Buckcherry released a video today of their killer cover of the NIN classic Head Like a Hole. It’s the first single from their upcoming album, Warpaint, which comes out March 8. You can see Stevie D and his signature Conspiracy Series ‘71 SD in the video, but I’m warning ya; if you’ve had more than a little bit of coffee recently, this may feel a bit like a speedball!
I was really excited to reveal the prototypes for the Conspiracy Series last week at the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. "What's the Conspiracy Series?" you ask? Why, it's the production line of guitars from yours truly!
Made in South Korea by World Musical Instruments (same factory that produces Schecter, LTD, PRS SE, and many others), the Conspiracy Series gives me the ability to offer Sullys at less than half of the cost of a custom. The great thing about it is that they share some features with the custom, hand made guitars you're used to seeing from me (stainless steel frets, compound radius fretboards, premium hardware), but there are a few things I can do in the Conspiracy Series that would be cost prohibitive if offered as a custom (the combination of matte and gloss black in the paint job of the '71 SD, for example). The neck shapes are very Sully, the guitars feel solid, and all of the prototypes were acoustically loud and resonant. That's always been the main goal for me; if it rings before you plug it in, that's a good thing.
While I was working on the idea of the Conspiracy Series on and off through 2017, I wanted to give the guitars in the series their own identity and style. For example, the Stardust has the 3/3 Aero headstock (which I've always thought was the best headstock for that model) instead of the Raven headstock that you've mostly seen with the Stardust, and it also has a forearm contour (all of the customs have a flat top and binding). Small changes, yes, but things that give them their own style.
The '71 Starling is based on the very first '71 I built; it's got a flat top and a forearm bevel that accentuates the shape of the body quite nicely. I also removed the wraparound bridge that is most commonly associated with the '71 and I think that the Hipshot hardtail bridge suits it very well.
The first three guitars in the series are the aforementioned Stardust, the '71 Starling, and the '71 SD, which is the Stevie D signature model. Pricing starts at $1099 for the Stardust, the '71 Starling is $1199, and the '71 SD starts at $1249. Additional fan packages that contain extras like signed guitars, VIP Meet and Greets at Buckcherry/Josh Todd and the Conflict shows, and more.
The guitars are absolutely killer, and I'm proud to have my name on them. I think you'll dig 'em, too.
When you were younger, did you ever go to one of those shops that will put your photo on the cover of a magazine? Me too! I still have the photo of 13 year old Sully on the cover of Hit Parader complete with props to make it look authentic; a Harmony acoustic guitar, some sort of animal print suit jacket and metallic tie. Totally believable, and before you ask, no, you can't see it.
Stevie and I joked about that kind of situation when he called me in late July to tell me that he was going to be featured on the January issue of Guitar Player magazine with record label mates Rich Ward (Fozzy) and Ryan Patrick (Otherwise). I was so excited for him, and that was kicked up a notch when he told me that he'd be bringing his '71 with him for the photoshoot. At this time, he had the white '71 he'd been playing on tour, and his next one was just about ready to go to Billy at Rock N' Roll Relics for paint and aging. Since this was such a special thing, I really wanted to get it wrapped up and to him in time for the photoshoot, and as you can see, we made it happen.
This has been a very exciting year for Sully Guitars, and seeing a guitar that I designed and built on the cover of an iconic magazine like Guitar Player remains something I have yet to wrap my head around. Subscribers got their copies earlier this month, and I've been keeping my eyes open for when they hit the newsstands. That seems to have been today, as I finally got my hands on one (okay, ten), and like Ron Burgundy, I was trapped in a glass case of emotion (but for a nice reason, no one punted my dog off of bridge like poor little Baxter).
It's as good of a time as any to be thankful, and I absolutely am. While I've been floored at times about how things have gone this year, I know that these moments in life can be fleeting, and it's what you do with them that counts. I'm enjoying this moment and thinking ahead, and I'm really excited for the present and the future.
Sooooooooo, go grab a copy of the January issue of Guitar Player, eh?