Troy Van Leeuwen’s Fender Double-Neck Jazzmaster

Fender shares the story behind the Custom Shop Double-Neck Jazzmaster that they built for Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen.

Fender Double-Neck Jazzmaster

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This “offset” body double-neck guitar combines the electric XII and 6-string Jazzmaster, co-designed by Van Leeuwen and built by master builder Paul Waller.

The idea for building the guitar came about when Troy found himself playing 12-string guitar fairly often while recording his band’s 2013 album”…Like Clockwork”. So the idea came about for him to have a double-neck 12-string and 6-string guitar so he can switch to his parts conveniently without having to switch guitars within a song.

Van Leeuwen could have gone for other existing double-neck guitars, but he wanted something that utilizes the Jazzmaster shape. He set out to have one especially built for him, and met up with Paul Waller at the Custom Shop facility in Corona, California, in the summer of 2013.

Being a unique undertaking, Fender had video cameras in tow to document the whole process, from the brainstorming to the delivery of the instrument.

Troy is quoted saying, “I’m a function guy. Of course, I like stylish things too, but I really need a 12- and six-string guitar. It’s going to be easier for me to just play my music.” I’d have to disagree though, Troy is impressively stylish, and his fashion sense has translated into impressive aesthetic for his signature Jazzmaster guitar.

Speaking of his signature guitar, it was the instrument that Paul and Troy decided to bass the custom built double-neck on. Troy was specific in carrying over the Oxblood finish, red tortoiseshell pickguard and the headstock design.

Like other Custom Shop projects, the future owner provided his neck shape and pickup preferences. Paul Waller said, “I had to basically make him love two guitars at once. That was a challenge that I willingly accepted.”

Aside from crafting an incredibly stylish double-neck guitar, Waller adds a few nifty features including a 3-way switch that enabled all four pickups to be on simultaneously. One of the necks were also slightly angled to for easier transition between the 6-string and 12-string necks.

After months of work, Paul himself delivered the guitar to Troy at QOTSA’s studio while they were on break from tour. Needless to say, the resulting guitar is amazing and has been incorporated to his touring rig.

Now the question in my mind is – Will Fender be mass-producing more double-neck guitars in the future? I certainly hope so!

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