been seen previously. All this is just not in process right now but do not doubt that we will release it sooner or later.

How are you guys, from D-Rock, Buck to you and your colleagues from Avenged Sevenfold getting through The Rev’s loss?
– I think we are doing pretty good. Our whole life is now based in touring, moving from a place to another and playing live. Some days are more positive than others but we are pulling with our lives and we know that is how it should be. Definitely I think that we are now closer than before but that’s mostly because of the circumstances that we had to live through.

‘So Far Away’ is a song from your last album that you composed as a tribute to your good friend Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan. Was it difficult for you to start writing?
-To discuss this topic we have to go back to the time when my grandfather died just two years ago (the interview was done on Oct. 20-). I was in Australia when I heard about this and, in response, I wrote the instrumental part of that song and also a part of the lyrics of it. At that time the only profit I obtained from that were some cool demos where Jimmy sang with me. I had never written any lyrics for Avenged Sevenfold before, but after the death of Jimmy that I saw myself on the duty to ask my fellow group members if I could complete the writing of ‘So Far Away’. Finally, after that, everything came very naturally.

Speaking of material created by you. “In all his years as a musician have you recorded some songs just for you? If so … are they seeing the light some day?
– (Laughs) Yes, I have enough material in my particular notebook and it sure will come out somehow. Now we are very focused on our thing but when the tide of A7X lowers I’ll sure release that other stuff I have been keeping to myself. I am convinced that his family ( the Sullivans) would love to hear it and that this will help to extend the legacy of the great moments I lived with my good friend Jimmy in my personal studio.

Do this songs we’re talking about have some kind of southern vibration ? I ask this because in your compositions is more than evident the strong influence that this style has had on your music and in the way you compose.
– Well the truth is we heard (-Jimmy and Syn-) all kinds of music. We both have metal influences (Metallica or Pantera for example) but we also listened a lot to bands like Guns N ‘Roses, a group that recreates a lot of that southern type of vibe you metion. Yes, it’s true that we were interested in the contemporary country music too, but the strongest reference points we had were the ones that I just commented. It’s possible that you have heard me playing slide guitar on “Nightmare” but I doubt that this type of vibe (southern) is present in the songs we are talking about.

Let’s change the subject and talk a bit about your preferences. I am aware that Slash is one of your biggest idols … you see this icon in the rock world as a reflection of what you intend to gradually achieve or become with your music career?
– I’ll be honest and tell you what I think: right now I don’t know if I want to be like him. I now know that Avenged Sevenfold is no longer that 20 year boy band who wanted to become someday a band like Guns N ‘Roses or Metallica, now we’re nothing but ourselves. I do not want this to sound arrogant or anything like that, because the truth is that we are really enjoying the moment and just want to do what we enjoy and are passionate about.

What albums have you been most listening to lately? And which are your favorite songs and albums?
– Mm … In the last months I’ve been really into the Sparks discography. I don’t know if you’ve heard them but it’s a really fun group that has a very modern tone and very nobelty Queen tone too. To all who read, you have to purchase a copy of “Kimono My House” (1974) and “Indiscreet” (1975), two amazing albums. ‘ Angst In My Pants ‘is an song that clearly reflects the style of these guys and curiously takes as its theme the phenomenon of herpes(laughs). There are no doubts about my favorite song: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. I don’t think anyone can come up with a better song than that one. If we talk about records I can not help admitting that my favorite is the first of Mr Bungle. Even so I have to pay some tribute to The Beatles as these have been the best composers that have ever taken place in the music world.

What groups or artists have mostly influenced you?
– Many! No doubt I have to start talking about Mr. Bungle, my favorite band ever. When we were in Japan I took advantage and took with me a stack of bootlegs because they have been huge in this country. Another artist I love is Danny Elfman, I love the soundtracks he composes and the essence that only he manages to convey in BSOS such as Batman, Beetlejuice, etc …

The Film / TV and music world seem to be very close in your career. That reminds me … is it true that you and your father worked on the main theme of the Jeff Dunham’s show?
– Yes, yes, it’s totally true. We were always pulling forward and backward in this project but eventually got out thanks mostly to the work of my father.

Your father and you have been working together even in Avenged Sevenfold – Syn’s father served as the acoustic guitar in various A7x’s gigs. How do you feel when you see that your father helps you play songs in your own group?
– For me it is an honor to see that my father has become so much a fan of the group and such a fan of myself. See that from time to time he does get interested in my projects and tryes to help where he can is the coolest thing. He has been my heroe in many ways: musicaly and out of the music world. It’s right that he wasn’t too much into metal music (laughs) but without him it’s more than possible that I wouldn’t never turn out to become who I am now.

Has ever happened to you that you feel more closely to a song that other composed than from one you did compose?
– I do not know, the truth is I feel very related to all topics covered in Avenged Sevenfold’s songs. Again I don’t want to sound like a jerk or anything like that but we are very sure of what we do more than anything because we spend a lot of time working on it. We’re not into releasing music in 2 or 3 months, if takes us most of the year getting out something that we can feel really happy about. Another important fact that helps me to reaffirm what I’ve said before comes from the fact that Jimmy has been my favorite composer ever. Each time he composed a song was like if my favorite band had released something new. I am very happy with what we release. Not much with my own stuff since I am very self-critical (laughs) but with what we do in A7X.

It is obvious that Jimmy and you had an amazing musical connection. Do you think that with Johnny, Matthew or the rest of your companions you share a similar bond?
– Yes, but in a different way. Sullivan was my soul mate. My favorite band is Mr Bungle, his too. My favorite album is the Mr. Bungle (selftitled), his too. Even we agreed 100% on Danny Elfman. Jimmy and I lived in a parallel world that was more than obvious but it is also true that the rest of the band and I share some of the same tastes in music. Still then, at another level because it is with Jimmy that I have lived almost everything in the world of music.