"It's like a jack-of-all-trades thing": Slipknot guitarist Jim Root reveals more to us about the Player Series Strat he liked the look of so much, he bought one from Fender's website

Fender Strat
(Image credit: Fender)

Slipknot's Jim Root has endorsements with Fender and Charvel and can surely call them up if he likes the look of something. But as he tells us in a new interview, he likes electric guitar shopping like the rest of us and when he sees something he likes the look of, he's in the market. And that includes Fender's (relatively) affordable Player Plus Series guitars.

"I'm signed up to the vendor email list, so whenever they [Fender] drop a new series of guitars, or whatever, I check them out," Jim reveals to us in a gear chat where he explains how he's been testing out the company's new Tone Master Pro amp modelling and multi-effects processor at home, along with adding the Neural DSP Quad Cortex to his live rig. "I happened to read the specs on this guitar and saw that it was a hardtail. I was like, 'Well, that's cool.'"

Most of my guitars are hardtails

We've already reported that Jim posted a video on Instagram praising the guitar in question, a Fender web-exclusive Limited Edition Player Plus Stratocaster HSS HT. It boasts a versatile spec with two Noiseless single-coil Strat pickups and a Fireball humbucker that can be split with a push/pull control on the tone pot. As well as the Player Plus rolled fingerboard edges we're big fans of here, this Strat also has an atypical Fender radius. 

"Most of my guitars are hardtails, like my Strats, my Teles, and my Jazzmasters, so that was cool. But then, I saw that it had a 12-degree radius [fretboard], and I was like, "Oh, that means I can drop the action nice and low and set it up to kind of shred."

The specs were enough to broker the sale for Jim. "And it was an HSS setup, so I was like, 'Yeah, I'm buying one of those'", he tells us. "So, I just went to Fender's website, ordered it from the website, and it showed up. I took it out of the box, dropped the action, straightened out the neck, and adjusted the truss road a little, but I tuned it up and just noodled around on it. I was like, 'Yeah, this is a cool guitar.' 

"The pickups do their job; it's sort of like, if you're in a band, and you're playing cover tunes, and you go from metal to pop or even country, you could cover it with this guitar.

limited edition hardtail Player Plus HSS Stratocaster

(Image credit: Fender)

"It's like a jack-of-all-trades thing," he adds. "And it's got the five positions, you know, the toggle, so you can get that out-of-phase, like Stevie [Ray Vaughan] tone going. 

"You can get that fat, bubbly, you know, single-coil neck thing. Like that shiny thing, and then, it has the humbucker in the bridge, so you can go for the Iron Maiden sort of vibes and tones, or even throw an overdrive in front, and it's great."

You can find out more about the £1,039/$1,229.99 Strat at Fender.com

It's not the only unexpected Fender gear Jim's been trying out at home recently, as our Jim Root interview reveals, but we're not expecting to see the Player Strat in his Slipknot live rig anytime soon – there are plenty of other guitars vying for spots in his rack for the band's debut album 25th-anniversary tour as it is…

Watch On

"I'm trying to bring some of these old guitars out, especially since we're getting ready to do this 25th-anniversary stuff and we're getting ready to play the first album in its entirety," he told the Tone-Talk podcast below. I have a couple of Jacksons and a couple of PRSs that I used way back to 2000, and I'm gonna bring those guitars with me and similar guitars that I had. Let's say up to [2004 third album] The Subliminal Verses cycle. 

I kind of want to tip the hat to that era and bring more of the guitars that I was using at that time with me

"Since we're going retro like that and we're bringing out the boiler suits again – we have the old mask vibes going on – I kind of want to tip the hat to that era and bring more of the guitars that I was using at that time with me," he added. "And fortunately, or unfortunately, that was before I was endorsed by Fender. But now Fender is Jackson, so if there's Jacksons that I have onstage it still fits under that umbrella.

"With the PRSs [matte-finished Custom 24s with one volume knob and three-way selector] that's just kind of a nostalgic, cool thing. I think I still have a couple of those laying around somewhere."

Ep. 153 - Jim Root of Slipknot!! Interview! - YouTube Ep. 153 - Jim Root of Slipknot!! Interview! - YouTube
Watch On

Check out our full Jim Root interview. For Slipknot's 2024 tour dates visit slipknot1.com

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.