Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates admits he didn’t like The Rev when they first met

Avenged Sevenfold in 2006
Avenged Sevenfold with The Rev at the 2006 Metal Hammer Golden Gods (Image credit: Chiaki Nozu/FilmMagic - Getty)

Avenged Sevenfold (opens in new tab) guitarist Synyster Gates has told Metal Hammer magazine that he and the late Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan (opens in new tab) didn’t see eye-to-eye when they first met at school.

Gates, aka Brian Elwin Haner, first encountered The Rev in woodwork class when they were both in eighth grade – and Gates admits he didn’t like the kid who would go on to become his friend and A7X bandmate in the years that followed.

Gates says: “I didn’t like him at first. He was loud, crazy and fucking with everybody – but definitely a charismatic guy.”

The pair even became embroiled in a fist-fight at one point – an encounter that, although landing them both in detention, would lead them to become fast friends – as it was here they discovered they shared a love of heavy music.

Gates adds: “My brother was a drummer so we went back to my house and played on his kit and I was fucking blown away.

“I had never heard drumming that great on tape or CD at that point. This guy was next-level. I came to find out that he’s playing Dream Theater (opens in new tab) stuff and shit that I’d never heard of before – things that truly blew my mind. We just hit it off right there.”

The full interview can be found in issue 330 of Metal Hammer magazine which is dedicated to The Rev, who died 10 years ago this month (opens in new tab).

In a new interview, the band open up about their relationship with Jimmy, his influence on the group and the legacy he left behind.

The magazine also comes with a free commemorative art print dedicated to The Rev, plus a bonus Avenged Sevenfold magazine, best of 2019 CD and 2020 calendar featuring SlipknotRob ZombieGhost, Within Temptation, Halestorm and more.

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The rev metal hammer cover

(Image credit: Metal Hammer)
Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.