Avenged Sevenfold Guitarist Synyster Gates' 2014 Summer Tour Survival Guide

by Jeff Kitts, Sammi Chichester
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at 12:04pm

In this new feature from the August 2014 issue of Guitar World, the guitarists of Avenged Sevenfold, Morbid Angel, Trivium and other metal acts tell how they'll beat the heat and tame the crowds on the season's biggest tours.

TODAY: Avenged Sevenfold Guitarist Synyster Gates

Your sweatiest concert ever?

Definitely the 2004 Warped Tour when we played in Arizona. I think it got up to 127 degrees, and I remember feeling like I was going to faint. Just god awful. So we drank a bunch of margaritas to keep us extremely sedated.

Considerations when playing an outdoor show versus an indoor show?

Nothing at all. We just go out there and have a lot of fun. I mean, the only time you’re ever worried about anything is if there are extreme elements, like rain or crazy wind.

Primary gear you’ll be playing this summer?

My gear is pretty easy. I usually play through my Hellwin amp and signature guitar [Schecter Synyster Custom]. I’m not a big effects sort of guy—I like to keep it simple.

One item you will carry with you at all times this summer?

A ProTools rig strapped to my back, literally. It keeps me sane, writing a bunch of different stuff like classical stuff or any guitar stuff. I don’t like being locked in a cage on the creative scale. I need an outlet.

Highlight of your band’s set list?

I’m really excited about the reaction “This Means War” [from 2013’s Hail to the King] is getting these days. That’s a real fun song to play, and I like the grooves and riffs.

Tips for winning over a tough crowd?

You just have to be confident. Don’t give ’em anything to further their disapproval. Just go up there, rock out, and act like it’s a base of your fans. And don’t scream and yell at them.

Advice for a band just starting to play live?

Just go up there and enjoy it, because it’s a really special thing to be able to do. We interact with the crowd, turn it into a party. I wouldn’t worry about the performance or having a stiff and ridged structure for the show. If you keep it loose, you’ll find yourself, eventually.

Photo: David Wolff — Patrick/Redferns/Getty Images

Watch the video for "Hail to the King" here:


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