If you’re planning on heading to the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival this year, chances are you’ll spot Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook laying waste to the audience with his new signature Gibson M-4 Sherman Explorer. Hook — a self-proclaimed diehard fan of the iconic guitar that Gibson originally introduced in 1958 — teamed up with Gibson last year to design his signature model.
In a recent interview with Gibson.com, Hook reveals that he’s dreamt about having his own signature Explorer for quite some time — specifically a true Gibson model, and not a variation on the Explorer formula from a different company. “You know, I play this guitar. It’s my favorite guitar,” explains Hook in reply to the numerous offers that he received before meeting with Gibson. “I don’t want you to make something like it. I just want to play it. They (Gibson) said, ‘We’ll make it any way you want. No limitations.’”
Hook certainly took advantage of Gibson’s resources when choosing his guitar’s flashy aesthetics and metal-friendly features. The look is inspired by the gutsy M4 Sherman tanks that the American allied forces used to help topple the Nazis in World War II, suggesting that Hook wanted a guitar with a take-no-prisoners attitude. The neck with 22-fret fingerboard is set into its mahogany body, coupled with Gibson’s standard Tune-O-Matic bridge, a stop bar tailpiece and Grover locking mini-tuners for maximum tuning stability and sustain. Hook also requested that the top edge of the body be beveled off so his forearm doesn’t scrape against it when he digs into heavy rhythm work. To make shred-tactic runs easier to pull off on the higher frets, Gibson sculpted the neck joint with a rounded pocket. And with a tried-and-true set of Seymour Duncan JB and ’59 pickups, Hook has a guitar that not only delivers smoldering metal tones, but a wide variety of rock and clean sounds as well.
If you’re a player that’s also a fan of Hook’s devastating guitar tone, you might be happy to know that Gibson has made a special run of the M-4 Shermans available to the public, each of which also come with a cool custom olive-green hardshell case adorned with tank graphics. Getting your hands on one is easier said than done though, since the run is limited to only 400 guitars worldwide. You can also check it out in action with Jason Hook and Five Finger Death Punch at the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, with co-headliner Rob Zombie this summer.