Sometimes in life, things just work out perfectly. Like when the bones of your deceased uncle arrive from Europe so you can build a working electric guitar out of them rather than spending a month’s paycheck at Guitar Center on a new axe. That was the case for American YouTuber/musician Prince Midnight, who spends his days shredding on a guitar made of his uncle’s skeletal remains years after his passing.
A new report from Guitar World focused on Prince Midnight’s one-of-a-kind instrument details how the musician ended up with the guitar’s raw materials. The bones belonged to his late uncle Filip, who died back in the 1990s and was initially buried in a cemetery in Greece.
“After 20 years, he ended up in a cemetery my family had to pay rent on. Like, literally in a wooden box. It’s a big problem in Greece because orthodoxy religion doesn’t want people cremated,” Prince Midnight told the magazine. “So I got the box of bones from Greece and didn’t know what to do at first – bury them? Cremate them? Put them in the attic? All seemed like poor ways to memorialize someone who got me into heavy metal.”
Apparently, Prince Midnight had to go to great lengths to get his uncle’s remains shipped to him in the U.S., which included contacting the state department and state attorney’s office.
So, like any good nephew, Prince Midnight charged forward in his mission to use them as the foundation of an electric guitar once he finally acquired the bones. He even drew the interest from a pair of Dean Guitars employees to assist him in the process, but they backed out, leaving Prince Midnight to build the guitar with the bones by himself.
The result is a fully-functioning electric guitar appropriately named, “Filip Skelecaster”, which Prince Midnight uses to play black metal music.
“The hardest part about building an instrument is constructing it a way that it will stay in tune,” the innovative luthier continued. “You have to strum inside the rib cage, so there are no sweeping chords like Pete Townshend of The Who. You can only strum as wide as the ribs will allow. There’s a certain unexplainable quality to it.”
He continued, “I believe part of my uncle Filip is still there, literally and figuratively. Just a warm presence, maybe enjoying his next life as a totally metal guitar.”
Watch Prince Midnight play Darkthrone’s 1994 black metal song “Transilvanian Hunger” on his signature Filip Skelecaster below.
Prince Midnight – “Transilvanian Hunger” (Darkthrone Cover)
[Video: Prince Midnight]
[H/T Guitar World]