Zakk Wylde Compares Synyster Gates to Randy Rhoads, Calls Him 'Torchbearer For Kids to Play Solos'

Wylde praises fellow axeman for ability to make "having wisdom with the instrument cool."

Ultimate Guitar

Zakk Wylde recently sang massive praises of Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates, drawing comparisons with late great Randy Rhoads.

Chatting with Pop Break, Wylde called Gates a "torchbearer," saying that he's the one inspiring kids to pick up the guitar and start soloing.

"I think it's great that Avenged Sevenfold is having all this success; it's awesome for the whole rock community in general," the guitarist kicked off. "He's the torchbearer for the young kids now to play solos, learn the scales, and develop a feel."

Getting to the Roads parallel, Zakk added, "The same thing with Randy, aside from the amazing songs and solos, he always made it cool to want to learn so you're knowledgeable with the guitar. He made having wisdom with the instrument cool."

The latest Black Label Society studio effort, "Catacombs of the Black Vatican," saw its release on April 8 via E1 Music.

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Gates is a good guitarist and a versatile one at that - I just wish he brought more of that to Avenged - but he's far from the best - there are plenty of guitarists that possess equal or more skill than the guy, within numerous genres - Guthrie Govan, Mark Tremonti, Misha Mansoor, Wes Hauch and Richie Kotzen to name a few.
    Ben Hobson
    Out of all of them though Gates is the most popular, which is why he is the biggest inspiration for young guitarists.
    It's a shame that Alter Bridge isn't more popular in the states, or else Tremonti would also be an excellent inspiration for young guitarists. I think people don't give him the credit since he was in Creed.
    Absolutely. Fortress was an amazing album (my favorite of last year) and All I Was still gets heavy play in my car. I think he's incredibly underrated, in some part due to what you said about the whole Creed thing. Creed wrote some great songs, not crazy about the ones that were on the radio but I still think that Overcome and Bread Of Shame off Full Circle are incredible songs... You could pick great songs off all their albums.
    Tremontis solo record...I can't stop listening to it. The song Proof is so beautifully understated. Very little flourish or embelishment throughout the song until you get to the solo which then lifts you. Excellent stuff!
    I agree, people in the states really need to put the 'the 3 members of creed with a different singer' label behind them, and accept them for who they are now. 4 incredibly talented musicians, with Tremonti and Myles arguably being one of the best modern day guitar duo's.
    theres no argument, I think together they are the best duo. Even myles kennedey is an amazing guitarist in his own right.
    thumbs up for mentioning govan and tremonti. Two of the best out there in my opinion!
    I feel the same way about Altered Bridge and Tremonti that the original poster does about Average Semenfold. Great shredder… their songs are derivative and boring. Miles Kennedy is an embarrassing stereotype rock singer in the same vein. Great range, absolutely boring melodically.
    Nt enuff diveboms needs m0re kerry king influance!
    I think that it would take about 10 Kerry King's to compete with Brian's left hand. Sorry, Kerry.
    Zacky Vengeance The Rhythm guitarist for A7X is Left Handed. Brian is Right Handed. Close but no cigar.
    No, No, No Mr. "King" Brian doesn't need more dive bombs he needs some more Pinch Harmonics.
    Pretty much, yeah. Can't stand A7X, but Brian Elwin Haner (I refuse to call him Synyster Gates, what a lame name)is a very talented guitarist. People don't really play finger blistering solos anymore, because young guys who play guitar in bands don't really to play the damn thing. I'd blame tabs, but then I wouldn't be commenting here either.
    Or you know, those kids are just not drawn to "finger blistering" solos because it's not their thing.
    I wouldnt blame it on tabs at all... I blame it on the "want it now" attitude. They learn a few chords and they suddenly become rock stars (in their heads) and want to go play the local circuit and forget about learning anything else. Also, kids are learning a lot faster these days due to youtube videos. I didnt have that when I learned guitar... I did use tabs once in a while just to see what part of a solo I was missing notes in or playing incorrectly. As for Zakk comparing him to Rhoads... I dont think this guy even comes close. He will NOT go down in the books as being one of the all time greats, guaranteed. Sure he plays good and is talented.... but he's not doing anything new. It's all been done before. Zakk, put the Rolling Rock down and smap back into reality. Still waiting for my Bullseye by the way from your 357 deal.
    Moltres Avianos
    Shredding isn't everyone's cup of tea. I don't find 'finger blistering solos' interesting at all, they bore me.
