I recently had the opportunity to chat with guitarist Kragen Lum of the progressive thrash metal act Prototype about that one piece of gear he uses to obtain his signature sound. The band has been cranking it out since 1994 and they continue to do so on their latest release, Catalyst. Here is what Lum had to say about his ESP V-II guitar.

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Kragen: This is a difficult question to answer. It’s usually a combination of different pieces of gear that makes things unique… I would have to say that the sound all starts with the guitar, so if I had to pick one piece of gear it would be my ESP V-II guitar.

What about it makes it so important to you?
Kragen: I love the way that my ESP V-II plays and sounds. The neck feels great, the EMG 81 pickups sound clear and defined and the guitar is very comfortable to play because it’s balanced well when playing standing up.

What are the major pros and cons?
Kragen: It looks, feels and sounds great. There really aren’t any cons.

How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Kragen: I’ve had the ESP V-II for about 4 years. I have used this gear for pretty much all of the bands I play in during rehearsals and live shows. This guitar has been to more countries than most people have! I wouldn’t change anything about the guitar, but I would love to get a custom version of the same guitar with a Floyd Rose someday.

Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Kragen: ESP makes some pretty incredible guitars. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with them over the last 5 years and hope to work with them for many years to come.

Check out the ‘Catalyst’ promo video