The (Jim) Root of all Fenders: the Slipknot/Stone Sour Guitarist on His Signature Jazzmaster

You know what I like to see in a metal interview? Guitars that aren’t pointy as all fuck. Something I can’t gouge my eyes out with. Well I suppose that even on the most rounded guitar the tuning pegs provide ample gouging opportunities, but it’s a more difficult proposition.


Well Slipknot may not be the most metal of all who have ever rocked, and certainly Stone Sour aren’t, but Jim Root (who plays guitar in both bands) and I can bond in our love of Jazzmasters, so he gets extra metal points in my book. I could wax endlessly on why they’re the illest of all Fenders, but I haven’t sold millions of records, so you probably want to hear it from him.

Below he extols the virtues of his signature Jazzmaster, which admittedly takes some liberties with the design. Well, okay, it takes all the liberties. A mahogany body? No pickguard? It doesn’t even have the cool rhythm/lead control switches up top… dude, that makes the guitar. And humbuckers? I never thought I’d see an EMG 81 in a Jazzmaster.

So maybe Jim and I can’t really bond after all, because I’m not really sure what makes his guitar a Jazzmaster besides the headstock that says “Jazzmaster.” For all I know this is the greatest guitar in the history of putting strings on wood and making them go “chugga chugga squeeeeee,” but I’m irrationally angry. Just watch the video. It seems like a nice axe. But I’m going to sit here and yell obscenities toward my monitor for the next 45 minutes.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.