The Seymour Duncan James Hetfield Invader Mystery

Hetfield and Hammett
A little while ago I got my paws on a Schecter Synyster Gates Custom guitar with Seymour Duncan Invader pickups, and I was pretty impressed by how easily it was able to capture classic 80s thrash tones. In fact, I found myself chugging out on the riff to Metallica’s “Disposable Heroes” for way longer than anyone would care to hear, just because it sounded so damn chunky.

“But wait,” I thought. “I feel a sense of deja vu here… something to do with the Invader …and Metallica…” It wasn’t until a little while later that I made the connection during one of my frequent excursions down the Google rabbit hole: it has been reported that James Hetfield used the Seymour Duncan Invader humbucker on Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets, in his Electra Flying V copy as well as his white Jackson King V. Interviews from back in the day seem to be very hard to come by (i.e. I can’t find any, dammit), but below are some pics from a Google image search that seem to support these reports, and there’s some other cool info here.

In the Electra pic in particular, you can make out the smaller logo and larger pole pieces of the Invader – and there are rumours that the pickup in the KV1 King V is a Seymour Duncan Allan Holdsworth model, which seems possible since the pole pieces in the pic below look more like the Holdsworth’s double screws than the huge hex poles of the Invader.

Either way, if anyone has any clearer pics I’d love to see ’em! Of course, even as a huge Seymour Duncan geek it’d be wrong of me to omit that Papa Het has long used EMG pickups and now has his own signature Het Set.

Hetfield Electra

Hetfield Jackson V

VIDEO: James Hetfield Talks To Guitar Center

James Hetfield sat down with Guitar Center in San Francisco recently for a little chat. In the small room, he shared stories about becoming a musician, rising to fame, and even played a bit. All the while, customers continued to shop in the store, having no idea it was James playing. Hetfield’s new ESP Iron Cross is available now. [geo-out country=”Australia” note=””]You can grab one of your own here.[/geo-out] Read More …

ESP Previews New Models, New USA Factory!

espthumbIt’s no secret that ESP has been planning to hugely revamp their line in 2014, with the roll-out of the new E-II brand, new signature models and other fun stuff. They’ve just dropped a whole bunch of new models onto their website for us to drool over ahead of NAMM, and many of them sport some pretty damn tasty Seymour Duncan pickups, like the Mystique FR with a Custom 5 in the bridge position and ’59 at the neck. But some of the biggest news is that ESP is opening its own USA factory this year! It’s in North Hollywood, and here’s what ESP President Matt Masciandaro has to say about it: “This is a significant milestone for ESP. For years there has been a demand for a domestic factory, allowing us to create guitars that are 100% made in the USA. Weʼre very excited about the new opportunities for ESP dealers, and new choices for our customers.” Read More …

James Hetfield is not a table

If you’re like me, you’re probably confused – really confused – by “The View,” the new song by Metallica and Lou Reed, which I ranted about yesterday.

One of the most confusing things for me is Hetfield’s claim during the song that he is a table. You can hear this bizarre assertion towards the end of the song.

Now, I have seen James Hetfield on multiple occasions from multiple perspectives and distances, and I can assure you, he is not a table.

See this?

This is James Hetfield. Note: two legs.

See this?

It is an Ikea table. Five legs. Note that it does not shout out “I am a person! I am a person!”

This is an Ikea table too.

It only has one leg, but it’s still a table. Tables generally require at least one leg, usually three or four (more if it’s very large), but never two.I don’t know of any tables that have only two legs.

Now, see if you can spot which one of these is not a table. You may refer back to the images above if you need to. Note: I’ve included another table in this image just to see if you’re on your toes.

So. James Heftield. Not table. Have we got that settled? Good. As you were.

REVIEW: LTD James Hetfield Snakebyte

Metallica‘s James Hetfield has used many different guitar models over the years, but during Metallica’s big commercial breakthrough era in the early 90s he had an ESP signature model based on the classic Explorer shape. This was a very popular axe at the time, but rumour has it that the owners of the Explorer design weren’t too happy, and ESP discontinued the model and tweaked its Explorer-type guitars into the more aggressive EX shape. Whatever the truth, pretty soon prices for the ESP and its similar models on the used market skyrocketed.

