ESP officially welcomes Slipknot's Mick Thomson to its artist roster – and confirms a new ESP/LTD signature model is on the way

Mick Thomson playing ESP guitars
(Image credit: Stacy Thomson/Instagram / Press)

ESP has officially welcomed Mick Thomson into its roster of signature artists in a move that sees the Slipknot electric guitar star leave Jackson.

Rumors of Thomson’s defection to the ranks of ESP began circulating earlier this year, when the previous Fender brands artist was spotted and snapped wielding various ESP guitars during Slipknot shows.

Around the same time, the mask-wearing maestro’s guitar tech, Mike Smith, and the Slipknot player’s wife, Stacy Thomson, further fueled speculation with a handful of pictures of their own.

Stacy posted a pic of Mick holding an ESP guitar – accompanied with the caption, “Some news” – while Smith offered a glimpse of Thomson’s updated, ESP-heavy guitar stand.

Now, speculation has finally been put to bed with official word from ESP itself, which says it is “thrilled” to add the heavy metal titan to its roster.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mick as part of the ESP family,” said Tony Rauser, ESP's Director of Artist Relations. “Mick is one of the most respected and influential players in the world of metal guitar. The intensity of his aggressive playing style with Slipknot fits perfectly with the energy at ESP.”

Of his move to ESP, Thomson himself added, “Couldn’t be happier to be in the ESP family. So impressed with everything I’ve been playing live, and there’s a great energy with everyone I’ve dealt with.”

Thomson also revealed he and the brand are currently busy putting together a couple of custom models, though he added that the whole process is “taking longer than expected” as there are “too many possibilities for monster guitars.”

“Admittedly, It’s been a great problem to have," Thomson noted. 

Furthermore, news of Thomson’s move to ESP was also accompanied with confirmation that a new ESP/LTD Signature Series model is indeed in the works. No timeline is in place for that guitar, but we imagine details will arrive later this year, when Thomson’s total transition to ESP has been completed.

We’d also imagine that his signature guitar will come loaded with Fishman pickups, owing to the fact that early speculation surrounding the player’s brand activities also posited that he had left Seymour Duncan.

That move, though, has not been officially confirmed by either party just yet – all we have to go on is Smith’s word that Thomson is currently using “nothing off the shelf” from Fishman, implying a signature set is in the works.

Head over to ESP for further updates.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a 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.