“There are so many people who are like, ‘Why don’t you develop your own guitar?’ It’s like, ‘I’ve been doing that this whole time.'”
Pictures of Wolf’s lastest off-white, weathered, semi-hollow beauty have been circulating the interwebs for some time now, as the Mammoth WVH mastermind has been making heavy use of it on his ongoing tour with Dirty Honey. As the aspiring guitarist told Shiflett, the guitar will be named SA-126 in honor of his father, as Eddie Van Halen’s birthday was on January 26 (via GuitarWorld):
“There are so many people who are like, ‘Why don’t you develop your own guitar?’ It’s like, ‘I’ve been doing that this whole time.’ We’re developing a guitar I’m very excited about.
“I’m calling it the SA-126: Dad’s birthday is January 26. He named a song, ‘316’, after my birthday. SA [means] semi-acoustic. That’s been the code name, and the more I’ve sat with it, the more I really like it.”
Additionally, one particular design solution on Wolf’s upcoming signature model also serves as a subtle hint at his father’s name – the guitar’s F-hole got re-designed so that it is actually an “E-hole”, in honor of the late guitar great EVH. Wolf continued:
“It has one f-hole, but we’ve modified it so it’s an E-hole, for dad. I’m really stoked about it, and I think people are going to dig it when they see it.”
With no release date for SA-126 given, Wolf goes on to explain how the instrument is still in the “crash-testing” phase – a term and practice inspired by his father’s methods of testing about-to-be-released signature gear:
“That’s what this next year of touring will be: getting the idea of it out there and seeing people’s response to it.”
Although the SA-126 abounds with references to his father, Wolf explains how developing this particular guitar was driven by the same idea that lies at the core of Mammoth WVH as a project – establishing his own sound and unique identity as a rock musician. he explained:
“The main thing with Mammoth is that I wanted to establish my own identity and my own sound.
“When we started recording [the album], the first guitar that was like, ‘Oh, wow, this is starting to become its own thing,’ was when I pulled out my dad’s ’59 ES-335.
“And it was so old that when I tried to tune it – I believe the tuning pegs were ivory or something – they crumbled in my finger. Like, it just turned into cinnamon in my finger. But when we recorded it, it sounded amazing, and that’s when I got that bug for the hollowbody sound.”
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