Lionheart is a Masai MS8b, the inspiration for which being a true reflection of its owner Ole Henrik Eriksen: Stoic and metal-focused on the exterior but with the sprit of Norwegian pride resting just below the surface. With this in mind, the concept was to have a very clean minimalist aesthetic and function but with the running themes of Norwegian colors and iconography in every component.
Very early in the process, Ole approached me with the idea of an "underpainting" similar to the white base coat on the CreamSickle but with a full Norwegian flag underneath the top color instead. Needless to say I was enamoured with the idea as well as the understanding that as the finish would wear with time, it would slowly reveal its "true colors." To echo this theme in the neck as well, the paper-thin maple laminates were stained red and blue prior to being glued up. These subtle pinstripes coupled with the plain maple main laminates fill out the colors of the flag. To complete the theme, the axe-wielding lion inlay was taken from the royal crest and cut from solid metal to almost appear as embellishments on a suit of armor.
The electronics were thought out in a very similar vein as the ideas for the rest of the guitar. The straight-forward EMG 808X pair is seemingly controlled by only two knobs. However, the master volume control has our Rapid-FIre push/push pickup switch which transitions from neck to bridge pickup with a tap, and the master tone hides a custom-modded EMG PA2 preamp wired to a push/push pot for an instant boost in gain and attack.