Read More …

NEWS: ESP and LTD release James Hetfield Truckster in black

Thanks to Sjusovaren on Twitter for pointing out that the ESP and LTD James Hetfield Truckster is soon to be made available in black. I think this is a great move because as much as I like the Truckster, in my mind it’s kinda associated with Metallica’s St Anger era, which is… not my favourite. So for me this new colour scheme gives the guitar a new lease on life and links it more with Death Magnetic (which, despite the controversial mastering debacle, is still a far superior record to anything else they’ve done over the last – gulp – 20 years or so). James has already been using this guitar on tour so it’s cool to see it being made available for everyone.

From the ESP website:

The new James Hetfield Truckster… now in black!
You ever notice that anything thatʼs cool is often made even cooler by making it more black? So, it should be no surprise that the James Hetfield Truckster is now for the first time being offered in a finish other than aged primer gray. And what color would that be? Black, of course!

Other than its new, even more menacing look, the new black Truckster offers the same high-performance feel and sound as was specified by James himself. Available in both ESP and LTD versions, the Truckster offers a set-neck design with a single-cutaway body at a comfortable 24.75” scale. The guitar has a mahogany body with maple top, a mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, and a 42mm bone nut on its thin u shaped neck. You get 22 XJ frets, satin chrome hardware, Sperzel locking tuners, Tonepros locking TOM and Tail, and EMG 81 (bridge) and 60 (neck) active pickups. The ESP version of the Truckster also includes Schaller straplocks.

You also get the same distressed finish that gives the guitar a look and feel like itʼs been worked in over years of playing. And, like we may have mentioned earlier, it looks even cooler with a bad-ass black finish. Check out the new black Truckster at your ESP/LTD dealer in Fall 2009!

NAMM 2009: New ESPs including Hetfield Iron Cross

Head on over to the Bmusic website for a killer wrap-up of the new ESP models for 2009.

Among the highlights for me are the two new Metallica models, the James Hetfield Iron Cross (pictured) and the Kirk Hammett Ouija Neck-Thru.

Other releases include new models for Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom (dig the ‘Blacky’), the GL-200MT, which is an LTD version of the George Lynch ESP M-1 Tiger,

and some very cool distressed Page Hamilton 20th Anniversary ESP and LTD models.

There’s a lot more over at the Bmusic site so spend some time over there and if you have any questions, I’m sure they’ll be happy to help. They’re probably the most knowledgable ESP dealers in the world.

NEWS: Metallica confirms Guitar Hero Metallica

Metallica continues their association with the Guitar Hero franchise (remember the reports that the Guitar Hero mix of Death Magnetic sounds way better than the CD version?), with the announcement of Guitar Hero Metallica.

In a statement on the Metallica website, the band says:

Yes, we know, it’s the worst kept secret in rock-n-roll but we’re here now to finally confirm that there will indeed be an all-Metallica Guitar Hero game released in the first half (!?) of 2009.

Guitar Hero Metallica allows you to play as us in either single instrument or band career game modes in your choice of some famous settings (Tushino Airfield anyone?) or new venues with in the round staging.

Included are 28 Metallica songs along with a few from some of our buddies like as Alice in Chains, the Foo Fighters, Slayer, Machine Head and Queen. There is also an all new Expert+ difficulty setting featuring two bass drum kick pedals (!!!) along with all the gameplay modes from Guitar Hero World Tour.

Over the next few months, we’re going to be updating you with track listings, more features, of course how and when you can get the game, and some cool previews of the game right here on the site. As you’ve heard us say before, keep checking back for more details!

According to Blabbermouth, the track listing will include:


* “Enter Sandman”
* “For Whom The Bell Tolls”
* “Fuel”
* “Hit The Lights”
* “King Nothing”
* “Master of Puppets”
* “No Leaf Clover”
* “Nothing Else Matters”
* “Sad But True”
* “The Unforgiven”
* “Where I May Roam”

Songs by other artists:

* “No Excuses” by ALICE IN CHAINS
* “Turn The Page” by BOB SEGER
* “Hell Bent For Leather” by JUDAS PRIEST
* “Demon Cleaner” by KYUSS
* “Tuesdays Gone” by LYNYRD SKYNYRD
* “Blood and Thunder” by MASTODON
* “Armed and Ready” by MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP
* “Mother of Mercy” by SAMHAIN
* “Black River” by THE SWORD
* Additional songs from FOO FIGHTERS, QUEEN and SLAYER

How cool would it be if the game was available with Metallica-inspired guitar controllers including Hetfield’s ESP Iron Cross and Kirk Hammett’s ouija board ESP KH-II?

So what songs would you like to see included? Hopefully they can make room for other great Metallica songs like ‘Creeping Death’ and ‘Blackened.’ And maybe Trivium can release their own game which will be pretty much the same thing as the Metallica one, arf.