Synyster Gates

May 28, 2009
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Flames are coming from all around. The entire stage seems to be erupting around him and he doesn’t know where, or if, he can escape. As the flames grow larger and larger, he tries to concentrate on the task at hand, but the fear overcomes him. He runs and dives to the floor. Knowing that smoke rises, he crawls on hands and knees towards the exit. The door is blocked with piles of sound equipment though, and he can’t escape. He looks towards Johnny Christ and yells “Can’t you help me! As I’m starting to burn?” As the flames start to overtake his body, and he feels consciousness slipping away, he jerks awake and realizes that he is not onstage, but in his bed. Synyster Gates curses at himself. This is the third time this week that this has happened to him. This fear of fire is overcoming his whole life. He thinks to himself “Maybe I should make a beast out of myself to get rid of the pain of being a man”. As the lead guitarist in the very popular hard rock band revenge sixforth, he is exposed to flames every night when he is on stage. The pyrotechnics show is a part of any concert that can be considered even the most passive form of rock, let alone hard rock bordering on metal. Syn knows that the band needs him to be able to withstand it. With this onset of the horrible dreams he has been having though, he doesn’t know how much longer he can take it. They have been taking over his life, leaving him dead tired every morning with no time to practice, and then needing to stay up until two in the morning every night for concerts.

Looking at the clock next to his bed, Syn realizes that it is nearly four in the afternoon. They have a show in less than four hours. He realizes it is about time to be getting ready, and hops out of bed, being careful not to knock over the pitcher of water he keeps next to the bed, just in case. Going into the bathroom, he first feels the doorknob with the back of his hand to make sure a fire has not broken out inside the room. When he feels it is clear, he jumps into the shower. The bathtub is already full of water to use in case a fire breaks out, and the hose in the corner can be attached to the faucet if he needs to fight fires somewhere else in his home, which is steel framed of course. Better to be made from that than wood, with all its flammability and such. For breakfast, Syn cooks up some fried eggs on his electric range. He is sure to cover the pan at all times, to prevent a stray drop of grease from starting a fire that could easily spread to the rest of his house, even though there is a well maintained stock of fire extinguishers strategically placed around his home. Even though Syn doesn’t keep anything that could start an open flame, he still fears that a gas leak, or some stray source of anything flammable could be ignited by a spark from a shorting electrical outlet or a malfunctioning vintage guitar amp.

Before getting in his car to head to the arena, Syn first puts on his NASCAR approved flame retardant jumpsuit. His diesel truck runs on the fuel that won’t be ignited so easily in case he is in an accident, or a bullet passes through his fuel tank. The truck has a fire extinguisher bolted to the floor just at his feet, and a special flame suppression system installed in the engine bay in the case of an underhood fire. While driving, Syn always makes sure to maintain a safe distance from the other cars. He stays eight seconds back instead of the recommended three. He knows that if he causes an accident it could cause a severe fire that he might not escape from. He continues watching the cars that pass him, making sure that none are headed in his direction.

He survives the drive to the arena, but here is where Syn knows that he will have to face his fear once again. He needs to keep the fans unaware that he is fully freaking out while on stage. He has the reputation as the guy that plays insane solos and appears that he isn’t even thinking about it. It’s almost like his mind is in another place during his shows. Before he gets out of the car, he strips off his jumpsuit and throws it in the backseat. Syn has not mentioned to his bandmates that he is afraid of fire. He knows that if they find out then they will think he is a wussy and not want him to be in the band anymore. Even if they have nothing against him and surely would miss him, they would still not want a fire-fearing girl in the band.

Walking in, Syn fights the urge to tell his closest friends about the fear he is experiencing, and maintains his super cool personality he is known for. He greets his friends and the adoring fans that have been let backstage before the show for a very special meet and greet with the band. He shreds a little bit just to warm up, and before he knows it is time for the show. As always, they start with their hit song, acclaimed critically. In this song, flames shoot out from behind the drummer as the guitar comes in at the beginning of the song.

As this happens, The Rev, their drummer, drops a drumstick, and Syn turns around to see what the commotion is. He sees his visions burn as the flames shoot out of 50-foot propane cannons. Syn looses control and drops his guitar on the ground. He keeps yelling, “I don’t belong here!” The flames stop, along with the rest of the band, and an awkward silence comes over the crowd. After what seems like an eternity, M.Shallows picks him up and asks what happened. After describing the incident, and his long lasting fear of fire, the band is shocked to hear that Syn did not tell them before. They play for the love of playing, not just for the sake of looking cool, and were fine with leaving out the flames in their shows to keep Syn in the band.





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