Video – Ian Schneller on the TAR Aluminum Guitar

Ian Schneller tells John Lombardo of Smashed Plastic about the development of his Aluminum body guitars, from the first one made for the band TAR.

Filmed and Edited by Milk Products Media

Live Footage of TAR 1992 by David Bychowski 

Produced and Directed by John Lombardo 

Copyright 2022


Ian Schneller:  “People ask for the weirdest stuff. And if you’re a weirdo who makes weird stuff, that’s your job.

It was, a – twinkle of inspiration. To do something a little differently.  

He didn’t really know what he was asking for.  I mean he wanted something durable.

He’d had an aluminum pickguard made for the Dan Electro, which withstood his onslaught of musicality. And, so he suggested aluminum and that’s when we arrived at the idea of making an aluminum guitar. 

He wanted a lipstick pickup from his Silvertone. So that was his recipe. And I just embedded it, imbued it, into an aluminum Tele body.  

John wanted a serialized headstock veneer I remember. It seemed cute at the time. I went with 00.  I mean it wound up being number 1.  [Of Specimen’s numbered and serialized products].

So there it is, in my ledger. Now, [2022] …I’m at …[serial number]  860 something.  —Which is crazy right?  Specimen Custom Aluminum Tar Guitar

Aside from the, Kramers and Vellinos, Travis Beans, etcetera…  There was nothing else like it.

The metal body seemed justifiable and like a good solution to John’s issues for durability.

You know, from a tonal standpoint, it seemed obvious to me that for a solid-body instrument that it was an obvious home run. 

And it was. It’s got a sustain and a durability that is unparalleled. 

In fact, I garnered a number of commissions, from people who wanted similar instruments, after they [TAR] started using them. 

I couldn’t be more proud that he’s still using it.

I mean, what you want, as a creator is to have, three decades plus, onward, to have someone still plying their wares, using your utility item.

That’s a great thing. I couldn’t ask for more.”