Some folks out there want a nice, light guitar that they can jump around stage with. Then there’s Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher, who basically wants a sack of bricks strapped to his body as he doles out all those riffs.
In an interview with Guitar World, Kelliher explained why his brand new signature Royal Shiva is so damn thick. “I don’t trust a light guitar. Well, I shouldn’t say I don’t trust it; it’s more that I like a guitar that feels solid,” said Kelliher.
“I know I’m getting older, and running around the stage with such heavy guitars isn’t great for my back and shoulders, but I like ’em heavy. I tried SGs and Flying Vs, and they might look cool and sound good, but it’s like playing a piece of Styrofoam.”
Kelliher then talked a little about basing the Royal Shiva on his 13-pound First Act Custom Double Cutaway nine-string: “I sent them the guitar, and they sent it to Japan to have all the specs mapped out, aside from the original nine strings.
“They basically made an exact copy of it, and I love it. It’s heavy, thick, and unique. It feels great, and the neck is incredible. And it’s heavy, but that’s okay because the weight of a guitar is very important to me. The thicker, the better.”
The LTD Royal Shiva offers a double-cutaway Mahogany body featuring an outstanding Silver Sunburst finish and white binding, a 3-piece Mahogany neck, and a Macassar Ebony fretboard with mother-of-pearl block inlays and 22 extra-jumbo frets. The Shiva includes nickel-finished hardware, a TonePros TOM bridge and tailpiece, LTD locking tuners, a bone nut, a multi-ply black pickguard, and a set of Bill’s signature Mojotone Hellbender humbucker pickups.