Brent Hinds

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Brent Hinds
Mastodon-Rock im Park 2014 by 2eight DSC7683.jpg
Hinds performing live in 2014
Background information
Birth name William Brent Hinds
Born (1974-01-16) January 16, 1974 (age 43)
Pelham, Alabama, United States
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Genres Heavy metal, progressive metal, sludge metal, groove metal, stoner metal, alternative metal, alternative country
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter, Actor
Instruments guitar, vocals, banjo
Years active 1991–present
Labels Relapse, Reprise, Rocket Science
Associated acts Blue Eyed Devils, Fiend Without a Face, Mastodon, The Blood Vessels, West End Motel, Four Hour Fogger, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, Legend of the Seagullmen, Bevan Davies
Notable instruments
Gibson Flying V
Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
Gibson SG
Kevin Burkett Custom Flying V
First Act Guitars

Brent Hinds (born William Brent Hinds; January 16, 1974)[1] is an American guitarist/singer best known as a member of the Atlanta, Georgia metal band Mastodon, in which he shares guitar duties with Bill Kelliher and vocal duties with Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor.

Hinds is also lead guitarist/singer for the surfabilly band Fiend Without a Face, and is involved in other projects, including classic rock bands The Blood Vessels, West End Motel, Four Hour Fogger, The Last of the Blue Eyed Devils, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, and Legend of the Seagullmen.


In Mastodon's early years, Hinds would work as a full-time carpenter when not touring to promote the band.

Hinds left Alabama for Atlanta, Georgia in pursuit of a music career. It was at this time that he met Troy Sanders, a future member of Mastodon. According to Sanders, he "lived in his van for the next five years", becoming a member of Sanders' then band, Four Hour Fogger. The first practice he attended with this band he allegedly "showed up so wasted he couldn't even play".[2]

Once Four Hour Fogger fell apart, the two stuck together, eventually meeting Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher at a High on Fire concert in "their friend's basement". The four began a new musical venture with then singer Eric Saner, touring the southern USA, working 40-hour weeks and committing to the band in their spare time. The band's mainstream success would ensue after Saner left the band, pushing Hinds to the forefront not just as a guitarist, but as a vocalist also, the duties of which he would share with Sanders.

Hinds continues to concentrate on Mastodon, with the majority of his time spent touring or in the studio. He also enjoys promoting his lesser-known psychedelic rockabilly band Fiend Without A Face and his classic rock band The Blood Vessels. Hinds composed the score to Jonah Hex.[3]

On June 7, 2011 Hinds' projects Fiend Without a Face and West End Motel released a split-double CD debut studio album.[4]

In 2012, Hinds formed the supergroup Giraffe Tongue Orchestra with fellow guitarist Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan fame, Jane's Addiction former bassist Eric Avery and The Mars Volta former drummer, Thomas Pridgen.[5]


Hinds at Ursynalia 2012 Festival, Warsaw, Poland


Hinds favors Gibson Flying V's, typically in silverburst finishes, but also owns a wide variety of guitars including a Goldtop Les Paul, a Les Paul Florentine, a Lucite Flying V built by the Electrical Guitar Company, a Gibson SG, a Gibson SG Custom, Gibson Explorers, an Ampeg Dan Armstrong Plexi Guitar which was used in the video for "Oblivion," and a Michael Kelly Phoenix Hollowbody. He also has two custom First Act guitars: a 6-string used in the video for "Colony of Birchmen" (which has asymmetrical horns such as those seen on a Mosrite guitar, a Bigsby vibrato, silverburst finish, and a Mastodon logo inlaid on the headstock) and a 12-string DC Lola, also with a silverburst finish, used on the Unholy Alliance 3 tour to capture a fuller sound while guitarist Bill Kelliher was too ill to perform. Hinds owns a guitar similar to this one, though his has only nine strings. He also used a 1964 Fender Stratocaster and a 1952 Fender Telecaster while recording "Crack the Skye".

During live performances, Hinds favors his various Silverburst Flying V's. He often performs the solos and more melodic parts, whereas Bill Kelliher takes rhythm duties. As of 2014, Hinds has also added a PRS Starla to his collection, as seen in the Motherload video as well as live performances of the song. As revealed in the "Tune-Ups" section of the October 2007 issue of Guitar World, the two guitarists use three tunings: D Standard (E standard down one whole step, D G C F A D), Drop C tuning (Drop D tuning down one whole step, C G C F A D), and a third tuning similar to Drop C, but with the low E string tuned down to A (A G C F A D).

In April 2016 Epiphone Guitars announced a signature guitar for him based on his Silverburst Flying V Custom and featuring his signature Lace Hammer Claw pickups [6]


Hinds favors vintage style guitar straps with psychedelic prints. As of 2016 Hinds can be seen playing multiple custom Overdrive Straps retro and full leather guitar straps live.


Regarding amplifiers, in the past Hinds was featured in the Marshall magazine as a JCM 800 2203 player, though since 2010 has favored Orange's Thunderverb Series Amplifiers. As of 2014 he is using Marshall JMP series amplifiers and a Diezel VH-4.


On his pedal board, he currently uses a Boss Compressor CS-3, Boss Tuner TU-2, Monster Effects Mastortion, Ibanez Tube Screamer TS-9, Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler, Voodoo Labs Pedal Power, and the Enema FX Mingebox. In 2014 he was seen using a Boss Digital Delay (DD-6), an ISP Technologies Decimator, an MXR Phase 90, MXR GT-OD, an Ernie Ball VP Junior and a Dunlop 105Q bass wah.

Guitar Rig & Signal Flow[edit]

A detailed gear diagram of Brent Hind's 2010 Mastodon guitar rig is well-documented.[7]

Influence and style[edit]

Brent Hinds performing in 2009.

Originally playing the banjo, Hinds learned his "signature style" of fast hybrid picking by emulating banjo fingerings on guitar. He frequently utilizes the minor pentatonic, natural minor, and the harmonic minor scales in his playing as well as many hammer-ons, pull-offs, and legato slides. Hinds grew up listening to country, but when he entered his late teens he started listening to Neurosis and Melvins, bands that would have a profound influence on his musicianship. Hinds has also stated that he is a big fan of the progressive and psychedelic rock genres, especially from the '70s.[8]

On June 12, 2007, Hinds and bandmate Bill Kelliher won the Metal Hammer Golden Gods award for best shredders.[9]

Hinds was featured along with Kelliher on the cover of Guitar World's 300th issue alongside guitar legends like Jimi Hendrix, Angus Young, and Kirk Hammett.

Hinds performs clean and harsh vocals in Mastodon, where he shares lead vocal duties with Troy Sanders and more recently, Brann Dailor.

Personal life[edit]

Hinds has a strong affinity for smoking marijuana, through which he claims puts doubt on the narrative that America is a free country. In an online interview he confessed to smoking marijuana almost every day and has stated "They say that if, you know, terrorists and like the freedom haters wanna blow up America because we're so free but why don't they fucking turn Holland into dust because you guys are the freest people in the world?"[10]



Main article: Mastodon discography

Fiend Without A Face[edit]

  • Brent Hinds Presents: Fiend Without A Face & West End Motel (2011)

West End Motel[edit]

  • Brent Hinds Presents: Fiend Without A Face & West End Motel (2011)
  • Only Time Can Tell (2012)

Giraffe Tongue Orchestra[edit]

  • Broken Lines (2016)

Guest appearance(s)[edit]


External links[edit]