Why DevilDriver’s Mike Spreitzer Uses a Guitar Made by a Hedge Fund Manager
But it's not made by just any hedge fund manager. The hobbyist luthier in question is Michael Burry, the investor played by Christian Bale in the 2015's The Big Short. Burry made his name betting against the subprime market ahead of the 2007–2008 financial crisis.
But why would Spreitzer end up with, and even frequently play, a guitar made by a hedge fund manager? Well, as it turns out, Burry actually knows how to build one hell of a custom axe. And the DevilDriver member is willing to put down his trusty ESP V Series and Eclipse Series guitars every now and then for a souped-up instrument that's one of a kind.
The two first met because Burry is a DevilDriver fan. When the investor at one point mentioned the Dez Fafara-led metal band in his Twitter bio, he and Spreitzer connected online. Their conversation led to the investor sharing about his craft and the musician accepting one of his guitars.
"We talked about my ESPs and why I prefer to play Vs live and Eclipse models when I'm in my studio," Spreitzer explained to Guitar World. "He told me that he's built guitars in the past as a hobby and usually gives them away to friends. He mentioned that he was looking for a new hobby and The Suicide King guitar would probably be his best."
The Suicide King is a golden-hued, Tele-style guitar that features a lightweight alder wood body and a two-piece roasted quartersawn hard maple neck with a soft-V to D profile. (See some photos below.) The guitar has two custom humbucker pickups created by Burry himself, a Fury Alnico 8 bridge pickup and a Blur Alnico 4 in the neck position. There are also Hipshot tuners, a hardtail bridge and 22 jumbo stainless steel frets.
In other words, the instrument has the kind of top-tier specifications equivalent to a high-dollar guitar built by a major guitar company's custom shop.
Still, Spreitzer admitted to some early doubt about Burry's guitar. "Part of me was expecting a guitar that would end up permanently on my wall," he said. "I've been playing high-end ESPs for so many years that I've become a bit of a snob when it comes to quality."
Regardless, when the musician first sat down with The Suicide King, he was "amazed," he added. "It was different to anything I currently own, in a wonderful way. … I was equally impressed when I plugged it in."
Perhaps listeners will get to hear the impressive sounds of The Suicide King on an upcoming DevilDriver album. Last year, the group released the first volume of a multi-album project called Dealing With Demons. A second installment is expected to follow.