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INTERVIEW: Synyster Gates

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maxresdefaultWe had the pleasure to interview Synyster Gates in Hollywood on 4/2/14 to discuss his Master Class, and what Avenged Sevenfold is up to.  Check it out below, and purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.

You can also check out photos from the Master Class here.

Infectious Magazine: If you could do one Master Class with any guitar player who would it have been?

Synyster Gates: Oh man! When I was young, probably Dimebag Darrell. That was my guy [laughs]. To be able to have met that guy would have been interesting.

What were you looking for when you chose the winners, what stood out?

Creativity and technique. I wanted them to be far enough along to where I could say all this Greek horse shit, and have them somewhat understand it. I also really liked the fact that they actually did what I requested, and that was taking an Avenged Sevenfold song and doing something a little bit different.

What were you hoping to accomplish with the whole Master Class?

Pretty much I just want to be the vessel for those kids, I sort of had a loosely based curriculum that I was kind of going for, but I really just wanted to answer their questions and fill in their gaps.

What do you believe makes a great guitar player?

For me, if I had to boil it down to one thing, it would definitely have to be note choice because if I said creativity, I mean there’s a lot of oddly, unbelievably creative people that play whatever notes.  Slash can play the same thing every single time, and it sounds like a different vibe – same tone, same guitar, same amp, yet that guy is nothing short of inspiring every single time he picks up his guitar to write anything.

What about your own guitar work, do ever feel that you stop learning?

I’ve learned all I can learn [laughs] nope, you never stop learning. You really don’t. And that’s the cool thing about it, whether it is frustrating or encouraging when you learn one thing. The older that you get its more of the Catch 22, once you become friends with the fact that you’re only going to learn things one piece at a time, because there’s nothing that’s the key to the universe, you know? At this point, I think it really resonates with me and I come to peace with that. I’ll search for one cool thing that inspires me, and I try to have that one cool thing that inspires me every day and learn it, understand it, and apply it.

Mayhem was announced a few days ago, how do you feel about touring with an equally huge band, Korn?

It’s going to be really exciting I think, I love all the bands and Korn is great friends of ours. To be on tour with friends is usually our number one. We’re very blessed to have met a lot of great and successful bands to actually tour with since for the other side of it, bands have to sell tickets, so it’s fortunate when you have great friends that can sell tickets as well because then you get to fucking hang out with them every day. I grew up listening to Korn, they were one of my favorite bands, just more so for the bass playing, vocals, and extremely innovative guitar wise, and not to go off on a tangent but drums; Dave Silveria was a freak! Anyways huge band so, friends and fans makes for a great time.

Avenged Sevenfold has been touring pretty extensively, how are you going to mix up your set for Mayhem?

We’ll try and switch it up, as basic as that sounds. As far as the set, we’re definitely going to put out a bigger, better show so to speak. Hopefully a little bit longer because I know we get complaints about that. Longer, better, bigger.

What about Download Festival, A7X is headlining one of the days, what’s that going to be like?

It’s going to be fucking awesome! From our standpoint? Fuck, it’s the coolest thing ever. We haven’t really headlined a big, overseas festival. It’s definitely the biggest festival, the biggest show that we have headlined. And to have it be such a legendary and historical sort of thing, I mean ACDC has headlined it, last time I was there and saw it, they had System of a Down, I mean – it’s legendary! Way too cool.

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Caitlin Shores

Writer and Photographer

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