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Gibson and Lzzy Hale announce Explorerbird signature model with kitchen-themed video

Gibson Lzzy Hale Explorerbird
(Image credit: Gibson)

Gibson has announced its brand new signature model with Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale via a cooking-themed promotional video. Dubbed the Explorerbird, it continues Lzzy’s envolvement with the brand, for which she became the first female ambassador in 2021.

Lzzy has long been associated with Gibson’s Explorer model, having released her extremely popular white and gold, limited edition Epiphone Lzzy Hale Explorer (opens in new tab) in 2019 - the inspiration for which she had been using for a number of years before that (see video below). The Explorerbird marks Lzzy’s first collaboration with parent brand, Gibson.

The video sees Lzzy presenting a fictitious cookery show - Kitchen Explorer with Lzzy Hale - where the Halestorm frontwoman explains, “You know, my other job can be pretty hectic and stressful. 

"So any downtime I get, I love to stay creative and cook up something wholesome and yummy in the kitchen. Today we’re going to explore something really special, and do something no-one has ever done with a bird before.”

Gibson

(Image credit: Gibson)

She mixes up some ingredients, (chops, sizzle, heavy strings) before slugging back the ‘marinade’ (Jack Daniels) and exclaiming “Let’s cook this fucker!”. Fast-forward a few seconds and Lzzy confirms that “This bird is cooked.” before the Explorerbird comes fresh out of the oven and the video cuts to Halestorm performing Bombshell from their latest album, Back From The Dead.

Gibson

(Image credit: Gibson)

So what does an Explorerbird comprise? Well, as the name suggests, it’s got elements of both the Gibson Explorer and Firebird - specifically, an Explorer body and neck paired with the headstock of a Non-Reverse Firebird.

Lzzy’s signature model is finished in a Cardinal Red nitrocellulose lacquer with a single-ply black pickguard, with the mahogany body cut to the regular Explorer shape. 

It’s home to a pair of 70s Rocker humbuckers with gold pole pieces as well as the standard 2x volume/single-tone speed knobs and three-way selector switch of an Explorer. The bridge and tailpiece complement the finish with a gold Tune-O-Matic and stoptail.

The mahogany neck has a SlimTaper profile and that Firebird headstock gives a more curvy take on the Explorer’s angular hockey-stick shape. It features a six-in-line layout, with gold Grover Mini Rotomatics taking care of the tuning. 

Meanwhile the fingerboard is rosewood, fitted with 22 gold frets, and giving us Gibson’s traditional 24.75”/628mm scale length and is fitted with gold acrylic dot markers. Aside from the distinctive mash-up and finishing, the only thing denoting the Explorerbird as a signature model is Lzzy’s signature on the truss rod cover.

Lzzy recently teased the guitar's development, telling Total Guitar that the Explorer/Firebird mash-up came about during a conversation with Gibson Brand President, Cesar Gueikian.  

"I think it was at the NAMM right before lockdown [2020] – we were doing some projects with Gibson – and I mentioned off-handedly that it would be cool to have a Firebird headstock on an Explorer body, then Cesar was like, ‘If you were to do something like that, what colour do you think it should be?’”

Fans of the band who have been paying attention will have noticed that Hale has been playing the guitar live, confirming that it is more than equipped for dropped-tunings.

“I’m playing it in drop C right now for both Back From The Dead and our latest single The Steeple, because it just handles those low tunings really well,” she reveals. I don’t know if it has something to do with the headstock – but probably. It sounds really mean.”

She also addressed her role as an ambassador for the brand, saying, "The most beautiful thing about what I do now with Gibson is that you get to put yourself up there in a way that, for the generation of young girls that want to get into this instrument, makes the bridge to that dream just a little bit shorter – just like when I was younger and saw Joan Jett playing guitar, or Lita Ford or Nancy Wilson.”

"You always hope that maybe one day you’ll be able to design a guitar and put out something with your name on it. So, now that it’s become a part of my life, it blows my mind every time – especially with the wonderful people at Gibson.”

The Gibson Lzzy Hale Explorerbird is available now and includes a Gibson Modern Series hard shell case.

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.