Signature Gear Showcase: Chris Shiflett and Nate Mendel

Dave is not amused as Nate and Chris share a moment

How’s it been music fans? Thanks again for heading on over to the PAL blog but today I’d like to spend some time to take a look at two new exciting releases from the guys over at Fender and Foo fans should be particularly thrilled about this one. That’s right, Fender has finally decided to give Foo Fighters bass player Nate Mendel and Foo guitarist Chris Shiflett the ol’ Gibson to Dave Grohl treatment in the form of their own signature instruments! Chris Shiflett’s comes in the form of a customized version of his ’72 Telecaster Deluxe while Mendel’s was modeled after his tried and true ’71 Precision Bass. But before we get into the finer points of their new signature weapons, let’s take a little time to get to know the two guys as well.






Get To Know The Guys


Chris Shiflett

Chris seen here with his '72 Deluxe Telecaster

I would be doing the man a great disservice if I didn’t start by mentioning that Shiflett is way more than just a one band man. Hands down one of the busiest guitarists in the business – much like his fellow band member Dave – Shiflett doesn’t only masterfully kill solos with the Foo but is also a member of punk rock outfits No Use For A Name and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. And if that weren’t enough to prove that this guy can certainly rock with the best of them, Shiflett shows that he’s just as much a country kind of guy as he is a punk rock maniac in the form of his country-oriented side project, Chris Shiflett and the Dead Peasants.

Shiflett Joined the Foo Fighters way back in 2001 after the band finished the recording of their third album There is Nothing Left to Lose. At the time, the Foo had fired lead guitarist Franz Stahl who earlier joined the band after the departure of original guitarist Pat Smear. Although the band was touring as a three piece by then, they held auditions for a replacement. In came Shiflett and the rest is rock history. Dave Grohl later revealed that Shiflett got the job due to his extensive underground punk scene credentials which included opening for Grohl’s former bad Scream as the bassist of the band Rat Pack.




Nate Mendel

Nate along with his tried and true '71 P Bass

Just as much of a hard rocker as he is loyal, Mendel is one of three original members currently in the Foo Fighters and – along with Dave Grohl – the only member who has been there throughout their entirety (guitarists Pat Smear quit but later returned). Much like the rest of his busy bandmates, Mendel is also a member of multiple bands including The Jealous Sound and The Fire Theft but is probably best known for – aside from his position in the Foo Fighters – his membership in Sunny Day Real Estate; a Seattle based band that began playing emo rock before the genre had even been properly defined. He came close to leaving the Foo Fighters during the first reunion of SDRE but decided against it pretty much the next day and instead chose to play in both bands.

An adamant lover of punk rock, Mendel first got into music at the young age of 13 when he picked up the violin. Not going as well as he’s hoped, he soon switched over to bass and kept at it ever since. In a piece written for Metal Hammer Presents…, Mendel he attributes his self-taught style to the bands of his day: "It was all hardcore punk rock, like Minor Threat, Black Flag and Bad Brains. Instead of studying the bass playing of someone like John Entwistle, which would have given me a foundation of how to play. I just wanted to play a lot of notes really fast.”

Not only does this guy play music but he’s dabbled a bit in the thespian arts as well. In 2005, Mendel scored a role in the indie movie Our Burden is Light where he took on the role of the main character’s best friend’s boyfriend who just happened to be a bass player. Interestingly enough, his character’s fictional band, Bleeder, also consisted of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.



Alright, and now it’s time to check out the new gear…  


Get To Know The Goods


FENDER Chris Shiflett Telecaster Electric Guitar Rosewood Arctic White

If there is one thing you can say about this guitar – it sure looks nice! Sounds just as great, too. Big, fat sound and the signature feel of a Tele is what Shiflett is all about and that’s exactly what you get with this axe. With a full alder body and that signature single-cut shape, this Telecaster is modeled after Shiflett’s own ’72 Deluxe along with a very sleek Arctic White finish. Also included in this Deluxe Tele is a four-ply white pearl pickguard, a kick-ass pair of new custom-designed high-output humbucking pickups, a 12"-radius rosewood fingerboard for easy bends with low action, custom-stenciled hard-shell case, and Shiflett's signature on the headstock.



  • Body: Alder
  • Body Shape: Telecaster
  • Body Finish: Polyester



  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
  • Fretboard Radius: 12" (305 mm)
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Neck Finish: Urethane
  • Nut Width: 1.650” (42 mm)
  • Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm)
  • Headstock: Large '70s Style
  • Truss Rod Nut: Bullet Style



  • Pickup Configuration: H/H
  • Bridge Pickup: New CS1 Humbucking
  • Neck Pickup: New CS2 Humbucking
  • Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup
  • Controls: Volume 1. (Neck Pickup), Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)



  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Bridge: Hard Tail Strings-Thru-Body 6-Saddle Bridge
  • String Nut: Synthetic Bone
  • Tuning Machines: Vintage "F" Style Tuning Machines



  • Strings: Fender USA 250L, NPS, (.009-.042 Gauges)
  • Unique Features: 12" radius, new CS1 and CS2 humbucking pickups, black hard-shell case stenciled with Shiflett's name



  • Case/Gig Bag: Standard Black Hardshell Case
  • Pickguards: 4-Ply White Pearloid
  • Control Knobs: Skirted Amp Knobs




FENDER Nate Mendel P Bass Rosewood Candy Apple Red

Throughout a long career that started with hardcore punk and flourished first with Sunny Day Real Estate and then the Foo Fighters, there has really only been one main instrument for melodic yet hard-hitting bassist Nate Mendel--his 1971 Precision. Fender now brings you the Nate Mendel P Bass, modeled after his beloved, battle-hardened instrument.

The Nate Mendel P Bass shares the same subtly idiosyncratic and distinctive features as the original, with special body contours, extra-slim neck and nut width, a lightly worn Candy Apple Red finish with a black pickguard, a powerful Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound split single-coil pickup, Badass II bridge for rock-solid sustain and stability, and Mendel's signature on the headstock. It also comes with a spare neck plate engraved with a special hybrid Foo Fighters/Fender logo and a deluxe gig bag. 



  • Body: Ash
  • Body Shape: Precision Bass
  • Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer



  • Neck Shape: Slim "C" (based on Mendel's '71 Precision Bass)
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
  • Fretboard Radius: 7.25" (18.41 cm)
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Finish: Lacquer
  • Nut Width: 1.615" (41.02 mm)
  • Scale Length: 34" (86.36 cm)
  • Neck Plate: 4 Bolt "F" Neck Plate



  • Pickup Configuration: Single Split-Coil Pickup
  • Middle Pickup: Seymour Duncan SPB-3 Quarter Pound for P Bass



  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Bridge: Leo Quan Badass II
  • String Nut: Synthetic Bone
  • Tuning Machines: Vintage '70s Fender Stamped Open Gear Tuning Machines



  • Strings: Fender USA 7250M, NPS (.045-.105 Gauges)
  • Unique Features: Slim neck with smaller nut width, Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pickup, lightly Road Worn lacquer finish, extra neck plate included with "Fender/Foos" logo.



  • Case/Gig Bag: Gig Bag
  • Pickguards: 3-Ply Black/White/Black
  • Control Knobs: Knurled Chrome
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