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Mickael Gordon "Mick" Thomson (born November 3, 1973), or known by his number #7, is an American musician, best known as being the lead guitarist for the Grammy winning metal band Slipknot.

Biography

Mick Thomson is one of the guitarists for Slipknot. Thomson was born in Des Moines, Iowamarker. In his youth, he performed in bands such as Body Pit. Thomson joined Slipknot in 1996, replacing the band's guitarist, Craig Jones, who then became the band's sampler. He shares rhythm and lead guitar roles with bandmate Jim Root.

Thomson expresses his pseudonym as #7 more than most members of Slipknot. For example, as well as being credited with the number in the liner notes of albums he has recorded, he also has the word "seven" tattooed on his left arm, and features the word "seven" on the designs all of his custom Ibanez guitars, and on all of his Ibanez MTM1's. Outside Slipknot, Thomson has taught guitar lessons at Ye Olde Guitar Shoppe, a local music shop in Des Moines, and has appeared on Malevolent Creation's album Doomsday X. He also made a guest appearance in the music video for Lupara's "No Pity on the Ants".

According to Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor, Thomson is an avid writer of poetry, loves cats, and has a fascination with serial killers. On the topic of the latter, Thomson himself has stated, "If I were a famous killer, I'd take some of the finer points of quite a few of them- Albert Fish and Ed Gein spring to mind. But I'm not a violent person by nature. Don't fuck with me, and you'll be fine."

Mick has a number of tattoos on his body: he has the word "嫌惡" on his right arm (which means "detest" and "disgust" in Mandarin and "HATE" in Japanese), the word "Seven" on his left forearm, a "demon attempting to rape an angel" on his shoulder (actually artwork from Immolation's first album Dawn of Possession), on his other shoulder a morbid angel tattoo by Paul Booth, an inverted cross on his upper back, "Slipknot" going down his right calf, and the Zodiac sign for Scorpio on his left calf.

Masks

Mick Thomson performing at the Allstate Arena in Illinois on January 30, 2009
During Slipknot's demo tape and self titled era, Thomson wore a hockey mask that had six circular holes in the mouth area which was a mottled green color. The mask represented hate. In Iowa, Thomson wore a leather mask that looked like metal and had slits in the mouth area. In Vol. 3, he wore a silver mask that had the same slits, but they were longer and the eyes were altered, making it look more aggressive and featuring an evil grin. Thomson's recent mask (for All Hope Is Gone) had the same appearance and is truly metallic.

Technique

Thomson commonly employs an extremely fast and accurate alternate picking technique, also implementing pinch harmonics into his work. He also utilizes sweep picking on occasion. He has admitted he found influence in bands such as Racer X, stating that it gave him something to strive for when he was young; Paul Gilbert of Racer X is also an advocate of alternate picking.

Other characteristics in his playing includes tremolo picking passages, and dropped tunings.

Equipment

Guitars

Thomson was a long time player and endorsee of B.C. Rich Guitars until late 2004, and he had previously designed a signature model with this company based on their Warlock model. According to Thomson, he stated that the reason he left B.C. Rich was because they were not giving him the instruments that he needed.

In 2004, Thomson moved to Ibanez, with whom he designed his own Ibanez MTM1 and MTM2 Signature Models. The MTM1 is a higher priced model, which features a mahogany body with a fixed Edge bridge, jumbo frets, custom "seven" inlay, black hardware, reversed headstock, and active Seymour Duncan Blackout humbuckers. It is available in black or blood red finishes, while the MTM2 is a more affordable version. It features Ibanez V7 and V8 pickup, and has no inlays.

Thomson also has a signature Ovation acoustic/electric guitar, labeled the MT37. It features a textured black finish, Thomson's signature seven inlay, a custom ultra-thin neck, a deep contour body with spruce top and rounded bowl back, OP Pro preamp, and Ovation's High Output pickup.

Mick Thomson's current tour guitars include:

  • Ovation MT37-5 Signature Acoustic
  • Ibanez MTM1 - Black with white binding
  • Ibanez MTM1 - Red with black binding
  • Ibanez MTM1 - White with black binding
  • Ibanez MTM Prototype - Black with white binding (features a standard headstock, instead of the reversed headstock of the MTM1)


  • Ibanez MTM Custom - Green with black pickguard & black binding; features and EMG single coil between the Blackout humbuckers
  • Ibanez Tele Custom - Telecaster-style body; vintage sunburst with passive Seymour Duncan pickups (JB in bridge and Classic Stack in neck)
  • Custom Shop BC Rich Warlock - Mahogany body, maple neck through with binding all around the body, neck and headstock, and HATE inlays 2nd-5th fret and MICK inlay on 12th fret.
  • Custom Shop BC Rich Bich - Arch top, maple neck through mahogany body construction with white binding with HATE inlays 2nd-5th fret and MICK inlay on 12th fret.


  • Unofficial Markmax Signature - Mahogany body, maple neck, neck-through construction, Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups, and black hardware. Manufactured in White and Black. Only 5 manufactured.


Pickups

  • Seymour Duncan


  • ABH-3 Blackouts EMTY Mick Thomson Signature models
  • ABH-1 Blackouts Neck and Bridge set
  • JB
  • Classic Stack


  • EMG


  • 81
  • 60
  • 89


Amplification

Thomson is currently using the Rivera KR-7 amp model and its matching speaker cabinet. The KR-7 is Thomson's signature model amplifier and features his trademark Seven logo. It was based on the Rivera Knucklehead Reverb amps that Thomson had previously been using, but the KR-7 was fine-tuned by Thomson and Paul Rivera to capture the punchy midrange and enhanced low-end frequencies that suited Thomson's aggressive, detuned playing style.

Other amplification used by Mick include:

  • VHT Pitbull
  • Marshall JMP-1 preamp


  • Mesa power amp
  • Carvin speaker cabinets


Effects

To avoid problems with pedals being damaged during live performances, Thomson keeps his effect pedals in a rack along with his amplifiers and his tech controls them through a pedalboard sidestage. The pedal controller allows him to change between different effect pedals and amplifiers. He also uses a FURMAN voltage regulator to power, protect and stabilize his system.





Discography



With Slipknot



Other appearances



Filmography



References

  1. OpiumofthePeople.net - New Slipknot Masks - Mick Thomson - #7 Profile, Guitar, Slipknot Member Profiles - A Slipknot Fan Site - Opium of the People



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