Bill Kelliher

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival rolled through the Midwest last weekend, and when Mastodon took the main stage, guitarist Bill Kelliher was spotted with his Signature Bill Kelliher “Golden Axe” Explorer in hand.

Kelliher was kind enough to chat with me backstage at the festival, where he explained that he’s always been a fan of the Gibson brand.

“Gibson has always been a very solid guitar-making company,” Kelliher said. “You pick up a Gibson, and I personally like really heavy guitars that are solid wood with lots of sustain. They stick out to me more than any other guitar. Maybe because I’m bias, because I’ve always looked up to dudes that played Gibsons. Jimmy Page, when I saw him playing a Gibson, I was like, ‘Whatever kind of guitar that is—oh, it’s a Les Paul Gibson. I want one of those someday.’”

He added, “They’re just solid. They sound great. The quality of them is great. They’re a great quality product.”

Check back for’s full interview with Kelliher in the coming weeks.

The Mayhem Festival wraps up Sunday in Dallas, Texas.

Photo by Anne Erickson.