It isn’t always obvious in Slipknot’s music, but Mick Thomson is driven by a pathological lust for technical perfection. On Slipknot’s latest album, The Subliminal Verses, his signature heavily detuned riffs are wielded alongside harmonized tremolo picking, pinch harmonics and remarkably fast sweep-picking sequences. Audacious finger stretches and strict staccato picking are also among the new techniques in his arsenal.
Even if you can’t match Thomson’s technical skills just yet, you can certainly build his setup. Almost any humbucker-equipped Ibanez electric will work, but if you can afford it, start with the Ibanez RG Series RGT42DXFM model. For $899 you get a solid mahogany body with a flamed maple top, a five-piece walnut/ maple neck with neck-through design and rosewood fingerboard, double–shark tooth inlays and an Edge Pro II locking tremolo. If the RGT42DXFM is more than you can afford, work downward through the RG Series models until you find the guitar in your price range. Don’t forget that Thompson is a former B.C. Rich endorsee and had his very own, now discontinued, pointy signature guitar. For something comparable, check out the B.C. Rich Kerry King Wartribe 1 Guitar Pack for $499.99. It has a Basswood body, a hard maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, and B.C. Rich Special Design humbuckers. If that’s beyond your budget, you can always coax comparable tones from many of B.C. Rich’s cheaper Warlock models. Just be sure to choose a guitar with a decent pair of humbuckers, as single-coils just won’t be thick enough to create Slipknot’s dense sound.
The Marshall JMP-1 tube midi preamp will sting you for $1,980, while the Mesa/Boogie Stereo Simul-Class 2:Ninety all-tube power amp runs $1,419. A Mesa Classic 4x12 cabinet costs $929 and the 2x12 is yours for $589. Too much? Another alternative would be Line 6 Spider II 30 amp that has four channels and serves up searing tone for just under $279.99.