    Gates is a phenomenal guitarist but he isn't as influential on budding guitarists as people might think. Avenged may be this massive band at the moment but that doesn't mean everyone listens to them. I'm willing to bet Zakk Wylde himself has had more influence on guitarists than Synyster Gates has
    Yeah I'd agree with that, but remember Wylde has been performing for way longer and was the guitarist for Ozzy for a long time, he's had way longer to be an influence! But in terms of each guitar players style I'd be willing to wager that most young guitarists would rather sound like Syn than Wylde, to have melody rather than pure speed
    Almost all of Synyster Gates' lead is built around speed. He has hints of melody, but it's more about the speed nine times out of ten. Zakk Wylde might be stuck in a creative rut for the last decade, but when he wants to be melodic (like he used to be with Ozzy), he can easily put Mr. Gates to shame in either category.
    I won't take my case for a general process, but as far as I'm concerned and since I used to be a massive A7X fans when I was a bit younger, Gates' playing did inspire me to pick up a guitar (and I eventually got better and discovered many other influences, including Rhoads' playing). So he may not be the best today, but if we're talking about sheer influence, Gates is definitely one of the big names at the moment IMO.
    People may not like Brian, or Avenged Sevenfold, but saying he isn't influential to young guitarist is just being naive. Back in the early 90's I was inspired to pick up a guitar and learn Metallica, and then once I discovered Dream Theater, Vai, Satch, they quickly became my primary inspirations going forward. That doesn't change the fact that wanting to play Metallica (Kirk/James) was my INITIAL inspiration to pick up a guitar. Like it or not, Avenged Sevenfold is one of the primary influences out there for kids to pick up guitars these days.
    Avenged Sevenfold might not be to everyone's liking, but I like to think of Gates as this generation's Marty Friedman. And I also think it's cool to see such a commercially viable band being able to include creative guitar soloing in their songs, rather than having your average pentatonic-tapping solo just to fit the bill.
    Jeffrey is right, considering that a lot of young people listen to A7X.
    As much as I hate A7X and their tween fanbase, Syn is a great player and does inspire kids to pick up a guitar and play more than chords to get chicks. I've seen kids wait in line to play his signature guitar in guitar center before.
    I started out playing A7X's Nightmare intro then I went to some more A7X stuff, PanterA, Iron maiden, August burns red, metallica, CKY, Boston, Journey, Rammstein, Phil X & The Drills, etc. but my first ever guitar was a Schecter same company Brian (Synyster Gates) uses. got to respect his versatility, but the new album (Hail to the king) for A7X just didn't cut it for me. Waking The Fallen or the Self Titled Avenged Sevenfold has some great material even The City Of Evil record had great stuff. My top 4 guitarists of my choice Dimebag Darrel (Obviously PanterA, Damageplan) , Deron Miller (CKY, World Under Blood), Phil X (Phil X & The Drills, Powder) , and Brian (Synyster Gates) (Avenged Sevenfold).
    Regardless of opinions of their music (I happen to like some of their work, corny as it may be), I really love the fact that they pretty much helped bring solos back.
    No Zakk....those 2 do not compare! Gates and Rhoads do not even belong in the same sentence. Rhoads is infinite times better than what Gates could ever hope to be.
    I love the City Of Evil old drummer's son turned me on to it and I gave him Opeth. He really got into guitar, probably because of Gates, and I sold him my Les Paul so he wouldn't be trying to learn on a crappy guitar. I do play Schecters but mine are Custom Shop, strat style ones... I still get inspired by lots of players and I was certainly inspired by Gate's solo on Bat Country...
    micster abishua
    Haters gonna hate... but the fact remains syn is the best of his class at the moment... and u can namr any guitarist and I will show u a synyster gates solo that will top that....without syn I wouldn't be where I am in guitar playing... without syn sweep picking.. legatos and other cool types of scaled would be alien to me... zakk wylde is of experience.. and he definitely knows what he is talking about... sooo imma leave it at that...
    Back in the day when i was younger, I think the city of vil album was one of the most motivating things for me to get better at guitar, i simply wanted to be able to play beast and the harlot
    I was expecting a video. No one reads text interviews/quotes anymore. This could be fake for all we know.
    If i didn't hear COE, I wouldn't have picked up the guitar. IMO, this guy inspired many kids to pick up the guitar and rock out while discovering other stuffs like Metallica, Iron Maiden and such compared to picking up the guitar, learning a few chords and just play them to impress hoes.