“I tried SGs and Flying Vs, and they might look cool, but it's like playing a piece of Styrofoam”: Bill Kelliher explains why he prefers his guitars to be as heavy as possible

Bill Kelliher with his ESP LTD Bill Kelliher Royal Shiva Silver Sunburst
(Image credit: Aldara Zarraoa/Redferns/Getty Images)

ESP recently released Bill Kelliher’s latest signature model, the Royal Shiva. The arrival of the LTD iteration of his personal ESP Custom Shop Silverburst had been hotly anticipated both by fans of Mastodon – and fans of unusually thick electric guitars.

Indeed, the guitar itself was teased back in 2021, and while the double-cut Yamaha SG/First Act body shape caught the eye, it was the sheer denseness of the starkly finished guitar that really stole the spotlight: that thing was absolutely huge.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.

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