Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger display weapons of mass rock from a signature Gibson plugged into a matching Marshall to a Tele running into a couple of tilt-back Fenders.

Undoubtedly, Hale’s No. 1 is her 2014 Lzzy Hale Signature Explorer with Gibson ’57 Classic pickups, an ebony fretboard featuring big block inlays, and a bound body. This sexy spaceship of a guitar is cloud white with gold hardware and is tuned to dropped-D.

Halestorm invited Premier Guitar to their secret rehearsal layer in Nashville, where, surrounded by walls of speakers and drenched in epilepsy inspiring lights, Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger took a break to geek out over some spectacular gear. Hale with white on white Gibsons and Marshalls, Hottinger covering every sonic combination, the two Grammy winning rockers dished the dirt on their two-guitar assault.

A special thanks to Halestorm tech Johnny Caruth who walked this PG scribe through the confusing bits.

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A bone nut being back-filed for proper string placement and correct action height.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to change your acoustic guitar’s tone and playability.

In my early days, all the guitars I played (which all happened to be pre-1950s) used bone nuts and saddles. I took this for granted, and so did my musician friends. With the exception of the ebony nuts on some turn-of-the-century parlors and the occasional use of ivory, the use of bone was a simple fact of our guitar playing lives, and alternative materials were simply uncommon to us.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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