Gear Interviews

Rig Rundown – Slipknot. Mick Thompson and Jim Root.

In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Mother’s Day 2015, Slipknot guitarists Mick Thomson and Jim Root took some time before their somewhat hometown show and hung with PG to talk about signature guitars, tube heads, and the handful off effects they need to punish arenas each night.


Mick Thomson is a creature of habit—give him a few of his Ibanez MTM signature guitars packed with his Seymour Duncan EMTY Blackout pickups and he’s a happy dude. Each one of his guitars features a mahogany body, maple neck, and rosewood fretboard.

As far as he’s concerned, the best guitar he has out on the road right now is his white-and-black “storm trooper” Ibanez MTM that’s kept tuned to dropped-B. According to Thomson, it’s perfect for rhythm work and can stand up against any other 6-string in his collection for leads. Nearly all of 2008’s ‘All Hope is Gone’ and the bulk of the rhythm material for last year’s ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’ was done with the storm trooper. For this run, the band is primarily using two tunings and he uses a different set of D’Addario EXL117 strings for each one. For dropped-A tunings, he goes with .011–.058 and for dropped-B tunings he goes with .012–.068. Thomson recently worked with Dunlop to create a custom Jazz III pick made of a graphite composite because he feels they’re slicker, harder, and doesn’t make any scraping or scratching sounds when they wear down.

#7’s backup to the storm trooper is the very first prototype he got for his signature line back in the early 2000s.

Thomson starts the night out with this Oakland Raiders-themed Ibanez MTM that’s tuned to dropped-A for “Sacrastrophe.”

Thomson’s newest signature model features a carbon-fiber cap on the body and headstock and is tuned to dropped-A.

All of Thomson’s Audio-Technica wireless packs on his guitars are protected by Trojan condoms to keep them from getting wet from water, beer, sweat, and blood.

Originally published by Premier Guitar.

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