Heavy Leather NYC Geezer Butler Signature and Magic Mushroom Guitar Straps
By Chris Loeffler |
Heavy Leather NYC Geezer Butler Vegan Signature and Magic Mushroom Guitar Straps
Putting the "Fun" in Functional...
By Chris Loeffler
Guitar straps, while a necessary accessory if you plan to stand while you play, don’t need to be just utilitarian- there’s nothing wrong with adding comfort and style to your playing experience and performance persona. Heavy Leather NYC knows this well, and caters to players looking for something that is additive to the playing experience and personalized, not just another strip of fabric to sling over your shoulder. With an extensive line of traditional (if ornate) leather straps and an expanding line of vegan strap for the animal lovers out there, the Heavy Leather NYC assortment covers all the bases.
I was shipped two very different straps from their line to evaluate, the Geezer Butler Signature vegan strap and the Limited Edition Magic Mushroom leather guitar strap, so let’s get to it.
Rockin’ Like the Geeze’
The Geezer Butler Signature strap is both a part of their Artist series and their Vegan line, and is the result of years of collaboration and experimentation with the Geeze’ to identify what he considers to be the ultimate touring strap, pliable like leather, comfortable shoulder contact, solid connection with the strap buttons of the guitar, and animal friendly, like the man himself (remember, he’s not the one who bit the bat’s head off).
The strap is made of canvas style sturdy weave over a vinyl backing and strap end tips that has been treated to have the suppleness and give of leather. Of course, the strap is black as midnight and, other than a tasteful Geezer logo printed in silver and the chrome studs and buckle, is an understated piece that’s deceptively simple. Only close inspection really allows appreciation of the craft and detail that goes into the construction of the strap.
It took less than five minutes of wear to feel the strap form to my shoulder and favored guitar position (drastically wearing in evaluation units the way I like isn’t really an option when you have to return them!) and the experience was certainly more akin to my experience with leather straps, which have a bit more of those form fitting, back-saving play in the material that really seems valuable as the second hour of playing with a heavy guitar strains your back. The straps and buckles are solid, and the strap weighs relatively little for how hefty it feels.
This Side Makes You Larger, This Side Makes You Small
The Heavy Leather NYC Limited Edition Magic Mushroom leather strap makes no bones about its psychedelic roots, with its trippy, intricate patterns in textured leather just begging to bloom and kaleidoscope for anyone in the “right” state of mind. The Magic Mushroom features a 2.75”, 5/6 oz flocked leather top that shines and reveals patterns as the light hits hit that is stitched to a thick, 2/3 oz solid black leather backing strap. The adjustment area of the strap is thoroughly overbuilt, with a heavy-duty metal buckle (chrome in the Silver/Black option, brass in the Olive Green option) that is the stuff of a poorly behaved child’s nightmares and an extra layer of thick leather padding reinforcing the metal eyelets for length adjustment.
I reviewed the Silver/Black version, which carries the same patterns as the Olive Green version (pictured to show details), but is much subtler and light dependent, as it can almost look pure black in poor lighting. While the width of the strap is typically pushing it for me given my medium frame, the leather wore in almost instantly and I found myself appreciating the additional distribution of weight rather than being aware of where or how it was sitting on my collar bone. No guitar slips were had, and the Magic Mushroom walked the line just right between having a bit of glide on the shoulder when changing positions neck without ever feeling like it would slide up or down the position I placed it at.
At $85 and $240, respectively, the Heavy Leather NCY strap line isn’t targeting people who just want a strap and want to move on. These are straps for people who value comfort, style, and a bit of edge. Yeah, music is about the sound, but if you believe prepping for a show involves more than a sink bath and pulling a dirty T-shirt over your head, why wouldn’t you care how your straps look and feel?
To Buy these Heavy Leather Straps
Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer.