This guitarist doesn't want to wait for a Tom DeLonge signature Fender Starcaster so he's made his own

Mark Gutierrez Tom DeLonge Starcaster build
(Image credit: Mark Gutierrez / YouTube)

We don't know when the Tom DeLonge Fender Starcaster signature model will surface, or if it will, but it could be some way off considering he'd only recently started playing custom models. And it makes perfect sense for the Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves guitarist who has already had a signature Fender Strat and Gibson ES-335 in his career as the Starcaster sits in a kind of middle-ground between them. But if you've got the one-pickup Starcaster bug like DeLonge, you might not have to wait after all – if you follow Mark Gutierrez's lead.

The luthier and YouTuber decided to take on the project with a Squier Starcaster model as the foundation. If you've seen DeLonge's custom models you'll note they differ from all other Starcasters in two fundamental ways; they have an oversized Strat-esque headstock father that the distinctive Starcaster design, and Tom – as with his other signature guitars – only uses one Seymour Duncan humbucker pickup with one volume control and no switch. All this is replaceable/removable/concealable thanks to a bolt-on neck and the way DeLonge has customised the particular guitar Gutierrez is attempting to recreate. 

As Gutierrez notes, in addition to DeLonge's selection of punk rock stickers on his main Coachella guitar (he's had a selection of other uniquely-finished Starcasters made too), there's Blink-182 smiley face inlays. Recreating the sticker positioning actually gives Gutierrez the opportunity to cover the neck pickup cavity, tone switch and pickup switch filling work. But the inlays are another matter entirely and prove just how skilled he is. 

Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 performs at the Sahara Tent during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 14, 2023 in Indio, California

DeLonge with his original custom Starcaster and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker (left) at Coachella festival on 14 April 2023 (Image credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Coachella)

Check the video above to see how Gutierrez goes about creating the DeLonge Starcaster. He's meticulous and we're certainly impressed with the results; he even orders creations of DeLonge's stickers from Kazakhstan via Etsy and uses the same Custom Seymour Duncan humbucker that Delonge has fitted to his. 

The real next-level attention to detail comes with the inlays though; no stickers here. We're blown away by Mark Gutierrez's woodworking skills and dedication to the project. The end results look and sound fantastic. 

Check out his YouTube channel – we'll certainly be subscribing! 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.