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Brent Hinds Epiphone Flying V Custom coming to stores
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Brent Hinds Epiphone Flying V Custom coming to stores

by Stephen Charlton2016/04/15

Mastodon’s Brent Hinds has teamed up with Epiphone to deliver a Flying V Custom signature model. The lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter has used a huge variety of guitars over the years. However, he is most closely associated with Gibson, particularly with the Flying-V, reportedly his favourite guitar. As such, it’s no surprise he’s collaborated with Gibson subsidiary Epiphone. The limited edition guitar is powered by Lace Brent Hinds signature Hammer Claws Humbuckers.

Hinds unloads on Gibson

If you are wondering why the guitar is an Epiphone build rather than a Gibson, Hinds ranted on his Instagram last year (see the post below), calling Gibson a “bunch of wankers” as well as “difficult and flaky.”

Got my Proto type B.Hinds signature series Epiphone guitar in the mail today.maybe one day I’ll be good enough on the guitar that they’ll make the one I actually play made by Gibson custom shop and it’s a silver burst custom Flying V .it only took them (epiphone)4 years to get this one wrong but at least they got it done. And the mistake was they painted it wrong instead of silver burst it’s black on black which I’m in love with now so it’s a great mistake ..dealing with “Gibson” trying to get this signature series thing to happen with there custom shop proved Impossible given the nature of how difficult and flaky the people at Gibson custom shop are.thanks Epiphone for finally coming thru ..Gibson you will not be getting thanked by me as you guys are a bunch of wankers .

A photo posted by bhinds (@bhinds) on

Gear4music list the guitar as “available for order” at £599. Thomann list it at €775 and state that it will be in stock on 31/05/2016. Hinds has stated on his Instagram that the guitar is available worldwide but American sites don’t seem to be listing it just yet.

The metal madman starred in a suitably bizarre promotional video (see above), where he theatrically declares he’s been waiting for a signature series Epiphone “his whole life”. He also explains that he loves Flying Vs “because they fly” and that his new model is “pretty badass”. We also get to enjoy some of his lead playing, although instead of heavy metal, viewers are treated to some country-tingled licks. This isn’t surprising, as Hinds has famously – and likely none too seriously – declared:

“I fucking hate heavy metal and I don’t want to be in a heavy metal band.”

Brent Hinds Epiphone Flying V Custom

Brent with the Epiphone Flying V Custom

Flying V Custom powered by Lace pick-ups

Little in the way of audio or video footage of the guitar in action has appeared online, although (foreign language) reviewers Buzz Bee TV did get their hands on it for a slightly awkward review and play-through above. The full play-through begins at 11.34. The guitar excels at old school hard rock and metal tones, which isn’t surprising given the numerous nods to vintage design choices. There’s a studio demo of the Hammer Claws pick-ups in action here, although they aren’t in Hind’s Flying V at the time.

Epiphone Flying V Custom

Epiphone Flying V Custom Pick up

The pick-ups are proven performers with presence and imitable tones throughout clean, overdriven and distorted amp sounds. You wouldn’t expect anything less from Hinds’ set-up, as Mastodon requires a huge amount of tonal ground to be covered, particularly as he plays lead. You can see Hinds putting the pick-ups through their paces in the video below although again they’re set in a different model of guitar.

Brent Hinds Epiphone Flying V Custom specs

The Brent Hinds Epiphone Flying V Custom has a 24.75″ scale, 22 medium jumbo frets, mahogany body and a mahogany neck with the same rounded profile of the original 1958 Flying V. Other features include a LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge, Grover Rotomatics 18:1 ratio machine heads, 12″ radius ebony fingerboard with Pearloid block inlays and a tailpiece with a classic string-thru body design. The Silverburst finish body has seven-layer binding of alternating pure white and black while the headstock and the pickguard have five-layer pure white and black.

Epiphone Flying V Custom

Epiphone Flying V Custom

The truss rod cover has the Gibson/Epiphone Bell-Shape with two-layer (Black/White) binding and “Brent Hinds” in white, while the classic V headstock has Pearloid split diamonds with a 60s-era Epiphone logo. On the back of the headstock is Epiphone’s 2016 Limited Edition symbol and Brent Hinds’ signature skull logo. This might give the impression the guitar is only for Hinds fans, but his name and logo are fairly innocuous so if you pick up the guitar you won’t necessarily be screaming “Mastodon fan” to anyone who sees you play. The controls have individual volume pots for each pickup and a master tone control.

Hinds bashes the guitar around a bit in the promo video. Perhaps he was just high but it’s also a possibility he saw it has a Epiphone Limited Lifetime warranty. The warranty is notoriously vague though so it’s probably not a good idea to bash your guitar around too much.

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton

Stephen Charlton is a musician, journalist and editor.

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