“It’s heavy, thick and unique. It feels great, and the neck is incredible. And it’s heavy; but that’s okay because the weight of a guitar is very important to me. The thicker the better”: If you pick up Bill Kelliher’s new ESP guitar, you’ll know about it

Bill Kelliher performs onstage with Mastodon at the Hellfest Open Air Festival in Clisson, France on June 17, 2022
(Image credit: Aldara Zarraoa/Redferns/Getty Images)

In 2021, Mastadon released its most ambitious record yet, the 86-minute epic Hushed and Grim. At its core was the same depth and power we've come to expect from the supercharged, hard-riffing duo of Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher.

Few rock harder and heavier the the pair, who are often labeled as lead and rhythm respectively. Across the band’s eight-record catalog, which includes the classics Leviathan (2004), Crack the Skye (2009), and Once More 'Round the Sun (2014), Hinds’ leads are surely searing – but it’s Kelliher’s soul-filled approach that’s defined Mastodon most.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.