In this new Premier Guitar series, each month we showcase special instruments submitted by readers from around the world.
Name: Jeroen Sevink (aka Jerry Knives from the Jerry Knives Band)
Location: The Netherlands
Guitar: Custom-modded Japanese Jackson Explorer
Jeroen Sevink has been experimenting with guitars his whole life, and he even builds his own pedals. “I call this sweet guitar Industrial Steampunk-style,” he says. “It still has its standard neck, which I think is amazing, so I left it as-is. But that’s about all that is standard.”
All of the electronics were seriously replaced with the help of an electrician friend. “The front pup is now a Sustainiac,” says Sevink. “It’s very, very sensitive to interference—a sheer drama to build into your guitar. It’s like having a built-in EBow—fantastic!” Though the trimmings look unusual, Sevink swears they don’t affect playability: “It’s balanced, easy to play, and it sounds beautiful on everything from shoegaze to metal.”
Sevink developed severe sleep apnea a few years ago and felt too run-down to play music “I had to stop with just about all my bands,” he recalls. “I felt I might as well be dead if I couldn’t make music anymore.” For a while Sevink tried sleeping with a continuous-air-pressure machine. “After trying a million different masks, I gave up,” he says. “I decided I’d rather live with the illusion that I was sleeping well then be kept awake by this Borg-like contraption meant to make me sleep better.”
But that’s why this guitar has so much emotional value for Sevink. “To make a long story short,” he says, “in building this guitar, I’ve used various parts of the sleep apnea equipment I gathered over the years. This guitar represents saying goodbye to a lesser period in my life, and reminds me how I retook the wheel to rearrange my life so I could return to doing what I love most: making music.”
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