Guitar Planet Interview with Mike about his new Gibson Les Paul

November 29, 2005

Q: So where did the Signature Guitar come from?

A: I was bored one day and made a mock up of the guitar in Photoshop. This was about the time I got my kilt.

Q: You really have a kilt? Like that guy from Korn?

A: Yes, but mine is a real kilt though, not some fu fu rumble rock loser model. It's the real deal. It is my families tartan, and I wear it proudly. You can see a picture of me wearing it in the 2nd European printing of Digital Metalizer.

Q: So what does it sound like?

A: The Kilt? Depends on if I had Spicy food I guess.

Q: What?

A: Hey pal you asked the question.

Q: No, I mean how does the guitar sound.

A: Like a Les Paul should.

Q: Do you still use your other Les Pauls?

A: Yep, why not.

Q: Even your Fenders?

A: Look, I told Gibson I wanted them to build me one, then they wanted to make it a signature model, and that I could only play it live. I told them get real, and just make me the one I wanted and I would gladly pay for it. Then after about 2 years we finally worked something out and there will be two models in a store near you.

Q: There are two models?

A: Yes, one is a Custom Shop model, the other is a Gibson USA model.

Q: How are the two models different?

A: Well, the custom shop model is a essentially a Les Paul Custom with a Plaid top, natural back, nickel hardware, big neck profile, 57 classic pickups, graphite nut/saddles and locking tuners plus a few other minor tweaks here and there. The Gibson USA model is Alpine White studio with gold hardware and the rest of the features like the custom shop model, Sort of a stripped down, more bang for your buck model. Both models may have some different finish variations thrown in from time to time. For example I know some of the studios will come in an aged yellow finish for those who don't want to wait 10 years for their White Les Paul to turn yellow. One other feature is that it will come with two truss rod covers, so you don't have to have my name on your guitar. I've already changed mine to the regular covers.

Q: Isn't the Plaid signature enough?

A: You would think, however Gibson wanted the signature on there and I didn't, so we compromised on it. It's not like it's the first guitar to have plaid on it. There was some shredder in the 80's that had plaid guitars, but those were cheesy wanna-be plaid patterns, looked more like argyle socks. The plaid on my model is more authentic.

Q: How do you think it will sell?

A: Probably not very well, I know Gibson doesn't want to hear that, but it is true. It's one of those guitars people will either love it or hate it. I'm sure the Studio model will do well though because it is a solid guitar, with nice features without the funky finish. This is why the different paint patters will be available. Some people will like this guitar for it's features, but just don't dig plaid. Me I like the plaid, it actually looks pretty cool under stage lights.

Q: So, will we see the "Plaid Top" on tour anytime soon?

A: I certainly hope so.

Look for the rest of the article, including pictures of the Signature Guitars in Guitar Planets December Issue.

Article segment reproduced by permission from the December 2005 Guitar Planet Magazine copyright 2005

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