Me and my guitar: Pelican's Dallas Thomas

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(Image: © Olly Curtis / Future)

The Pelican guitarist has a unique guitar with its own road stories...

Scale Model

“This is a Scale Model guitar that my friend Dave Johnson built me in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s the second one he’s built for me, I have another just like this that’s all mahogany and it’s Les Paul-heavy - a shoulderbreaker. Which kind of, in a weird way, sounds slightly better. 

It’s like a Gibson frankenstein SG / Les Paul Custom neck with a Flying V headstock

“This one is the same design, it’s like a Gibson frankenstein SG / Les Paul Custom neck with a Flying V headstock, but this one has Fender-style woods [based] off maybe a standard-style Strat where you have an ash body, maple neck and then a rosewood fretboard. It’s a lot lighter… Over the years I’ve got a little disenfranchised with bigger companies and I just want to know the guy who’s gonna build it.”

Well-travelled

“This thing has been all over the world; it’s been to Russia, Australia, Istanbul, all over the States back and forth. It’s a little brighter than I like but it stays intonated and it’s easier on my shoulder. This is the guitar I used on the last Pelican record Forever Becoming, and all the live stuff we have out: Arktika and Live At Dunfest, I used this guitar.”

Pickups

“This is a Lace Finger Burner, it’s ceramic and it’s passive with 11k output, and a 250k pot.”

Well-loved

It’s been crowdsurfing several times and it’s still in one piece

“It’s been crowdsurfing several times and it’s still in one piece. We had a show in San Diego where we played with our friends Inter Arma and I tried to pull this certain move and I lost the guitar into the crowd. I just yanked the cable out of it and the guitar was still in the crowd so I grabbed the mahogany one, plugged it in and kept playing. My buddy TJ [Childers, Inter Arma drummer], he ran out into the crowd and got my guitar back but then he started dry humping it with a beer. It’s on YouTube somewhere. I figured I should give that guy a shout out because he got my guitar back.”

Vicious tone

“Another time I was in Phoenix, Arizona and I had my glasses on, so I don’t know, maybe this guy in the crowd didn’t recognise me… this tall guy comes up and he’s like, ‘Have Pelican played yet?’ I said, ‘No, man.’ He said, ‘I was gonna go and see Marty Friedman but I saw Pelican were playing.’ I don’t think he realised I was in the band so I just said, ‘Cool, man.’

“Then we ended up playing and I tried this certain guitar move at the end of the set, it was kind of this chaos noise ending and I was trying to do this thing where I throw this guitar on the part and catch it. But I missed. I totally missed and I just nailed that same guy with the guitar. I went up to him and I was like, ‘Dude, I’m so sorry,’ and he said, ‘That was awesome. Marty Friedman wouldn’t have done that…’ I love Marty Friedman, though, Rust In Peace is one of my favourites…”

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