Five Fiendishly Frightful Halloween Shred Machines
By Martina Fasano
Halloween. The candy-lover’s Christmas. The sinfully sinister holiday that gives us chills, tricks, and treats. What better way to pay tribute to one of the coolest, most fun days on the calendar, than to play some guitars that are spooky, hellish, or downright mean? Here are five guitars featuring Seymour Duncan pickups that will make your Halloween squeals complete – whether they be delightful or blood-curdling.
Very few things are as hellish as war, and with model names like WarPrimer (featuring an SH-6 Distortion and an SH-5) and War Black featuring the Nazgul and Sentient pickups for 7- and 8-string guitars), Guerilla guitars definitely has the goods for your post-apocalyptic themed guitar choices, or something that sounds as terrifying and mean as it looks, given their available finishes and distinctive headstocks.
Besides having a trans red quilted maple top reminiscent of vampire blood, Nikki Stringfield’s signature model Schecter Avenger (featuring an Invader pickup in the bridge) also sports a skull at the 12th fret. If there was any doubt that Nikki’s Avenger was a nod to the dark and mysterious, her riffage as one of the guitarists for the Iron Maidens along with her choice of high-output pickups certainly lays that notion to rest. In fact, Stringfield’s love of all things spooky translated well to her recent cover and video of Sally’s Song, from Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas, complete with candles and parlour-like imagery.
This JB-loaded Frankenstein-like beast of a guitar is perfect for those of you that want to channel your inner monster. The co-founder, guitarist, and background vocalist for goth gods Type O Negative, Hickey has certainly done his fair share of spirit-conjuring. This unmistakable guitar is technically not “green: but “Steele Green”, a nod to the late Peter Steele, Hickey’s bandmate in Type O Negative. If you’re looking for a guitar that will be able to handle the dark underbelly of low end growl, look no further than this gorgeous green machine.
The very shape of the SG lends itself to being named to this list. Those same “devil horns” that initially began as a double cutaway Les Paul model. Les Paul disliked the design and so asked his name not to be put on any more of them, but for about three years (1961-1963), the SG that we know today was actually named the Les Paul Custom. Once the Les Paul name was removed from the guitar, it became known as the SG, and we would be remiss not to mention the world’s favorite devil-horn-wearing SG players – Angus Young. Young’s signature SG model from Gibson came loaded with a customized pickup set based on the Pearly Gates.
If you’ve ever seen Kimberly Freeman live with One-Eyed Doll, you won’t be surprised that her signature model guitar made this list. A catalogue of songs that includes “You’re A Vampire”, “Committed”, and “Plumes of Death” leaves no doubt that Kimberly is definitely a fan of Halloween! Aside from Tregan’s SyrenXT looking and sounding like a monstrous, earth-shattering machine, One-Eyed Doll’s music and stage show is the best of what spirit of Halloween has to offer. The fact that Freeman’s merch table is filled with so many awesome horror-type wares is just a reinforcement that this Seymour Duncan Invader-loving artist is thru and thru a Halloween lover. If you want a really cool artifact, Tregan will also provide you with a stage/tour-played model of Kimberly’s SyrenXT, and she herself will sign and draw all over it before it makes its way to your haunted house.
Is there any artist who embodies what the Halloween spirit is all about more than Alice Cooper? We think not! With albums like Welcome to My Nightmare, Theatre of Death, Alice Cooper Goes To Hell, and Prince of Darkness, listening to an Alice Cooper album is like having Halloween every day! Anyone who has seen him live will attest to the absolutely fantastic Halloween-esque stage show he puts on together with his band. As someone who has played on several Alice Cooper albums, we absolutely have to mention Steve Hunter, who uses a set of Seymour Duncan Custom Shop pickups in his Gretsch guitar.
What other guitars do you think personify what Halloween is all about? Share them with us in the comments below!