“When I was younger, I wanted the most expensive stuff… But there’s more character in the player than the equipment”: Loathe’s Erik Bickerstaffe on conjuring impossibly heavy riffs with a Gretsch baritone, Behringer multi-FX and some serious down-tuning

Loathe's Erik Bickerstaffe
(Image credit: Press)

Few modern guitar players have left bruises as heavy as Loathe’s Erik Bickerstaffe. Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, he has almost single-handedly caused the price of Squier Vintage Modified Baritone Jazzmasters to triple in price on the second-hand market by conjuring earth-shattering sounds from his.

Today he continues to champion cheap budget gear despite the band’s success. “When I was younger, I wanted the most expensive stuff, because of the idea that you get what you pay for,” he says.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.