MASTODON’s Bill Kelliher Talks About Gear Used on “Emperor of Sand”

Mastodon riffmaster Bill Kelliher recently spoke to Metal Rules about some of the gear he used for Emperor of Sand‘s various guitar tones. While the dirty details are relatively sparse and probably won’t have you locking down Emperor‘s tone out of the box should you nab some of this gear yourself (you know, post-processing and whatnot considered), when is it ever a bad time to read about metal guitar tone? Here’s what he had to say:


I used my ESP LTD Sparrowhawk with the Lace Dissonant Aggressors pickups and some Les Pauls. My choices of amps for each song were unlimited during the recording process, but I mainly used my Friedman Butterslax amp head for the chunky, super heavy stuff. I used an old Silvertone Sears amp for a lot of the clean stuff. We dug in deep and applied the amp’s different sounds, effects, and keyboards to give the songs that third dimension. It’s really a good sounding record.

For reference, this…

…is Bill’s signature Sparrowhawk.

And this lovely piece…

…is his signature Butterslax amp. It can be yours, too, for just 100 low payments of $38.99 per month!

Well, there ya have it. Bill Kelliher using signature Bill gear got him a delightfully chunky Bill tone on Mastodon’s last record. For a tad more, check out Ultimate-Guitar.

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Gear Gods intern Maxwell studied English at Cal Poly Pomona and has since realized life ain’t all about semicolons and syntax. He’s studying audio now, and will probably judge your music taste before your grammar.

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