That guitar is one that was built specifically for this tour. One of the themes of this tour is “moire” which is that weird thing that happens when you look through two screen and you see all sorts of weird 3D shapes. Moire is everywhere in our production, including in our guitars!
Mike and I worked very closely with the builder, Ben Lewry of visionaryinstruments.com, who specializes in creating very funky electronic guitars that usually feature all kinds of touch controllers and accelerometers that can be used for controlling audio effects in software like Ableton Live and whatnot. These guitars have no such controllers, but instead feature full RGB lighting behind the moire screens that make up the face of the body.
Ben and I had lots of conversations about my Ibanez because he wanted to create the instrument so that it would sound and play simlilarly. The body shape and neck and headstock are all designed based on my favorite guitar.
As part of the design, he put all the controls along the top of the instrument, so there are no controls on the face of the body itself, to leave the moire screen as emtpy as possible. There are four preset light designs built in that I can choose with a selector swith. Most of these presets react to the sound of the strings, so that when I play something, the guitar lights up. It’s very fast and when I play choppy rhythms or staccato leads, the lights really accentuate the sound!
But, even cooler than all that, the guitar has a DMX input, which means that it can receive color commands from the light board and be totally controlled by our lighting guy! It took a few shows to get that working, but now it’s in full effect. So cool!
I’m also using in-ear monitors for the first time. And everything is wireless, so for each show I’m wearing a transmitter for the guitar audio, a receiver for the in-ear monitors, a receiver for the DMX data, and a battery pack for the guitar’s lights.