Bring Me the Horizon is already one of the fastest rising music groups in the world, and Lee Malia has emerged as one of the leading guitarists of his generation. Like Lee’s Epiphone Les Paul Artisan, the new limited-edition Lee Malia Explorer Custom Artisan Outfit features another classic “Kalamazoo” era design.
The new Explorer comes in a beautiful Walnut finish with ivory and black binding on the body and headstock along with an “Artisan” floral inlay. The mahogany body has a maple top to add extra bite to the tone.
The classic Explorer profile is powered by a Gibson USA P-94 single coil and 84T-LM humbucker pickups, with a “dummy coil” resting under the pickguard which cancels the “hum” from the humbucker when in single-coil mode.
I recently spoke with Malia about his new Signature Explorer and more in this new interview.
What is it about the Explorer style that appeals to you?
I had an Explorer that I used to play live, and it made me play a certain way. I don't know if it’s because of how it looks or how it fits but it made me play the guitar harder. I love the shape, sound and the look of them. I also like how you can have an Explorer but it doesn’t have to look super metal or have to be only for an extreme metal band.
How did your new Epiphone Signature model come about?
We had done a Les Paul-shaped model a while ago and I asked Gibson what they thought about doing the same style but in a different body shape. So we mocked it up and changed a few things, like lowering the volume to make it dirtier. Then we added the “dummy coil” pickup in the back to cancel out the hum from the P90. It’s something I've not really seen done before and I thought it was really cool.
Is there a certain amp you prefer to pair it with?
I always use Marshall 800’s and JTM 45’s for my clean. They sound great together. As soon as you get the P90 on clean it sounds insane. Then when you use the bridge pickup through the Marshall 800; you can't find a better rock tone.
Can you give me an update on Bring Me The Horizon?
We're off at the moment and will start writing a new album soon that will be out next year and then we'll be off touring again. For now, we're having a couple of months off before getting back into writing.
Did you always know that you wanted a career in entertainment? Was it something you always aspired to do?
It was about the age of 15 when I seriously got into rock music. From then on, all I wanted to do was play guitar and I became obsessed with being in a band. I think I always wanted to do it, I just didn't know to what scale. It’s cool because it's played out quite well.
What satisfies you the most about your new Signature model Epiphone Explorer?
Just the fact that to have it in shops worldwide is crazy. It plays awesome straight out of the box and sounds unbelievable. There’s a certain, mid-presence sound you get from an Explorer and I really like that quality. It's such a great guitar and I can't wait for people to get a hold of them and play it for themselves.
James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.