Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has recently confirmed that that neither he nor other musicians involved in the Fender's promotional Game of Thrones themed video were remunerated for their time and effort.
The video, which featured Ian alongside Nuno Bettencourt, Tom Morello, and Brad Paisley, showed the musicians playing three Custom Shop models from Fender's Sigil Collection, which were inspired by the sigils of the noble houses in the popular fantasy series. The guitars were all hand-made by Fender Custom Shop Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn, and each one would cost between $25,000 and $35,000.
During a recent fan Q&A session during Steel City Con, Ian stated that he and the other musicians were all under the impression that they would be able to keep the guitars they played in the video. However, the reality was quite different. Ian explained (as transcribed by via Killer Guitar Rigs):
"We all thought that was going to be the thing at the end of the session, that we would each get to have the one we played, but no, because usually that's what happens, and no, it didn't happen. And then I'll let you in on a little secret: so a couple of weeks later, we all get a very nice email from Fender… And I have nothing bad to say about Fender. I play Jackson guitars and EVH amps; it's all under the Fender umbrella, and they've treated me very fantastically over the years."
"And we all get this very nice email about how many millions of views this thing has gotten, and how many of these custom very expensive, very expensive…”
"And they sold a shit ton of these custom-built guitars based on this video, that they're like, 'Thank you so much for doing this for us', and all that."
Commenting on Nuno Bettencourt's reaction to said email, Ian added: "So I get a text from Nuno, not five minutes after these emails — they obviously emailed everybody involved at the same time — and he's like, 'These motherfuckers', he goes, 'I just did the math, they made about 9 million dollars on the fucking video we made and they couldn't even give us a guitar!' And I'm like, 'Hey, brother, you're preaching to the choir, I'm with you.' Again, I love Fender but dammit, I want one of those."
It is worth noting that the Game of Thrones video has been viewed over 40 million times on YouTube, and it has undoubtedly helped to boost sales of the Sigil Collection guitars.