Last month, Jackson debuted its first-ever made-in-Corona guitars with the radically revamped American Series Soloist SL3.
Designed for “speed, precision and power”, the forward-thinking electric guitar takes the “best of the best from Jackson design history to create an elite tool for the modern player”.
It’s a robust offering in principle, but such guitars still need a strong marketing campaign. So since its release, Jackson has put the American Series Soloist SL3 in the hands of some of metal’s most proficient players, first The Black Dahlia Murder’s Brandon Ellis, and now, TikTok and Instagram shredder, Vixen.
In a new video posted to Jackson’s YouTube channel, the guitarist – a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ community and a queer trans woman herself – equips herself with a Satin Slime Green version of the guitar to put it through its paces with a hearty dose of face-melting lead guitar.
The performance runs the gamut of six-string metal chops, with highlights including fiery two-handed tapping licks, heavily vibrato-laden runs and a spot of low-string riffing for good measure.
Peppering Vixen’s shredding are several interview clips with host Matt Pinfield, in which she talks about her guitar journey to date thus far.
“I was at a summer camp. I must have been eight or nine years old at the time,” she says. “We were all sitting in a circle, and the instructors brought out acoustic guitars and they were taking requests. And that feeling of togetherness, it was like a lightning bolt for me. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I get it.’ I’d played guitar on my own at home, but nothing else mattered in that moment. That’s when I really fell in love with music.
“I was in a band with my school friends. That really made me continue falling in love with music. That’s what solidified it for me. So I decided at 16, this is a big decision, but I’m going to try and do music for a living.”
Elsewhere, Vixen waxes lyrical on the new American Series Soloist SL3: “I’m so impressed with this – it’s so much easier to play higher up [on the fretboard]... The harmonics are really, really pronounced on this guitar. Perhaps it’s due to pickups or the neck-thru, but you can get harmonics all the way [at the lower end of the fingerboard].”
And finally, Vixen shares some wisdom on what helps a guitarist grow as a player, and some of the things that can hinder development.
“I think where I went wrong a little bit and where I slowed down in my development was I was trying to sound like everybody else. And where you try to sound like someone else, you’re probably going to be a worse version of them, because they’re just being themselves and that’s why they stand out to you.”
In a recent Instagram post, Vixen praised progress within the guitar community regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ players. She wrote: “I want LGBTQIA+ folks and people of color to see me up there, and feel like they too can be there. I want them to feel seen.
“Guitar has historically been an industry dominated by cis heterosexual white males. As a kid I didn't see anyone like me in the magazines or on Kerrang TV. I don't want others to have to go through that. People are diverse and the guitar is for everyone. Representation is so important.”
She commends Jackson and its parent company, Fender, for its “proactivity in representing more types of people”.
“I was even invited to an internal Q&A called Play Proud with the staff in order to educate them on my experience as a trans woman in music. Making change from inside the biggest guitar company in the world means so much to me.”
The Jackson American Series Soloist SL3 is available now.