Custom Chimaira

ESP creates Arnold, DeVries signature models.

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Marilyn Manson at the House of Blues on February 1. Watch a slide show from the concert here. - Walter Nvoak
Marilyn Manson at the House of Blues on February 1. Watch a slide show from the concert here.

Guitar company ESP has created two signature-series guitars for Chimaira's Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries. The company has a roster of 20 other custom-designed axes, including ones for Slayer's Jeff Hanneman, Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora, and the Rolling Stones' Ron Wood.

"Chimaira rocks," says Allen Steelgrave, ESP's director of marketing and artist relations. "The amount of work and energy that Rob and Matt put into their music is exactly the kind of artists ESP proudly endorses. These new guitars also have a great look and feel. These guitars are truly remarkable."

Arnold and DeVries started playing ESP guitars shortly before they recorded the band's 2001 debut, Pass Out of Existence. They've been endorsed by — which is industry lingo for "they get free stuff from" — the company ever since. But they were fans long before.

"This is something that's an honor for Matt and me," says lead guitarist Arnold. "I remember being 10, 11 years old and having pictures of the Metallica guys on my walls, and they were playing ESP guitars. So many things have happened to our band, but this is one of the biggest."

The Cleveland axemen customized the guitars, tweaking them for a sleeker style, easier functionality, and crunchier sound. Based on the M series, Arnold's LTD RA-600 has a floating tremolo bar with the volume knob moved to the tone position, allowing extra room for flying fingers. Designed for rhythm players, DeVries' LTD MFA-600 (short for Man/Matt From Ascension, his former band) sports a curvy Viper body like the Gibson SG, with one pickup and no whammy bar.

Priced around $1,000, the guitars will be in Sam Ash stores and available from ESP dealers by March.

"Fans of our music will probably appreciate these guitars more," says Arnold, "because they're built for playing the certain type of metal that we play."

Visit for pictures of the guitars and info about Arnold's upcoming instructional DVD and the band's next record.

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