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Lifeson: I dreamed of having a Gibson. I had a cheap Kent – you know, a Japanese guitar – and then a Kanora, a Japanese guitar. I borrowed a friend's Harmony for years. To have a Gibson was really, really my dream as a kid.
Smith: Of course.
Lifeson: So, all these years later – all these decades later – to have a signature model with my name on it, that's part of the Gibson family, that's really a cool thing. I'm very proud of that.
Smith: That's really cool.
Lifeson: And we didn't just stick my name on a guitar that could sell a bunch; we spent a lot of time. We spent a couple of years developing something that really worked for me. We went through a lot of body weights, different types of wood. The chambering on this particular guitar is one of the reasons why it's a lightweight version of a Les Paul. And the body is –
Smith: The '59s were light, right? Wasn't that the thing about them?
Lifeson: Yeah, you can get different weighted bodies.
Smith: That's why everybody sort of liked – that's one of the reasons they liked it.
Lifeson: Oh, that period, yeah. 'Cause I've got a couple of guitars, a couple of Les Pauls, that I bought. I have an early '90s Custom – that thing must weigh about 85 pounds. It's so heavy. But with my guitar, I wasn't that keen on the chambering; I wanted something that was somewhere in-between a standard Les Paul and what the Axcess model provided. It was narrower – the idea was that it was narrower, lightweight. We wanted the density in the body for sustain.
We went through a couple of different types of pickups, wiring, until we achieved the kind of tonality that I wanted. I wanted a Floyd Rose vibrato arm, something that locked, that would stay in tune, for sure.