Justin “GuitarSlayer” Lyons on designing a glow-in-the-dark guitar to bring session players into the limelight and the guitar lesson he learned from Machine Gun Kelly

Justin Lyons and Machine Gun Kelly perform during the 2022 Bonnaroo Music & Arts festival on June 19, 2022 in Manchester, Tennessee.
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Born into a musical family and raised in church on gospel music, Justin “GuitarSlayer” Lyons has been playing the guitar since he was big enough to hold one. He learned to play by ear – internalizing melodies hummed by his mother, looking up to his guitar player father, and listening to a cassette of B.B. King’s The Thrill Is Gone over and over until the sounds became like a second language. 

“As a five- or six-year-old listening to the blues, that really started to cultivate my sound, my technique, my gospel chops and my blues chops,” recalls the guitarist - now in his early 30s and with 15 years of working as a professional session guitarist and sideman under his belt.

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Ellie Rogers

Since graduating university with a degree in English, Ellie has spent the last decade working in a variety of media, marketing and live events roles. As well as being a regular contributor to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and GuitarWorld.com, she currently heads up the marketing team of a mid-scale venue in the south-west of England. She started dabbling with guitars around the age of seven and has been borderline obsessed ever since. She has a particular fascination with alternate tunings, is forever hunting for the perfect slide for the smaller-handed guitarist, and derives a sadistic pleasure from bothering her drummer mates with a preference for “f**king wonky” time signatures.