SLIPKNOT Guitarist MICK THOMSON - "Why Play Seven Strings When You Haven't Learned How To Play Six?"

November 9, 2017, a year ago

news slipknot mick thomson riff notes

SLIPKNOT Guitarist MICK THOMSON - "Why Play Seven Strings When You Haven't Learned How To Play Six?"

In a new interview with Music Radar, Slipknot guitarist Mick Thomson discussed his favourite guitars and gear from an extensive collection. Following is an excerpt from the interview.

1998 Jackson Custom Shop Seven-String

“I got this around 2002, but I haven’t used it on any tracks yet. It’s not even a quilt top; it’s 100% quilted maple for the body. It’s a Custom with an Ibanez tremolo and bridge, because no-one else made a seven-string whammy at the time. My friend owns Drum City Guitarland in the Denver area, and he has all this oddball stuff where he’s filled out order forms for all sorts of cool stuff. He had ordered a replacement bridge from Ibanez like it was a repair, and as soon as he got it, he sent it over to Jackson because they didn’t have any. He told me if it wasn’t the first seven-string like that, it was one of them. I’m still trying to find out exactly which - I’ve had a guy at Jackson looking into orders from 20 years ago. They can’t necessarily verify it yet.

I play it at home - because actually most of the time I’m not using a drop-tuned guitar. If I’m sat dicking around, I just like to play in standard tuning. When you’re writing you’ll play different because the strings aren’t dropped.

To me, it’s just another tool to get creative with. When you write riffs in drop B or drop A, you end up repeating yourself. It’s so hard to mentally break out and do something different. At least with a seven-string you can still play it like you would a normal guitar. 

Earlier on, I didn’t really like them because people kept coming at me because it was cool to have a seven-string, yet most players would only chug on the lower string. Why have a massive neck for your little hands? Why play seven strings when you haven’t learned how to play six? You have to walk before you can run, dude! Obviously, Steve Vai could play anything and sound great, but most of these guys were nothing like him… so back to the E major chord!  

I kept getting questions about tuning down instead of using a seven-string. I used to say, ‘So what - it has all the notes I need!’ It was a trend at the time; a lot of people were doing it. Plus this guitar is fucking astounding - it sounds and plays incredible.

I’ve kept it in the case, still with the hangtag on the tuning pegs along with the build spec - like who did the electronics, fret dressing and final inspection. I’ve barely played it, but dug it out a couple of months ago and it was really cool to write with - almost like grabbing a bass, because when you do that, you’ll write riffs so different to what you would with a normal guitar. I tend to approach things with a more rhythmic standpoint and come up with weird groove riffs.”

Check out the complete interview here.

Slipknot's latest DVD release, Day Of The Gusano - Live In Mexico, was issued on October 20th via Eagle Rock Entertainment. The band recently revealed a brand new clip from their incendiary live set. Check out “Before I Forget”, taken from the DVD, below:

Shot in high definition and directed by Slipknot’s own M. Shawn Crahan, aka “Clown”, Day Of The Gusano documents the Iowa band’s long-awaited and first ever show in Mexico City in December 2015.

Talking about Day Of The Gusano, Clown tells us, "Slipknot still has dreams for itself. Finally playing Mexico was one of them. It's been a surreal life of rock and roll for Slipknot and the fact that the dreams still go on for us is simply incredible. Thank you.” Guitarist Jim Root continues, “We had such a great time at Knotfest Mexico... Not only with all the friends and bands that were there, but with the fans and the crowd we had to document it with. Now we get to share it with the world.”

Day Of The Gusano tracklisting:

“The Heretic Anthem”
“The Devil In I”
“Me Inside”
“Wait And Bleed”
“Before I Forget”
“Spit It Out”
“Metabolic / 742617000027”
“People = Shit”
“Surfacing / Til We Die”


Extended trailer:

Featured Audio

ELUVEITIE - "Ategnatos" (Nuclear Blast)

ELUVEITIE - "Ategnatos" (Nuclear Blast)

Featured Video

RICH DAVIS Unleashes "Beauty In Ruin” Video

RICH DAVIS Unleashes "Beauty In Ruin” Video

Latest Reviews