Guitar.com Live: Ernie Ball Music Man’s artist roster is one of the most diverse in the industry. In a wide-ranging chat with Dr Molly Miller for Guitar.com Live, some of the brand’s most famous names, including St Vincent and James Valentine, lift the lid on the collaboration process behind an artist signature model.
Questioned by Miller, Annie Clark – better known by her stage name St Vincent – revealed that her love affair with Ernie Ball Music Man guitars began way back in the early noughties through an Albert Lee model she was using on tour. “They sent me an Albert Lee model and I just fell in love with it. It was my main staple guitar, the feel of the neck was so good, the tone… I loved it.
She also revealed that her signature model was developed from a sketch she pencilled out on her first visit to the factory. “I went up to the factory and Sterling said ‘Why don’t you draw something?’ and what became the St Vincent model was based on the sketch we did that day.”
When questioned on the development of guitars as working tools for musicians, John Petrucci enthused that he’s “into the whole innovation thing… Certain designs have been established for a while, and my whole thing is practicality, ergonomics and asking questions.”
James Valentine revealed that his signature model was developed from the Telecaster, with newfound innovations. “We made a couple of improvements with the ergonomics… it’s basically a slab body but thicker at the bottom than the top. That wedge design, it adds to the way it lays against your body and also took off some of the weight.
“We wanted something that was vintage-inspired and looked like you could pick it up in a pawn shop but didn’t exist yet.”
Watch the entire in-depth interview above.
Elsewhere at the show, Ernie Ball Music Man unveiled their first vintage replica model in the Cliff Williams signature StingRay bass. A faithful recreation of the AC/DC man’s 1979 bass, the new model was launched at the brand’s virtual exhibition space at Guitar.com Live.
Check out more videos from the virtual guitar show at Guitar.com/live