November 20, 2013 - submitted by Jort, Netherlands

Q. I found out that at the beginning of the MX-tour Jonny played almost only Fender stratocasters, but later in the tour he started playing Fender telecasters in almost every song. Why did he change?


The Oracle replies:

Jort, I hand this over to the capable guitar tech hands of Matt McGinn:

"Well, this is sort of half-true. We used Stratocasters a lot early on during Mylo, but they never sounded as fat as the Tele's at gigs, which have humbucker pickups rather than the classic single-coils Strats usually come with.

In the end we reverted to the Tele's - 'Sunny', his fave, in particular - for most tunes, except Violet Hill (on which he's always played a 1974 Les Paul Deluxe) and God Put A Smile Upon Your Face. If you look at the live DVD footage from Paris Stade De France you'll see Jonny is playing 'Punky' on this track, which is a white, painted Strat with a Lollar Regal Humbucker fitted at the bridge position.

We did this so he can do all the nice Van Halen-y dive-bomb bits/feedback, etc. The whammy system has been doctored inside as well; it hardly ever goes out of tune, which is amazing if you look at what he's asking of it!

All clever stuff done by the good people at Noden Guitars of London, as always.

Unmodified Strats remained in use on the C-Stage throughout the tour however; they sounded pretty on the quieter numbers, when they were more out on their own and not competing with the big main-stage noise. These were hardtails, i.e. no whammy's.

Finally, the Tele's are actual Fenders but the Strats definitely aren't! They are Nash S63's, custom built by Nash Guitars, near Seattle, then hand-painted by graffiti artist Paris."

Thanks to Matt for this comprehensive answer.