Mastodon’s Brent Hinds, Bill Kelliher, and Troy Sanders graciously spoke with Premier Guitar about their powerful, yet simple rigs. At a recent stop in Nashville, this twice Grammy-nominated band talked about their signature-model guitars and explained how they configure their touring setups.
Hinds was on a mission to find a luthier who built acrylic-body instruments, à la Dan Armstrong, and he found his new love in the Plexi V from Kevin Burkett’s Electrical Guitar Company in Pensacola, Florida. The aluminum neck and clear body set this guitar apart. It sports dual pickups: an EGC humbucker in the neck position and a Lace Brent Hinds Hammer Claw at the bridge.
Hinds also tours with a Gibson Custom Silverburst Flying V. This wicked guitar sports Gibson ’57 Classic humbuckers, and—like his other V—is strung with D’Addario XL Nickel Wound sets with gauges as large as .060, depending on the tuning.
Hinds likes the power he gets from his three amps. A pair of Marshall JMP Mark II Lead series heads (one a ’76, the other a ’77) give him part of his tone, with the rest coming from a 1998 Diezel VH4. Each amp drives a pair of Orange PPC412 4x12 Cabinets in a custom color. His lap steel runs through an Orange CR120 combo.
Hinds relies on two very simple pedalboards to help him achieve his crushing tone. The main board starts with an Ernie Ball VP Junior volume pedal that connects to an Ibanez Tube Screamer. From there, the signal runs through two MXR pedals—a GT-OD and a Phase 90. His delay of choice is the Boss DD-6, which then runs to an ISP Decimator and a Dunlop Cry Baby 105Q Bass Wah. A TC Electronic PolyTune Mini keeps Hinds on track, and an MXR Custom Audio Systems Buffer helps with any signal loss due to long cable runs on big stages.
The second pedalboard helps Hinds shape his lap steel tones, and it’s more spartan than his main board. He starts this signal chain with a Boss TU-3 tuner, which then leads to another Ernie Ball volume pedal, an unmarked drive stompbox, and then a Boss DD-7 delay. The whole shooting match is powered by a Dunlop Brick power supply.