Wes Hauch is a monster on the guitar. As a member of The Faceless he cut an imposing figure of shredsmanship. As touring guitarist with They Art is Murder he fit right in. You’ve seen his great pickup demo videos and if you’re no doubt waiting with excitement for his forthcoming collaboration with Keith Merrow. And now he’s joined Black Crown Initiate. (“It’s a really rare and awesome thing if you’re able to find a group of dudes that you can genuinely get along with,” Wes says. “It’s even more rare if your musical tastes and goals are congruent. I can definitely say that’s the case right now in Black Crown Initiate and I’m very grateful. Things are great and I’m looking forward to the the future.”) But 2016 also sees the release of Wes’s new signature model guitar with Schecter, the Wes Hauch PT-7 FR. We cornered Wes recently to get the word on his new axe.
Dude, tell me about this new guitar.
About a year ago Schecter hit me up and asked me if I wanted to do a signature guitar and I was like “Yeah, right.” Because I guess when I was growing up, guys who had signature guitars had a lot of other stuff in place. They’ve had a bunch of records under their belt and they’ve had a good stock of material and stuff, and up until this point I’ve really just played in bands and learned other peoples’ music. So I didn’t wanna do it for a minute because I felt unworthy of doing it. Then months went by and I thought “Man, if I don’t do it, I’ll be that 65-year-old guy in a bar some day telling some kid “Aww I coulda had a signature guitar but I didn’t.” So it’s a PT with a Floyd on it, a really, really good Floyd with some stainless upgrades. It’s got a super flat fretboard. I’ve got pretty big hands so I like my string spacing to be pretty wide. 25.5” scale which I guess is a little bit different for Schecter because Schecter is known for having baritone seven-strings. So having a 25.5” seven-string for them is new, especially a bolt-on one.
I got the first prototype about six months ago and I ended up doing a lot of recording with it. If anyone doesn’t know, I have been working on a record for the last year with Erik Ruttan from Hate Eternal and my good friend Keith Merrow, and we made a real dark and pissed-off metal record. It’s kinda like… the first thing that I can really call my own, y’know? So this guitar coming out along with this music coincides nicely. It’s kind of serendipitous in a way.
On the Duncan side of things it’s got a Pegasus in the bridge. I like an Alnico bridge pickup, and that’s an Alnico 5 magnet. I really like a PAF but the Pegasus is an Alnico thing with a bit of a modern edge. And then there’s a Sentient in the neck. The guitar has an Ash body, stainless steel frets, reverse headstock. It’s a guitar that I find to be very inspiring. Maybe in a lot of ways I’ve kinda bastardized the PT shape because it was meant to be a very bare-bones guitar. Y’know what they say about Teles: “It’s a chopping board with a baseball bat attached to it.” It’s supposed to be that but I put a Floyd on it and then humbuckers and an extra string. But I think a lot of people are going to enjoy it.
Knowing what a big Dimebag fan you are, when I first heard you were getting a signature guitar I thought ‘This is probably going to be a cool take on a Dimebag shape.’
Yeah! I mean dude, the bottom line is, those guitars are so iconic that really nobody can get away with playing them. I mean I love an Explorer-shaped guitar or the Dime-shaped guitar but you can’t really get away with playing one of those things and playing the kinda licks that I like to play and still be taken as an individual.
So what are your musical goals right now?
My personal goal is to go out and play rock shows with it. That’s a thing that is going to be an uphill battle because Erik is a producer, he has a studio, he’s doing records all the time and he also has a band with a large fanbase. And Keith works for Seymour Duncan, so being able to balance that kind of stuff and make it a thing that we can go out and bring to the world is something I want to do next. The obvious one is if Schecter has us go out and do clinics. Talking about gear and playing is something that comes very naturally to me. The bottom line is that I enjoy playing guitar and that’s why I’m here.