Vic Fuentes, guitarist and frontman with San Diego's Pierce The Veil, tells us the story of his Van Halen-ized Explorer.
“I found this in a pawn shop with my guitar tech Johnny [Meyer]. We just saw it sitting in the corner and we were like, ‘Woah, what is that?’ I picked it up and it just felt like it was bouncing back at me whenever I played it and it really had a lot of resonance. It just felt right.
“So I bought it that day for $800, pretty cheap, and then took it home and we put it on the bench. We made sure everything was working right and then I just took some electric tape at Johnny’s house and this was the first design I did on it. It came out kinda cool so it’s just been on there ever since.”
Earning the stripes
“I do like Van Halen but it was actually more for my guitar tech Johnny. He’s like my right hand man as far as guitar work. We get a new one and we start building it together, we build amps together.
“He’s a friend of mine from back in San Diego where we live so he grew up with Van Halen, cutting his teeth learning their songs. So it was more of a tribute to him to do this. I think it came out pretty cool because I’ve never seen anyone do this to an Explorer. It catches a lot of attention.”
“There's nothing too crazy about it. There’s some Seymour Duncans [JBs] in here. Other than that it’s pretty much how it came.”
“It's a really nice playing guitar but I never thought I’d like this shape guitar. I love the way it looks but I wasn’t sure how it would feel and after watching a few Pantera videos I learned some ways to handle a [shaped guitar]! It’s actually really fun to play around with live.”