Me and my guitar: In Flames' Björn Gelotte

The Swedish iron man, In Flames' Björn Gelotte, saw his Gibson LP Custom born again with this Epiphone signature...


“I had it made as a replica of the number one Gibson Les Paul Custom that I’ve been playing for years. I actually played it so much that I had to re-fret it; I was about to re-fret it again but I thought it was time to retire it. 

I found the EMG 81 back in the early 90s. I carved out the space for it in my Yamaha RGX at the time and I’ve never looked back

“Before I did that I had a good friend of mine take all the measurements and examine every little detail with the original one in order to make an exact replica. He was about to build it for me and then I started talking to Epiphone and they wanted to work together to create a signature model, so that was perfect timing.”


“All the measurements are from that Gibson Custom, including all the hardware on my original one. I actually got a bag of Zakk Wylde’s old used [Grover] hardware for that and, hopefully, it has helped me become a better player.”


“It’s got EMGs in it with golden covers because I think that looks absolutely gorgeous together with the black. They’re 81 and 85. I found the 81 back in the early 90s. I carved out the space for it in my Yamaha RGX at the time and I’ve never looked back. I have found that, and the 85 ,to be extremely reliable partners in crime when it comes to the live shows we do and they also deliver what I need when we record. Overall kick ass.”


“I’m actually very proud of this inlay because I don’t think Epiphone did something like this [before on a signature]. It’s our jester symbol that we have on our records. The only thing I didn’t get was the beer opener. I really wanted one of those, but maybe that’s coming up on the next model.”

Coated strings

“I have a nickel allergy, which is sort of a pain in the ass when you play metal strings. So Jimmy Dunlop created a special set of strings for me that are coated. I think the gauge is .68 to .11 or .12.”

Serious signature

“The whole point in doing an Epiphone is so that we could do the exact same thing as the Gibson that I had, only we could make it a bit more affordable. I haven’t played any other guitar since I got the first prototype. 

“So all the recording, all the touring for almost the last two years has been on one of these. It makes me really proud to be able to say that. Because it’s one thing to be able to create a signature in order to sell it but another to create a signature you actually want to be able to play. So I’m super proud of that and they did a really killer job.”

In Flames' new EP, Down, Wicked & No Good is out now via Nuclear Blast. The band play Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds and London in December.

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