Fender announces collaborations with Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien and bassist & producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen - InsideAudio

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27 Nov 2017

Fender announces collaborations with Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien and bassist & producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

27 Nov 2017
instruments/stringinstruments Fender announces collaborations with Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien and bassist & producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen


Fender announces artist series guitar designed in collaboration with Radiohead guitarist Ed O' Brien.

EOB Sustainer Stratocaster® Features Texas SpecialTM Single-Coil Middle Pickup, Fernandes® SustainerTMUnit Complete with “Flower of Life” Emblem, Seymour Duncan® JB Jr Humbucking Bridge Pickup

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced a collaboration with Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien for his own artist series guitar: the EOB Sustainer Stratocaster®. Fender and O’Brien joined forces to produce a guitar that’s as enigmatic and entrancing as the musician’s storied six-string orchestration is. Equipped with a Fernandes® SustainerTMunit, O’Brien designed this guitar with the intention of helping players everywhere experiment, create and find their own diverse sound.


“I have played Fender guitars for a long time now, so it was an honor to collaborate and design an instrument with Fender. The initial idea for the EOB Sustainer Strat actually came from a dream I had,” said Ed O’ Brien. “I’ve so enjoyed working closely with the entire Fender family from Alex Perez, Fender Senior Master Builder, and Neil Whitcher, Head of Artist Relations here in the U.K., and the team who built it down in Ensenada. We have put together a really beautiful guitar, that is extremely versatile and capable of making some truly extraordinary sounds.

O’Brien road tested and showcased the EOB Sustainer Stratocaster on the Radiohead ‘Moon Shaped Pool’ world tour throughout 2016 and 2017. It’s versatility seamlessly opened the door to soniccreativityon tracks,such as “Kid A,” “Idioteque,” “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” “Ful Stop,” “15 Step,” “Pyramid Song,” “All I Need,” “The Gloaming,” and “Burn the Witch.” More importantly, the guitar’sversatility has enabled him to switch between experimental tones and more ‘traditional’sounds required on these songs without having to change instruments.

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The hardware includes a Seymour Duncan® JB Jr. humbucking bridge pickup, a Fender Texas SpecialTMsingle-coil middle pickup, and a Fernandes® SustainerTM unit in the neck position. The unit sustains a fifth up, in unison and the octave up. O’Brien has used a Fernandes Sustainer unit in a Clapton Stratsince 2000, allowing him to make sounds not usually associated with a guitar but a synth.

“Ed is an innovative and influential guitar player,” adds Justin Norvell, Senior Vice President, Fender Products. “We both felt it was important to present the guitar community with a new instrument"

“Ed is an innovative and influential guitar player,” adds Justin Norvell, Senior Vice President, Fender Products. “We both felt it was important to present the guitar community with a new instrument worthy of his catalogue and creativity. It’s very much a 21stcentury electric guitar with multiple dimensions of sound, allowing for creative sonic texturing and atmospheric layering that make for great guitar tones. Ed worked extensively with us on it and was extremely hands-on throughout the two- year process. We collectively aimed to preserve his attention to detail and tone with a product that captured what he was looking for. Ed’s goal was to create a tool of inspiration, for players to discovernew sounds and find their own voice on this instrument.”

Fender teams up with bassist and producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen to create artist signature series JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass.

Latest Addition To Fender Artist Signature Series Embodies Vintage-Inspired Tone, Look And Feelof JMJ’s Treasured ’66 Mustang Bass


Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the JMJ Road Worn® Mustang® Bass, the latest addition to the Fender Artist Signature Series that debuted at Summer NAMM 2017. Evocative of JMJ’s (Justin Meldal-Johnsen) versatile music background, the bass is modeled after his own vintage 1966 Daphne Blue 4-string Mustang Bass. Often working behind the scenes, JMJ has used his prized Mustang Bass and diverse talents – from playing to producing – to make a big impact on the modern rock genre in collaboration with countless acclaimed artists.

A Los Angeles native, JMJ has toured for years playing with many acts, namely as the bassist for many ofBeck’s most notable records and tours. JMJ has a remarkable track record as a session and touring musician for dozens of artists like Air and Nine Inch Nails, as well as a producer and collaborator for artists like M83, Frank Ocean, Paramore, Blood Orange, Jimmy Eat World, Goldfrapp, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Tegan and Sara, Ladytron, Young the Giant, Tori Amos, Garbage, Wolf Alice, School of Seven Bells, Cass McCombs, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and The Naked & Famous – often wieldinghis treasured ’66 Mustang Bass, as an immediate extension of his body and musical voice onstage and in-studio.

“The whole project was really enjoyable from start to finish,” Meldal-Johnsen said. “Basically, it all began with a casual conversation, when I expressed to the Fender folks that it seemed like we could fulfill a need in Fender’s line-up for a more vintage-spec Mustang bass. Turns out, they felt exactly the same. We got excited and started talking more in-depth, and they quickly formulated the mission: let’smake a more definitive short-scale offset bass that’s at a good price point with the right touches, and to honor how important the Mustang bass is, both historically and currently.”

The JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass highlights the resurgence in popularity of offsets. Originally crafted by Leo Fender as a student model, respected professional musicians like JMJ have gravitated toward the offset bass as a roadworthy tool suited for both studio and on-stage gigs.

“Fender has enjoyed a close relationship with JMJ for about 20 years – from his work with Ima Robot, Beck and Nine Inch Nails, to his current role as an in-demand producer,” said Justin Norvell, SVP FenderProducts. “He not only possesses amazing musical chops, but also has insanely detailed ears. His original‘66 Mustang Bass was his go-to instrument, so we were interested in what made it special to him and sound so unique. Although the Mustang bass was once thought of as a student model, this bass is anything but that! We were able to aesthetically and tonally distill what made JMJ’s bass tick, and arehonored to have worked together to bring this Road Worn Mustang Bass to the world!”

The JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass is equipped for a variety of musical settings, and features a vintage- style look and feel. The road worn aspect recreates the wear of the original, while the old school hardware, thumb rest and lollypop oval-shaped tuners all evoke 60s Fender nostalgia. Designed for comfort and speed, the bass is powered by a custom-spec split-coil pickup, 30” scale, and modern 9.5”- radius fingerboard.

In true tradition, Fender’s Artist Signature Series models honor popular and iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of theworld’s greatest guitarists and bassists.

Go to www.fender.com for more information.

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