Bill Kelliher
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Bill Kelliher
Bill Kelliher
Mastodon-Rock im Park 2014 by 2eight DSC7631.jpg
Kelliher performing live in 2014
Background information
William Breen Kelliher
Born (1971-03-23) March 23, 1971 (age 48) Rochester, New York, United States
GenresHeavy metal
Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, bass, vocals
Mastodon, Lethargy, Today is the Day, Lunchlady, Wake, Primate

Bill Kelliher (born March 23, 1971) is a musician from Atlanta, Georgia, best known as rhythm guitarist of heavy metal band Mastodon. He is a native of Victor, New York.

Influence and style

Kelliher performs a number of different roles within Mastodon. These include backing vocals during live performances, complex guitar parts and occasional lead guitar. Also running the samples and ambiance in between and during songs, for that he utilizes a Jamman looper. He shares guitar duties with Brent Hinds, playing mainly complex rhythm parts, although he occasionally plays solos, such as on "Sleeping Giant", and harmonized dual leads with Hinds, such as on "Black Tongue". On June 12, 2007, Hinds and Kelliher won the Metal Hammer Golden Gods award for best shredders,[1] Mastodon's first ever award. Mastodon won a Grammy for "Best metal performance" for the song Sultans Curse in 2018

Equipment and style

Bill Kelliher, Burgerweeshuis, Deventer 2007

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, Kelliher 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 Force 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.[1]

Kelliher's pedal board includes A Line 6 HELIX 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, the "Dissonant Aggressors."[2]

At NAMM 2016 Friedman Amplification launched a signature amp for Kelliher called the Butterslax.[3]

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 Kelliher's 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.[4]

Personal life

William Breen Kelliher is an Irish citizen, he holds dual citizenship with the United States and Ireland. Kelliher's father is an Irish immigrant who, in his teenage years, moved to the U.S from Killorglin, County Kerry, Ireland. He is married and the father of two boys.[5]

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.[6]


Bill Kelliher performing in 2011.


Today is the Day


In an appearance on Loudwire's YouTube show Resource: Fact or Fiction?, Kelliher expressed his incredulity that he has ever provided any vocals on any of Mastodon's studio albums.[7]


  1. ^ a b " Bill Kelliher Golden Axe Explorer". Retrieved 2014.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "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". Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "NAMM 2016: Friedman "Butterslax" Bill Kelliher Mastodon Signature Amp -". 22 January 2016.
  4. ^ "BillKelliher - BillKelliher - The ESP Guitar Company".
  5. ^ "Mastodon break out the big guns".
  6. ^ "Mastodon Portray "Wildlings" on Game of Thrones". Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ Loudwire. "Mastodon's Bill Kelliher - Resource: Fact or Fiction?" – via YouTube.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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