Instrument Of The Issue
Matt Bellamy’s Laser Manson
Severely underrated classical rockers Muse are famed for the tortured guitar screams they produce in their music. Lead singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy has an undoubtedly unique style when playing, and if you ever witness the majesty of Muse live, you can see it. He’ll often become so immersed in the sounds he tears and teases from his instrument, he curls into a foetal position, looking as if he’s asphyxiating it.
Well, you have to be there, really… Anyway, the guitar I want to focus on is the one he used the most when I saw Muse; the Laser Manson. It has a cracked mirror finish (effected by jumping on an 8 x 4 sheet of mirror plastic a few times), and lasers that are activated with Matt’s playing. The pickups are Rio Grande “Crunchbox” (bridge position) and Rio Grande “Fat Bastard” (neck position). It also has an acoustic pickup, which is featured on all of Matt’s Manson Guitars. There are 10 lasers on the body of the Laser Manson, that fire around 70 beams running through various lenses. They are connected to sound, so the harder one plays, the more lasers shine. If you see Mr Bellamy playing this guitar and curling up into his foetal state, it could have something to do with the instrument’s weight. Stick a pile of plastic, electronics, lights and wires on the front of a guitar and it’s heavy as fuck, basically. At night, though, it’s a magnificent sight to behold.
Body covering: Cracked mirror effect with red lasers plus aluminium back and sides
Neck: Birds-eye maple, rosewood fingerboard
Neck Pickup: Rio Grande Bastard
Bridge Pickup: Rio Grande Crunchbox
Special circuit 1: Zvex Fuzz Factory
Special circuit 2: MXR Phase 90
Special circuit 3: Graphtech Ghost acoustic saddles via preamp
Special circuit 4: Roland GK2 MIDI pickup internal kit
Special circuit 5: Toggle kill switch
Amps by Marshall (“because when we jump on them, they still work!” – Matt Bellamy)