The 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival brought a hard-charging lineup of acts that didn’t let up, from Las Vegas’ Five Finger Death Punch to Atlanta’s Mastodon to California’s Machine Head.
Gibson models were out in full force at Mayhem, including three signatures that got some major action: the Bill Kelliher “Golden Axe” Explorer, the Jason Hook M-4 Sherman and the Robb Flynn Love/Death Baritone Flying V.
Bill Kelliher "Golden Axe" Explorer
Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher has admired the Gibson brand ever since he first started playing guitar. Now, Kelliher has his own signature, the Bill Kelliher “Golden Axe” Explorer .
The “Golden Axe” features trapezoid fingerboard inlays, gold-plated hardware, a hot-stamped Golden Axe truss-rod cover, cream pickguard with hot-stamped Mastodon logo and Kelliher’s pick of Go-Gold Burst finish in high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer complete this stunning package.
Regarding the “Golden Axe,” Kelliher tells Gibson.com, “To me, that guitar is the epitome of everything that I’ve worked so hard at for the past 25 years of playing guitar to achieve, and now I have my own with my name on it, so it’s great.”
Jason Hook M-4 Sherman
Five Finger Death Punch co-headlined this summer’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and it was one guitarist Jason Hook’s first chances to use his new M-4 Sherman on the road.
Based on Gibson’s original Explorer model, the Jason Hook M-4 Sherman offers high-quality Seymour Duncan™ humbuckers, locking Mini Grover™ tuners and top-notch hardware all around, and includes a custom olive-green hardshell case with a pouch full of exclusive case candy, including a signed Certificate of Authenticity with holder.
“I wanted to take a classic instrument and hot rod it into a shredding machine—a high performance racecar. I always liked that,” Hook recently told Gibson.com. “I always liked the modern guitar player that did his thing on a classic instrument, like Zakk Wylde. Certainly, there are many other B and C-level companies that would love to have us play their instruments, but I always thought that there wasn’t anything better than owning a Gibson. It’s an American-made guitar with the finest craftsmanship and the finest quality of materials.”
Robb Flynn Love/Death Baritone Flying V
Epiphone doesn’t get much more metal than the Robb Flynn Love/Death Baritone Flying V , and Flynn had his trusty signature with him on Mayhem this summer.
The axe features a Mahogany body in the classic Kalamazoo factory “V” style with a Mahogany SlimTaper™ “D”-profile neck, which features a baritone ready 27” scale. On top of that, the Ebony fingerboard has a 1.68" graphite nut for precision tuning and “Love/Death” inlays and 24 medium jumbo frets.
“I play it every night. It’s held up,” Flynn told Gibson.com in an interview last year. “A lot of times, the thing with guitars is, sometimes you take them out on the road, and they can be a beautiful guitar, but they start to fall apart. They can’t withstand the road, and headstocks break and necks become loose… this thing, I got vodka and beer and spit and sweat and blood all over it, and it’s taken a beating, and it’s held up awesome.”
All photos by Anne Erickson