Me and my guitar: TesseracT's James Monteith

TesseracT's atmospheric progressive metal stringsman, James Monteith, is living the Ibanez dream with this custom model...

Custom Shop

“This guitar was made in the Ibanez Custom Shop in the USA, which is based in Los Angeles. They’re basically a group of luthiers who work for Ibanez to specifically build artists’ guitars specific to their needs. This is the second guitar they’ve built for me, which I’m very grateful for because it’s pretty amazing. And I’m about to tell you why…”

Seventh heaven

“It’s based on the RGD seven-string model: it’s 685mm (27") scale length, thru-neck construction, five-piece neck; an alder body with a maple top and flame maple finish - a trans green and black.”

Machine heads

“The locking machine heads are pretty awesome. You feed the string in, tighten it, tune it and then it cuts the string for you. It’s the ultimate lazy man’s tuning peg. And I’m a pretty lazy person, so it’s absolutely perfect for me.”

Fixed bridge

“There’s a nice Gibson-style fixed bridge. The original RGDs came with floating trems and although they’re great fun, I don’t really use them - especially not in TesseracT. They’re a real nightmare to maintain, so with my first LA Custom Shop guitar I asked for a fixed bridge because it makes life easier - and also the tone is a little better as you get more resonance.”

Black Hawks down

“These are Bare Knuckle Black Hawk pickups. I really like the combination of tight aggression and note clarity the Black Hawks give. They’re hugely responsive for staccato riffing and they have a gnarly chug too. They’re both individually coil split. With the last record we were experimenting a lot with rhythm guitar sounds, using the single coil, so it’s very handy to have one on single and one on humbucker. You can be playing a riff on single coil and then flick to the humbucker for bigger chords.”

Inlay

When I first asked Ibanez to make me the TesseracT inlay they kind of looked at it and they were a bit scared

“When I first asked Ibanez to make me the TesseracT inlay they kind of looked at it and they were a bit scared. It’s very detailed and it covers the 11th, 12th and 13th frets. It looks really nice… I think so anyway.”

Fret markers

“We play a lot in the dark because we try to disguise ourselves and look mysterious. Sometimes, it’s very difficult to play in the dark, but not any more with these glow-in-the-dark dots.”

TesseracT’s new album Sonder is available now via Kscope.

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