Bill Kelliher reveals Ron Wood’s signature ESP as his secret studio weapon: “It’s the best-sounding Tele ever”

Bill Kelliher of Mastadon performs at Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill on June 11, 2019 in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
(Image credit: Scott Legato/Getty Images / ESP Guitars)

Since signing with ESP Guitars in 2016, Bill Kelliher has been mostly sighted playing his signature BK-600 and Sparrowhawk designs, but it turns out the Mastodon riff machine has an affinity for another, more unlikely, model in the Japanese company’s catalog: Ron Wood’s signature ESP.

In a new interview with Total Guitar’s Amit Sharma, Kelliher explains how the Tele-esque electric guitar ended up handling many of the clean tones on blockbuster new album Hushed and Grim.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.