For his second signature model with Epiphone, Lee Malia has taken inspiration from James Hetfield, alongside his need for versatility.
“I’ve always been drawn to Explorer shape guitars. I had a couple when I was younger: a Jackson Warrior that was more spiky, and as I got older I got a Gibson Explorer and I loved it - how it sat and felt, the tone and everything about it. I was obsessed with Metallica and James Hetfield would always play an Explorer shape. I thought he looked cool, so I’ve always had an attraction to them.”
“I decided to go for the [84T-LM humbucker and P-94] pickup combination because it’s the same as the Les Paul Custom I have with Epiphone. With Bring Me The Horizon, I play a lot of full-on, heavy stuff, but then I also need a really nice clean sound, so I’ve always liked the P-90.
“I used to like single coils in the neck but a P-90 is just a little more fuller-sounding for me. So I mainly use the bridge [humbucker] for my gain-y stuff and the middle position with the P-90 and use them both a lot of the time for my clean sounds. You still get the top end from the bridge pickup, but all the body and warmth out of the P-90. It sounds really nice. And I also use the P-90 on its own for certain parts.”
“With the Customs we also added a coil-split. I use the middle position of both of [the pickups] a lot of the time and when you split the [bridge] pickup as well it’s even better - you can get a more twangy sound.
“It covers any genre you want to play on it. Even though it looks like a bit of a rocky guitar you could play jazz or anything clean or ambient on it because it sounds so nice. This [bridge] pickup has a lot of gain but when you coil-[split] it, it’s cool.”
“I went for the walnut finish because I’ve always liked wood and wood grain. I wanted it to look like a natural kind of wood but not a matte finish. With the walnut you get to see all the grain still but it’s got a sheen to it, which I like.”