“It always hurts to see the poor instrument face the wrath of these wannabes”: After another destroyed guitar controversy at Coachella, is guitar smashing simply not cool anymore?

Generic view of a smashed electric guitar on a stage
(Image credit: Mick Hutson / Getty Images)

Last weekend at Coachella, Indo-Canadian artist AP Dhillon participated in the long-standing tradition of guitar smashing. However, the reactions to him smashing his metallic gold ESP LTD Kirk Hammett V were mixed, to say the least. While some praised Dhillon for the move, others were viscerally angry about what many called a lack of respect for the instrument.

"Pop artists break guitars to look cool. They try to imitate rock/metal artists, not realising that they break their guitars out of the adrenaline rush and intensity of playing the instrument. It always hurts to see the poor instrument face the wrath of these wannabes," said one commentator. Another added: "Respect the things which brought you to this stage."

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Janelle Borg

Janelle is a staff writer at GuitarWorld.com. After a long stint in classical music, Janelle discovered the joys of playing guitar in dingy venues at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Janelle has written extensively about the intersection of music and technology, and how this is shaping the future of the music industry. She also had the pleasure of interviewing Dream Wife, K.Flay, Yīn Yīn, and Black Honey, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her creating layers of delicious audio lasagna with her art-rock/psych-punk band ĠENN.