“Fluence pickups are unlike anything else there is”: Slipknot’s Mick Thomson is latest high-profile metal player to join Fishman’s artist roster

Mick Thomson
(Image credit: Fishman)

When Mick Thomson and ESP eventually make a decision on what form his forthcoming signature guitar is going to take, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will come equipped with a set of multi-voiced Fluence humbuckers, as the Slipknot guitarist has became the latest box-office metal player to hook up with Fishman.

The artist roster at Fishman is getting increasingly crowded with modern metal guitar’s A-listers. There’s Matt Heafy from Trivium, Devin Townsend, Javier Reyes, Willie Adler, Tosin Abasi… The list goes on and on.

And although Fishman and Thomson have yet to announce a signature electric guitar pickup set yet, a variation on the Fluence format looks like it is coming soon, with Thomson saying they stand alone in today’s market.

“I’m honoured to be part of the Fishman family,” he said. “Their Fluence pickups are unlike anything else there is. The result is a punch and clarity that is much improved.”

Based around their patented core design, Fishman’s Fluence pickups offer players a multi-voiced performance via a push-pull function on either their electric guitar’s volume or tone pots, and crucially for players operating in high-gain, high-volume scenarios, they have no noise or hum. Ken Susi, brand manager for the Fluence line, says Thomson is here for the long haul.

“We’re excited to announce that we have officially signed Mick Thomson to our esteemed artist roster,” said Susi. “His exceptional talent, passion, and dedication to his craft are truly remarkable, and we’re thrilled to have him on board. We wholeheartedly believe that this collaboration marks the beginning of a long-lasting relationship.”

When will we see these? Ah… it’s going to be when this Mick Thomson ESP/LTD signature model lands, and news of that has been thin on the ground since it was first announced that Thomson had flown the Jackson coop and wound up at ESP, its rival high-performance guitar brand. 

Last we heard, Thomson had a serious case of option paralysis. Alternating between the asymmetrical V profile of the Arrow, the go-faster S-style of the Horizon and the single-cut Eclipse model you see pictured top of the page, the last leg of the Slipknot tour offered few clues. But then he did say they were working on “customs”, emphasis on plural, so it is possible there might be more than one in the pipeline.

“We are currently working on specs for some customs that I know will be killer,” said Thomson. “It’s been taking longer than expected, as deciding on a model hasn’t been easy. Too many possibilities for monster guitars. Admittedly, It’s been a great problem to have.”

Why are all these metal artists doing likewise and heading over to Fishman? Well, as Matt Heafy of Trivium told us last year, he describes them as “zero latency” pickups, and they bring out the best in his sound.

“What I like so much about the Fishmans is that it is less about Fishman and is more about accentuating what I sound like,” said Heafy. “That is why I love those pickups. Fishman pickups are technically not active pickups; they are passive pickups with active technology, which I think is a really cool way to describe it. Now, there is a quote/unquote active and a passive mode, and on my Moderns the active is obviously more modern metal, the passive is rock, heavy metal, indie, whatever you want to do.” 

For more information on their existing range, head over to Fishman pickups

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.