Phil Manansala’s Aristides Collection Rundown

Everyone loves some good old-fashioned gratuitous custom guitar photography, & our friend Phil Manansala was happy to oblige. We’re excited to provide some detail on the creative process behind designing a unique custom guitar & hopefully give you some inspiration.

Of Mice & Men’s Phil Manansala is a key factor behind the band’s heavy & anthemic sound, having spent over a decade touring stadiums & releasing Billboard-charting albums.

Phil has been fantastic to work with as an artist, his positive attitude & larger-than-life design concepts are invaluable to Aristides, which is why we’re now focusing on the guitars he’s taken on Of Mice & Men’s current European tour. It’s time to run down the Phil Manansala Aristides collection!

All photography provided by Nick Roehm.

Phil's Tour Guitars

Camo Chameleon 070

This is a great guitar to start with. We recently started painting Camo finishes, & Chameleon is a classic Aristides staple; one of our first “must-have” finishes. It only makes sense to combine them into a single striking guitar that takes on a new life from every angle. But what does camo need? Plastic toy soldiers! These classic colors & poses adorn the entire fretboard from the 3rd to 24th fret with unique variations in each position. A perfect complement to the color scheme that really brings the entire build together. This 070 highlights the many layers of the creative process. Check out Of Mice & Men’s music video for ‘Warpaint’ to see the Camo Chameleon in action.

Black Raw 060R

Sometimes you just need a rock-solid workhorse! Phil needs a stable of guitars both for backups on the road & to cover the wide variety of tunings used by Of Mice & Men. Black Raw is a popular choice for its stealthy look. It was a welcome addition to our initial Raw lineup which originally only offered a dark grey Anthracite as the darkest finish. The exposed-bobbin zebra pickups give this 060R a rock & roll edge.

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Jurassic 060S

We may get more questions about this guitar than any other. Instantly recognizable, & with a fretboard that makes you look twice, Phil’s idea for a dinosaur-themed 060S continually blew us away as it took shape throughout the entire build process. As an added bonus, the 060S’ multiscale layout not only has tonal, ergonomic, & setup benefits – its angle matches the ‘jaws’ of the dinosaur for a stunning display of teeth across the entire fretboard. The solid color fade & patterned headstock help give this guitar a very different affectation depending on where you look, as opposed to the more “wraparound” look of the Camo Chameleon.

Purple Sky 060

This is absolutely a favorite around the shop. While the concept may seem a little more straightforward, a stormy sky, this beautiful 060 combines our popular Shattered & Fade finishes into an elegant purple gradient with a deep textured look. Believe it or not – the lightning inlay is a lot of work! It’s a huge part of the design process for this type of build. While it may be a little subtler than dinosaur teeth, the intricate line work requires a lot of precision to maintain a clean look.

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Rainbow 070S

There’s no dodging the blue shell! Phil’s Rainbow build immediately conjures memories of marathon gaming competitions on the family couch after school… Or during some late nights in college. Or on the tour bus, a few days ago. It’s ok, we don’t judge. This ambitious build obviously posed some challenges for our paint team, but it’s the small details throughout that really bring the concept to life & make this Rainbow 070S an art piece in addition to an instrument. Make sure to check out all of the detail shots in our gallery.

Finding Your Own Inspiration

So what’s your dream Aristides build? We often talk to customers who aren’t exactly sure what they’re looking for. They know what pickups they want, or what colors they like in general, but they need a little something to make their build extra special to them. 

As you can see here: you can’t really go wrong! Phil needed reliable guitars that would sound great for the studio & stage, but he wanted to have some fun with them too. You can take inspiration from a favorite movie, a video game, an existing finish type like camouflage, or even a concept like the sky. 

Of course, this is our favorite part of building guitars; making sure that every build is unique & caters to the players exact needs so that they have a beautiful instrument that will last a lifetime of music. So don’t hesitate to ask us for help! If you give us a jumping off point, I’m sure we can help you spec out your dream guitar.

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The Guitars

Aristides Baritone Six String 060B 27 Inches
The long-awaited 27" baritone 6 string 060B has completed development & you can get in on the first batch of custom orders right now. Learn more about the 060B.
The official Aristides merch drop.
Need a new Aristides, but right now? Skip the wait in our store. We strive to make as many stock guitars available as possible. New Marble builds just added!