We don’t know anything about Sleep Token, but at least we have some idea of what guitar gear they’re using

Guitarist of Sleep Token performs at the Eventim Apollo on January 22, 2023 in London, England.
(Image credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns)

Masked bands have always been mysterious, but UK prog-metallers Sleep Token have taken the concept to the extreme. Nobody knows who’s in the band, and they’ve only ever done one interview, yet they just sold out Wembley Arena.

So we’re thrilled to get any information on the group, especially when it pertains to guitar gear – and Jackson Guitars recently went backstage with the masked outfit to get the lowdown on what they’re using for their current tones.

Guitar tech Billy (his surname presumably redacted for secrecy reasons) is your host, guiding you through the electric guitars that IV – yep, aside from main man Vessel, the band members are all assigned numerals à la Slipknot – uses on a nightly basis.

For the bulk of the set, IV is playing the X Series Soloist Arch Top SLAT8 MS, a multi-scale eight-string behemoth with EMG 909 active humbuckers.

Billy notes that IV is a fan of longer-scale guitars, so the 26-28” scale length is a major factor in his use of the none-more-black beast, which is tuned down to double drop E (EAEADGBE) and strung up with 10-84 strings.

Intriguingly, the tech also lets slip that a Kemper is providing all the tones, as well as pitch-shifting any songs not in that tuning.

IV’s other guitar of choice is the Jackson MJ Series Signature Misha Mansoor So-Cal 2PT, which features on newer material that deviates from the metal template – Billy cites jazzy groover Aqua Regia and the outrageously funky outro to The Summoning as tracks where it gets an outing.

The pickup selector can usually be found on the Bare Knuckle Ragnarok bridge humbucker when this guitar is out of the rack, and it’s strung up with 10-52s.

And that’s it – after that revelation, the video suddenly ends. Presumably Vessel came over to have a word.

Sleep Token dropped their latest album, Take Me Back to Eden on May 19, and it’s fair to say it has gone bananas – the album’s first two singles, The Summoning and Chokehold, have now racked up 6.9m and 2.8m views respectively. Not bad for an eight-string-keen genre-fluid prog-metal band.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, 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.