Kelliher performing live in 2014
|Birth name||William Breen Kelliher|
|Born||March 23, 1971|
|Genres||Heavy metal, progressive metal, sludge metal, stoner metal, groove metal, alternative metal, technical death metal, noisecore|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, vocals|
|Associated acts||Mastodon, Lethargy, Today is the Day, Butterslax, Lunchlady, Wake, Primate|
|Gibson Les Paul Custom
First Act Guitars
ESP Bill Kelliher and LTD BK-600
Influence and style
Kelliher only performs backing vocals in Mastodon. His harsh vocalism was largely applied in Mastodon’s earlier recordings, Remission, Leviathan and Call of the Mastodon, which he utilizes death growls. He shares guitar duties with Brent Hinds, playing mainly complex rhythm parts, although he occasionally plays solos, such as on "Sleeping Giant", or harmonized dual leads with Hinds, such as on "Black Tongue".
Equipment and style
Kelliher uses several guitars in Mastodon: his main guitar for a long time was a Gibson Les Paul Custom in a Silverburst finish. He used other Les Paul Customs in Ebony and Alpine White during the band's 2009 tour with Dethklok. He has also used three Gibson Explorers: a vintage Explorer CMT in tobacco burst and two more modern models in black and white. Kelliher has also used two custom Yamaha SBGs and a First Act custom 9-string Silverburst DC Lola, which was built for usage on Mastodon's album Crack the Skye. He also recently (02/2010) took delivery of a Morgan Guitar Works Bird of Prey - a silver futuristic Flying V. Kelliher used Laney amplification at one time (specifically, the VH100R head). After that, he played a Marshall JCM 800 Kerry King signature. Since 2010, Bill and his bandmate Brent Hinds went on playing the Orange Thunderverb series. He can also be seen playing through a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier in the bonus features of the Aqua Teen Hunger Horse Colon Movie Film for Theaters DVD. In 2013, Kelliher got a signature Gibson explorer, named "The Golden Axe". It has a mahogany body and neck, rosewood fretboard with figured acrylic trapezoid inlays, a gold burst finish and Lace Nitro Hemi humbucker pickups.
Kelliher's pedal board includes an Ibanez Tube King, a Boss TU-2 Tuner, an MXR M-135 Smart Noise Gate, and a Digitech Jamman Looper Pedal. Kelliher also uses an Audiotech Guitar Products Source Selector 1X6 Rack Mount Audio Switcher.
Like his bandmate Hinds, Kelliher also uses three tunings in Mastodon: D Standard on the Les Paul (E Standard down one whole step, D G C F A D), Drop C on the Yamaha SGB (Drop D down one whole step, C G C F A D), and another tuning similar to D standard, but with the sixth string tuned down to A (A G C F A D), on the Explorer.
In 2013 Kelliher collaborated with Lace Pickups on his own signature guitar pickups. Kelliher came to Lace to realize his vision of a sonically versatile humbucker pickup set with superior dynamic response, unparalleled sustain and impeccable tone. The resultant creation is called “Dissonant Aggressors”.
In June 2016 ESP Guitars announced that Kelliher had started endorsing their guitars and that they would be releasing 2 signature models for him, the high end ESP Bill Kelliher and the more affordable LTD BK-600. The guitars are both of the Eclipse body style with full thickness mahogany bodies with no waist cut, 3 piece mahogany set through necks with 22 fret ebony fretboards and 24.75 scale lengths. Hardware wise they feature locking tuners and Tone Pros tunomatic and stoptail locking bridges. They use Bills signature Lace Dissonant Aggressor pickups wired with a 3 way switch and single volume and tone knobs. They will be available in Military Green Sunburst Satin finishes with bound bodies and headstocks and ESP flag inlays.
Game of Thrones appearance
Kelliher along with Brann Dailor and Brent Hinds portrayed "wildlings" on season five, episode eight of Game of Thrones, which was filmed in Belfast in Northern Ireland. As previously reported, the band's original song "White Walker" is featured on the Game of Thrones mixtape Catch the Throne Vol. 2, but in the instance of their physical appearance, a press release from Reprise Records reports that the band was personally invited to participate in the show by Game of Thrones executive producer Dan Weiss, who is a fan of the band.
- It's Hard to Write with a Little Hand (1996) - Guitar
Today is the Day
- In the Eyes of God (1999) - Bass guitar
- Remission (2002) - Rhythm Guitar
- Leviathan (2004) - Rhythm Guitar
- Blood Mountain (2006) - Rhythm Guitar
- Crack the Skye (2009) - Rhythm Guitar
- The Hunter (2011) - Rhythm Guitar
- Once More 'Round the Sun (2014) - Rhythm Guitar
- "Gibson.com: Bill Kelliher Golden Axe Explorer". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Heavy Metal Guitar Pickups by Lace - Bill Kelliher's Signature set Dissonant Aggressors are based on the Nitro-Hemi with modifications for Bill Kelliher's killer Heavy Metal tone.". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "NAMM 2016: Friedman "Butterslax" Bill Kelliher Mastodon Signature Amp - gearnews.com". 22 January 2016.
- "BillKelliher - BillKelliher - The ESP Guitar Company".
- "Mastodon break out the big guns".
- "Mastodon Portray "Wildlings" on Game of Thrones". Retrieved June 1, 2015.