You’ve never heard Fender Strats and Gretsch Jets sound so devastatingly heavy as in this new Loathe session

Loathe's Erik Bickerstaffe
(Image credit: Erik Bickerstaffe/Instagram)

Liverpool metalcore heavyweights Loathe are one of the most exciting alternative metal bands on the planet – as evidenced by the plaudits for 2020 opus I Let It in and It Took Everything, and their recent US tour with Underoath and Periphery. But in guitar circles, they’re also known for their love of cheap electrics, in particular the Squier Vintage Modified Baritone Jazzmaster, which soared in price and popularity when players got hip to its gnarly low-tuned tones.

So we were surprised to see guitarist Erik Bickerstaffe turning to a regular ol’ triple single-coil Fender Stratocaster alongside his more trusty Gretsch Jet Baritone for a newly released Audiotree session – and making both sound ridiculously heavy in the process.

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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.