Electric guitar

Check Out LostAlone Guitarist Steven Battelle’s Crazy Custom Double Neck Electric Guitar

Anyone considering leaving to catch recently reunited Derby rock trio LostAlone playing in support of their comeback LP, The Warring Twenties, is going to be faced with a electric guitar not like the others.

We’re used to seeing guitars take inspiration from the weirdest sources and turn out to be the weirdest instruments — like the Jackson Roswell-esque USS Starship Enterprise-esque, or the Bat-Mobile-inspired Hallmark Wing-Bat — but, For his Last Guitar, LostAlone guitarist Steven Battelle leaned into classic French literature and a new form of functionality reminiscent of Steve Vai’s custom-built Ibanez Hydra.

As Battelle explains, the idea of ​​a double-neck electric guitar, which is actually an SG-style guitar 7 string guitar spread over two innings, is from a song inspired by Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables that has a double riff pattern that was simply impossible to play on a regular guitar. Admitting defeat was the first part of the design process.

“To paraphrase a well-known phrase and transpose it into guitar language, I realized I had layered more than I could play,” says Battelle. “The song is called Crusaders and opens our Shapes Of Screams record. I was totally obsessed with the musical Les Miserables at the time and wanted to push what we could do as a trio – not just in the studio but then on stage – and become more like an entire company rather than just a three-way rock band. .”

Batelle had a hunch that a 7-string was the answer, but maybe not a 7-string as we know it.

“The studio version [of Crusaders] has chords that move around while a heavy deep riff is happening and so that was a problem”, I tried a 7 string but couldn’t get my brain to understand why which was a E, looked like an A and so I came up with that idea.”

With the need now pregnant for invention, Battelle turned to Nigel Roberts, a bespoke guitar maker based at Leicestershire Luthiers. Roberts, who is now retired, leaving the custom repair/build business in the hands of Danny and Natalie Lint.

“I passed on my thoughts to my friend Nigel who is a brilliant luthier and a few days later he sent me plans for the guitar,” says Battelle. “The guitar means I can play the riff and the chords as well as sing along.”

See below what this looks like in practice.

The result is a little weird, a little funky, and augments a solid SG-style body with a single-string second string for what would traditionally be the seventh string on an extended-range guitar, tuned to B or A. Roberts performs a single- wrap along the rope.

It seems an awkward fit for the most part guitar cases or covers but if you’re of the opinion of having a specialist instrument built for a job like this, then what’s a custom case, too?

LostAlone’s new album, The 20s at war (opens in a new tab), is available for pre-order and will be released on September 30 via Dharma Records. You can see Battelle using their custom Nigel Roberts double neck up close during the band’s UK tour in December. See LostAlone (opens in a new tab) for dates.