October 22, 1993

Chicago Tribune

Schneller’s Fine Specimens Strike a Chord
by David Rothschild

Specimen Products, former Shrimp Boat guitarist Ian Schneller’s one-man custom guitar building and repair operation, is stepping up production. Schneller’s industrial, aluminum-bodied electric guitars, which appeared in Ministry’s “New World Order” video and figured prominently on the cover of Tar’s “Clincher” album” are prized by Chicago rock purists for their quality and no-frills appearance.

Chicago Tribune features Ian Schneller and Specimen ProductsAbout four years ago, Tar’s John Mohr asked Schneller to build an indestructible guitar. “We thought metal might be nice, so I started toying with ways to bolt together a hollow aluminum body with bracing inside. Since then, the design has evolved considerably,” recalls Schneller. Specimen guitars take six to seven months to make and sell for $1,500 to $2,000, depending on the amount of customization.

Schneller’s attention is equally divided between Specimen Products and his new band, Falstaff, which includes bassist Mitch Straeffer and drummer Tom Jasek (who had a brief stint with Shrimp Boat). Falstaff will perform at the Empty Bottle Annex’s grand opening festival on October 29, and also will perform a showcase set at New York’s College Music Journal’s Music Marathon on November 5.