The Canadian Guitar Forum banner
1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,048 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems like even the pro's are pi$$y with Gibson...
Mastodon's Kelliher: I Left Gibson Because They Treat Artists Like Shit, That Company Is Falling Apart

Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher was asked by UG interviewer Justin Beckner about leaving Gibson and joining the ESP fold last year, to which he replied:

"It was a lot of reasons.

"I never really felt like I was accepted at Gibson. The communication over there is terrible.

"They kept fucking up my guitars that I was asking for. I didn't ask for a lot - I just had a few certain things that I would like with my guitar - I told them I didn't want it chambered and they made my second guitar chambered.

"All the guys I worked with over there - the A&R guys were getting fired left and right and the company just seemed to be falling apart to me. There were new guys who would come in and they didn't know shit.

"It was a breath of fresh air working with ESP. They were interested and would ask me what gauge strings I played and what tunings I play - Gibson never cared about any of that stuff.

"Kids would get my guitar in the mail and ask me how to tune it because it wasn't tuned and then I would tell them how to tune it and they would say it still doesn't sound right and it's because they're not putting my gauge strings on there.

"They weren't even tuning the guitars to my settings or specifications – just little things like that. Things that make the guitar a Bill Kelliher model, like put it in my tuning so that when it shows up, it's different.

"ESP wanted to know all that stuff. They're just friendly and nice and they're interested in me and my band and what they can do for me rather than this company.

"Gibson just wasn't... I don't know, I think they're on their way downhill honestly.

"Every guy I talk to - I mean, look at James Hetfield. He was at Gibson, played Gibson stuff and they didn't want to work with him, so he went to ESP. And he's one of the biggest fucking guitar players in our kind of music.

"It seems like there are a lot of bad decisions being made over there.

"But ESP is really great. They treat me really well. I love my Sparrowhawk that I designed. It's the best playing guitar that I own."
Asked whether he reached out to ESP or the company contacted him, Bill replied:

"They had been approaching me for a couple years now but I was with Gibson. I was happy with Gibson at the time but I was also in the middle of making guitars with Gibson.

"I was ready to jump ship and then it just kind of came together when they didn't renew my contract.

"We sold every guitar that I designed - both types, and I did everything they ever asked me to do.

"And they were just like, 'Eh, we don't need you anymore.' So it was like, 'Fuck you guys.' I mean, I did every clinic and anything they ever asked me to do.

"I don't know why, but they treat their artists like shit, basically. ESP doesn't.

"So I do a lot of stuff for ESP, I do clinics and whatever they want because they're good and they're good to their artists and that's how you keep business going - you're good to your employees and you're good to the people who bring you success or money or your shit's going to go down the drain."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,870 Posts
I can't imagine how this one's gonna go.

It's a sad thing to hear of them just sort of dropping the ball like that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,596 Posts
Didnt this break when they were building kelliher and hinds models and K keft for ESP while Hinds went to epiphone?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,553 Posts
or, "ESP finally offered me more money than Gibson"?
Theres probably some truth to it, but I'm always wary of taking one side of a story as gospel even when its against someone/something that so many love to hate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdto and colchar

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,450 Posts
"I never really felt like I was accepted at Gibson."

Did his feelings get hurt? When I see this kind of comment I am immediately suspicious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,739 Posts
Didnt this break when they were building kelliher and hinds models and K keft for ESP while Hinds went to epiphone?

Since Gibson owns Epiphone that seems like a bit of a pointless switch doesn't it?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,596 Posts
Since Gibson owns Epiphone that seems like a bit of a pointless switch doesn't it?
No - he didnt have to deal with gibson and got what he wanted.

Update: the news is the precise fingerpointing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,553 Posts
business is business, guys. and I'm referring to both sides in this. in the end its all about selling guitars and making money. the drama is bullshit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdto

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,596 Posts
business is business, guys. and I'm referring to both sides in this. in the end its all about selling guitars and making money. the drama is bullshit.
They won't sell nearly as many guitars if everyone thinks they're just a ton of assholes making money churning out garbage and treating their employees poorly to boot. They won't sell nearly as many guitars if their own artists are smearing their "good" name online (that isn't something that just disappears)".

You don't run a successful business being a dick to everyone involved with your company, regardless of field.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
The execs will be gone by the time people start jumping ship. The new guy will come in for the turn-around where he’ll rebuild the brand.

Rinse and repeat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,533 Posts
They won't sell nearly as many guitars if everyone thinks they're just a ton of assholes making money churning out garbage and treating their employees poorly to boot. They won't sell nearly as many guitars if their own artists are smearing their "good" name online (that isn't something that just disappears)".

You don't run a successful business being a dick to everyone involved with your company, regardless of field.

Yup, sales 101; if you are constantly searching for new customers because you can't keep the previous ones, you are doing something very wrong.

It's all about securing the call backs
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,553 Posts
They won't sell nearly as many guitars if everyone thinks they're just a ton of assholes making money churning out garbage and treating their employees poorly to boot. They won't sell nearly as many guitars if their own artists are smearing their "good" name online (that isn't something that just disappears)".

You don't run a successful business being a dick to everyone involved with your company, regardless of field.
It's worked fine for them so far.
Respectfully, this story is far from the first of its kind about Gibson.

Not sure how many guitars Bill Keliher has sold for them anyways. On the gibson endorsee list, he's a d-lister.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,584 Posts
Gibson is just suffering the large company syndrome. Many large companies have suffered the same thing, especially when they think and act likely everyone needs THEM.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Diablo and Scotty

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
863 Posts
String gauge? No better argument than that?

"I left Gibson because that company is falling apart" [...] "when they didn't renew my contract"

Translation: you didn't leave them, they sacked you

Metal kids don't have money to buy Gibson stuff; old geezers with money buy Gibsons, not people who listen to Mastodon
Hence, Gibson wasn't making any money with that guy. So they, quite logically, let him go
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,980 Posts
Sure, we all have ideas on how Gibson (or Fender or Marshall or Vox or ........ ) can be run better. But we're probably better off leaving them to their own ideas while we ply our great ideas on our own multi-million dollar corporations. I'm pretty sure every armchair quarterback here has one of those he can tinker with, right? I mean, it's just that easy, right? Right?

I'm also sure all of us don't care if our multi-million dollar corporations make money, right? That's just for those greedy multi-millionaires, not us down-to-earth, compassionate multi-millionaires.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,553 Posts
Sure, we all have ideas on how Gibson (or Fender or Marshall or Vox or ........ ) can be run better. But we're probably better off leaving them to their own ideas while we ply our great ideas on our own multi-million dollar corporations. I'm pretty sure every armchair quarterback here has one of those he can tinker with, right? I mean, it's just that easy, right? Right?

I'm also sure all of us don't care if our multi-million dollar corporations make money, right? That's just for those greedy multi-millionaires, not us down-to-earth, compassionate multi-millionaires.
And these companies should also follow every whim of every artist they have on an endorsement deal. Because rock stars are omniscient, and great business people. ;)
It's probably like dealing with this:
 
  • Like
Reactions: vadsy and High/Deaf
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top