ESP Guitars - "METALLICA Is Our Largest Driving Marketing Force"
Ultimate-Guitar.com recently spoke with several members of the ESP
Guitars administration to discuss the company's rise to popularity and
continued success. The following is an excerpt from an interview with
Matt Masciandaro (President and CEO), Jeff Moore (Senior Vice
President), Tim Carhart (Artist Relations Manager), Todd Binder (Vice
President of Production) and Makoto Suzuki (President of ESP Japan):
UG: In 1985, George Lynch
(ex-DOKKEN) had the Kamikaze guitar built - did this start it all?Matt Masciandaro:
"In certain ways, yes. George ordered the Kamikaze
while on a 1986 tour of Japan. He heard about ESP necks from his local
music store but couldn't find one, so when he visited ESP in Tokyo they
offered to build him a guitar. He had the idea for he Kamikaze in his
head for a while so he was ready, and it was delivered to ESP NY a short
time later with the paint barely dry. It was not the first custom
guitar or first signature series model, but George certainly put ESP on
the map as a true guitar hero and as one of the most popular and
respected players a that time.
Before George we had some high profile players but not many, with
the exception of Ron Wood and mostly NY based players. Since we were
based in NYC we had access to the top session players at the time, and
we worked with many of them. We received invaluable input from them
while being able to provide them with quality customized instruments.
Eventually ESPs strengths became our ability to offer quality
alternatives to traditional designs, and to build guitars to a player's
own specifications. These remain our primary strengths today."UG: Kirk Hammett
(METALLICA) is ESP's biggest endorser and George Lynch was the first endorsee.Jeff Moore:
"Even though we've been working with them for 20 or 30
years as a company, we're still doing things that are relevant in 2013.
With George Lynch we're introducing a brand new signature model acoustic
guitar-actually two models that we just wrapped up."UG:
Are you doing any new guitars with Kirk Hammett?
"We're working on a very special project with Kirk
I can't talk about it right now but it's relevant to his latest
venture, which you're probably aware of. He just came out with a book
(Too Much Horror Business) chronicling his deep history and love of
horror. He's got quite an extensive collection. Of course we've done
several one-off guitars for him that helped him celebrate his love of
horror and let's just say we've got some exciting things to introduce in
2013 along those lines."
Go to this location for the complete interview.