Though Claudio Sanchez, famous for his role as frontman, singer and guitarist of prog-rock/metal band Coheed and Cambria, is widely known for his vocal range and the bands wild solos some might be surprised by the setup of his guitar rig.
While his collection of guitars might be relatively big he sits apart from many other guitar enthusiast, in that most of his guitars, both studio guitars and the ones he brings with him on tour when playing with his band are more or less unmodified stock guitars, neither custom made nor made to taylor in any way. As it is, most of those guitars that Sanchez employs are modified, but mainly with minor pickup changes and even this is mainly due to maintenance, or relatively minor changes to the original layout of the guitars. In today’s blog we will take a look at the reasons to why such a talented guitarist might choose to employ such “standard” stock guitars, and why Sanchez mainly uses Gibson guitars.
The Gibson Explorer was originally released in 1958 alongside the Flying V model, both having a futuristic look about them, and the Explorer was originally a evolved version of the Futura model. Initially unsuccessful the Explorer was discontinued in 1963, but when other companies began having success with guitars with similar body work in the mid 70s, the Gibson Explorer was reintroduced. During the next 5-10 years the Explorer achieved great popularity among the hard rock and heavy metal scenes around the world. Made famous by a large number of rockstars, and with a body-shape that is distinct and easily recognizable it is no wonder that the guitar became quite widespread it its use.
When asked about his choice in guitars Claudio Sanchez offers a very simplistic and practical reason as to why Gibsons and especially the Explorer have become his go-to guitars, both in and out of the studio; Back when Coheed and Cambria first began touring extensively his old guitar, a banged up Gibson SG, almost fell to pieces quite literally, he needed a replacement guitar – and fast. The choice fell upon the Explorer due to four simple reasons: It was light weight, easy to use, comfortable to hold at length during shows and finally it had a look about it that fitted together with the theatrical visions that Sanchez had for his band. Following this strain of thoughts it also makes great sense that most of his Gibsons are reissue models, copies of the vintage guitars that made the series famous in the first place.
When reviewing all of Sanchez’ tour guitars it becomes clear that this is a viewpoint that have carried over to his guitar selection in general. Having 3 almost identical Explorers in his rig, seems almost redundant, however it quickly becomes clear that all of his guitars are chosen from either a practical viewpoint – they are tools of his trade as much as instruments he love – or they are beautiful theatrical instruments that all can fulfill very specific roles within the bands discography. Good examples of this are his Gibson Doubleneck SG guitar and his Minarik Medusa Custom guitars (not featured in the videos above), which all have a extravagant look to them, yet with all carries a unique sound, not easily replicated in harmony with the rest of the bands music.
All in all it paints a clear picture of a great understanding for the capabilities of both Claudio Sanchez as a experienced and talented guitarist, but also of a man who has a clear vision of what a specific guitar model is capable of delivering.
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