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Ben Moody

We have worked on a number of super cool guitars and mods with rocker Ben Moody of Evanescence.  He has been great to collaborate with and a huge supporter of McSwain Guitars.

The Frankenstein guitar is another one of my favorite custom pieces. I made this one for Ben Moody, the guitarist for the band Evanescence and the band We are the Fallen. He is an incredible producer who has produced a multitude of Grammy award-winning records. Ben and I became friends in Los Angeles, and he is in second place, or may be tied for first with my client Daniel in New York, for most Mcswain guitars owned by one person. Ben has about ten Mcswain guitars, including the Frankenstein. Frankenstein has always been my favorite classic monster movie, so this guitar was a fun one to build. This guitar has a mahogany body with a maple top. I carved the face of Frankenstein, and I made the little eyes out of dowels and pressed them into the carved head from the back. They are really dimensional and it looks like they’re watching you as it’s hanging on the wall. The perimeter of the guitar is stitched with leather cord stitching to make it look like bloody stitches. I drew little holes around the perimeter of the top and then put the leather cord through it like some sort of creepy, gruesome, surgical stitching from some mad scientist lab. The face and the hands are painted and stained, and then covered with a glow-in-the-dark material. This way, when you turn the lights out, all you see is this creepy face and the hands on the guitar. The fret board is again stitched together with this leather cord using different types of wood so it looks like some stitched together piece of monster. The volume and tone knobs are actual bolts that I cut off, drilled out the middle, and aged to look like real Frankenstein bolts. The guitar actually hangs on the wall in what I believe was the first wall-mount I have ever built. At the time I didn’t know it would turn into making other types of wall mounts, but I had made it look like an exam table made out of riveted metal. At the top of the mount I built a Jacob's Ladder that has 10,000 volts pumping through it when it’s turned on, so it gives that classic horror movie sizzle and makes a nice little buzzing noise. That sits at the top along with a light to illuminate the guitar. The cradle for the guitar that the body sits in is lined with leather that is also stitched together to again make it look like one of those mad scientist creations. This is one of my favorite guitars, and it resides with Ben Moody.

The Metal Skull, or Chrome Skull guitar is another one of Ben Moody’s. Ben wanted a flying V take on a guitar, which I call the flying M because it's more of a variation on the flying V. He wanted a very terminator-esque type carving in the guitar, so I ended up carving what looked like a pile of metal skulls that were all crushed and broken and turned in different ways, similar to the opening scene in Terminator 2 where the Cyborgs are walking through and crunching skulls. This is the image in my head that inspired the idea for the guitar. I carved every single one of the skulls and then used the same chrome paint that I used to paint the car guitar bumpers with. I aged it and made it look like an old crushed up pile of human skulls. The terminator Cyborg was carved into it where it looks like there is a piston arm that’s grabbing onto the top part of the flying V. There is a gear with a red LED in the middle, so that when the volume knob is turned up the eyes glow bright red. The binding on this guitar is actually a saw blade, so I bound the fretboard with an old saw blade and laid it so that the teeth of the saw are not rough and you can’t feel them on the side of the neck. That is the metal skull guitar.

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