This YouTuber has built a guitar that runs on gas (and it’s a health and safety nightmare)

Mattias Krantz's gas-powered electric guitar
(Image credit: Mattias Krantz / YouTube)

YouTuber Mattias Krantz has constructed what he claims is the world’s first gas-powered electric guitar

In his clip, posted last month, Krantz documents the progress and (seemingly endless) setbacks encountered in engineering his bizarre creation and in his eventual performance with the instrument. 

Essentially a gas-generator attached to an electric guitar, the motor is used in order to power the accompanying practice amp, enabling it to run without mains connection. 

The build uses a modified Jackson King V as a base, which is, of course, finished in Ferrari Red. Krantz then constructs a framework to support the oversized exhaust and small engine.

Using a router, he is able to carve a new chamber to house the guitar’s existing electronics, allowing him to use the old chamber for the starter switch. He then connects the switch to trigger with a chainsaw-like pull cord in order to give it all a more satisfyingly mechanical feel. 

This being a YouTube experiment, Krantz’s personal safety is, naturally, in question throughout. For instance, the exhaust seems to produce flaming sparks and the engine heats up and burns Krantz’s hands whenever they graze it – less than ideal, given its position just below the upper frets. 

Finally, the guitarist also discovers that he has accidentally placed the propellor element of the motor in close proximity to his crotch.  

“If there are some unexpected falsetto vocals in my guitar performance,” comments Krantz. “Now you know why.” 

On the plus side, he does have a car safety belt, which here plays the role of a guitar strap.

Eventually, Krantz has got the guitar to a point where it’s operational and takes it out for a test run in the nearby countryside. The final hurdle to his gas-guzzling performance is simpler to overcome: a passing horse rider, who forces him to pause.

“It maybe looks a bit weird, without context,” clarifies Krantz – dressed head to toe in motorcycle leathers, a crash helmet and strapped to a gas-driven guitar in the middle of a field.

Nonetheless, he manages to get out some passages of a setlist that includes AC/DC’s Highway To Hell, Polyphia’s G.O.A.T. and, the appropriately-titled guitar standard, Classical Gas.

It just about works – albeit incredibly noisily. It also potentially redefines the term ‘travel guitar’, but something tells us it might not be the sustainable future the guitar industry is seeking.

Watch the full clip above. If you’re in the mood for another, er, forward-thinking design, check out Apple VP Craig Federighi’s triple-necked 12-, 7- and six-string guitar.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.