Flula Borg of Gibson conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Matt Heafy of Florida metallers TRIVIUM at the Musikmesse Frankfurt 2013 fair, which took place April 10-13 in Frankfurt, Germany. The four-minute chat, in which Matt talks about the freshly unveiled limited-edition Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom guitar, can be seen below.
Epiphone and Heafy recently introduced the limited-edition Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom and the limited-edition Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7 seven-string guitars, two new and totally killer original takes on the world-famous Les Paul. Designed in close collaboration with Matt Heafy, each limited-edition Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom reflects Heafy's distinctive approach to guitar, which has earned him and TRIVIUM scores of dedicated fans around the world.
The rule books on how-to-play a Les Paul go right out the window when Heafy plugs in and his revolutionary use of an Les Paul Custom seven-string is a breakthrough in contemporary metal and hard rock. Now, Matt Heafy joins an illustrious group of Epiphone artists like Slash, Frank Iero, Joe Bonamassa, and Zakk Wylde with the introduction of two signature models, the Epiphone limited-edition Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom and the limited-edition Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom-7.
Both Matt Heafy signature Les Pauls feature an all blacked-out ebony gloss finish that's especially striking on the sleek profile of a Les Paul custom. Like all great Les Pauls, both the Matt Heafy 6-string and 7-string limited-edition custom models feature a mahogany body with a plain maple veneer top, a time-tested combination that has gone virtually unchanged since the '50s. The mahogany neck has a fast 1960's SlimTaper "D" profile with a glued-in deep set neck joint with an "Axcess" heel for a smooth and easy reach to the upper frets. The scale length is 24.75" and the ebony fingerboard has a 12" radius and 22 medium jumbo frets and features pearloid block inlays, which seem to practically glow in the dark against the ebony finish.
The nut, which is also black, is cut to 1.68" on the limited-edition Matt Heafy Les Paul custom while the limited-edition Matt Heafy Les Paul custom-7 seven string features a 1 7/8" nut. The classic clipped dovewing headstock features the historic pearloid "split-diamond" Les Paul custom inlay and a vintage style "Epiphone" logo in white. The bell-shaped truss rod cover is black with a shadow of white binding and MKH Les Paul Custom in white silk screen. Each guitar features beautiful 7-ply white and black binding on the top and 5-ply binding on the headstock. The fingerboard features single ply white binding.
Says Heafy: "It is an honor and a privilege to call myself an Epiphone artist. Epiphone has given me the opportunity to craft exactly the kind of guitar I have always dreamed of: The Epiphone Matthew Kiichi Heafy Signature Les Paul Custom.
"The Matthew Kiichi Heafy Signature Les Paul Custom has been carefully designed over the last few years. My idea was to create a guitar that could withstand a brutal around the world tour schedule and also one that I would be able to record with in delicate technical proficiency.
"The inspiration model for the Epiphone MKH LPC was my very first Gibson Les Paul Custom that my father purchased for me when I was 12. That same guitar has been recorded on most TRIVIUM albums. Epiphone took all the dimensions and configurations of my Les Paul and we added to it a series of playability specifications that I had fine-tuned on the guitar over the years, including adding EMG 81/85 pickups and an Axcess heel (to achieve an easier playability at the highest frets). With those little modifications and a base-modeling of my original LPC — the guitar was complete.
"The Epiphone Matthew Kiichi Heafy Les Paul Custom is an instrument built with the intent that the same instrument I play live and in-studio would be the same that any guitar player could afford. I stand behind the guitar and am proud to call Epiphone my home."