Playing Black Sabbath on Tesla coils with an iron guitar, standing in a Faraday suit

If you need me to explain why you should spend 1:26 watching a man wielding an iron guitar in a Faraday suit playing Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" on MIDI-compatible Tesla coils, you are in the wrong place, pal.

ArcAttack is performing a Tesla Coil version of Iron Man by Black Sabbath. The Guitar Player is using an iron guitar in a faraday cage

ArcAttack testing out the world's first lighting-proof MIDI guitar in their warehouse in Austin, Texas.

The MIDI signal from the guitar is routed through a fiber optic cable to control the Tesla coils.

Update: From the comments, ArcAttack clarifies, "The guitar isnt iron though, its actually made out of wood with shielding and a couple of micro-controllers hooked up to a switch bank (the fret board) and is all optically isolated. The giant fan in the back isn't for sucking ozone. It was 100 degrees that day and being in a metal suit can get pretty hot. And in reference to Manny's comment, our interview went as follows "THEM: What happens when something goes wrong? US: We have many safety controls to minimize any major problem. If something goes wrong we just turn it off. THEM: is lightning deadly? US: Lightning is very deadly, but our machines arnt nearly as dangerous as real lightning."

ArcAttack performs a Tesla Coil version of Iron Man by Black Sabbath with a Faraday Guitar (via Making Light)

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    1.  No, but they’ll sell you a Monster Cable they’re pretty sure conducts the electricity better than some other cable that’s under $15.

  1. If you need me to explain why you should spend 1:26 watching a man wielding an iron guitar in a Faraday suit playing Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” on MIDI-compatible Tesla coils, you are in the wrong place, pal.

    Perhaps the finest sentence of your career, Mr. Doctorow. 

  2. Obbidah-Obbidah-Obiddah-Obbidah – SPROING !!!!

    This is as good a reason as ANY for the internet to exist.

    1.  Ozzy would have done it without any suit while Chuck Norris would be crowd-surfing in a pool of piranhas…

  3. America’s Got Talent has a lot of artist interviews that boil down to

    “So, what happens if there is [some tiny mistake or defect in equipment]?”
    “I die horribly.”
    “And so why do you do it?”
    “Because I’m a Happy Mutant.”

  4. {Takes a deep breath….}
    captain beefheart and his magic band – electricity
    kiss – shock me
    shock the monkey – peter gabriel
    metallica – ride the lightning
    ac/dc – flick of the switch
    ac/dc – high voltage
    ac/dc-thunderstruck
    ramones – gimme shock treatment
    kraftwerk – electric café
    black sabbath – electric funeral
    debbie gibson – electric youth
    the buzzcocks – my love battery
    eddy grant – electric avenue
    robert palmer – i dream of wires
    the bee gees – edison
    gap band – electricity
    tom t. hall — turn it on turn it on turn it on
    motley crue – live wire
    martha and the vandellas – live wire
    sonic youth – hot wire my heart
    the residents – electrocutioner
    the plugz – electrify me
    joni mitchell – electricity and you turn me on, i’m a radio
    yes — lightning strikes
    marcia griffiths – electric boogie  (the electric slide song)
    {Exhales….}

  5. I shot video of them in 3D when they were at the NYC Maker Faire 2011. Here is a man dancing  http://youtu.be/IdDJsg-LTf0 and here is the view from INSIDE the faraday cage http://youtu.be/-lCQxzDQvP8 and from backstage with the Dr. Who theme http://youtu.be/WjpWfpWQrZ8
    Youtube supports 3D, and you can change the viewing method, so you can use red/cyan glasses, or a 3D tv/monitor, or even a wheatstone viewer http://www.berezin.com/3d/wheatstone.htm

  6. As badass as they are in video, see them live.  I can not emphasize this enough.  Several orders of magnitude of what they are doing are lost on video. 15 feet from the stage you can feel it. (And it sounds much better since the audio isn’t clipped badly.)

  7. Heya Cory! Thanks for writing about us! The guitar isnt iron though, its actually made out of wood with shielding and a couple of micro-controllers hooked up to a switch bank (the fret board) and is all optically isolated. The giant fan in the back isn’t for sucking ozone. It was 100 degrees that day and being in a metal suit can get pretty hot. And in reference to Manny’s comment, our interview went as follows “THEM: What happens when something goes wrong? US: We have many safety controls to minimize any major problem. If something goes wrong we just turn it off. THEM: is lightning deadly? US: Lightning is very deadly, but our machines arnt nearly as dangerous as real lightning.”

    What they put on tv after editing magic:

    Them: What happens if something goes wrong?

    Us: Lightning is very deadly, (insert slow motion graphic of us walking away or twoards the stage.)

  8. That’s undoubtedly the finest rendition I have heard of Black Sabbath’s Iron Man on Tesla coils played with an iron guitar, standing in a Faraday suit.

    Thanks, I enjoyed that!

    1. Can we help direct you to where you wanna be? Don’t wanna keep you standing there wondering where you took a wrong turn.

  9. As awesome as that was, someone needs to wrest that thing away from him before something unfortunate happens to the people he once saved.

  10. nice suit, nice instrument. but total failure on the music side. why would you build a new instrument, just to emulate old, existent music? this thing could give you the opportunity to seek some new music as it gives you the capability to make music differently. however, with re-doing what has already been done you are not even thinking about transgression. this is just as interesting as synthesizer guys emulating strings to play mozart. or trying to sound like the wind. what’s the point?

    1. we did it specifically so someone would ask that question! ;) but in all seriousness you make an awesome point. we do play a lot of originals, which dont get picked up by the blogs unfortunatly.
      This song was especially picked up by the blog circuit because of our performance of it on Americas Got Talent.

      Feel Free to loom up some of originals:

      ArcAttack – I wanna horse
      ArcAttack – Tremelo-lo-lo
      ArcAttack – beasts
      ArcAttack – Ooze

  11.                 IN THE LATE SEVENTIES THE BAND KANSAS HAD A SONG “I COMMAND THE LIGHTNINGS HAND”  ONE  DAY THERE WAS TO BE A DEMO BY A COMPANY THAT
    BUILT TESLA COILS. THE OWNER OF THE COMPANY SAID DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE SWORD OR THE GAUNTLET. HE PICKED UP THE GAUNTLET AND SAID CONTACT. HE FLEW HALF WAY ACROSS THE ROOM AND THE ROOM TURNED  VERY QUIET !!  HIS ASSISTANT SAID VERY SHEEPISHLY OOPS !! I THOUGHT YOU SAID THE SWORD !!??!! THE OWNER WAS  NOT INJURED EXCEPT FOR A BRUISE
    AND IT WORKED FLAWLESSLY TIME & TIME AGAIN ONCE IT HAD BEEN GROUNDED PROPERLY.
                     NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT AFTER THE DEMO ROBBIE WHO SANG THE SONG WAS RELUCTANT TO WEAR THE GLOVE AND OR THE SWORD AND FOR FIRST LEG OF THE TOUR THE COILS WERE FLOWN UNDER THE SOUND SYSTEM. THE COILS WERE COUPLED WITH LARGE METAL RINGS AND THE LIGHTING SHOT TO THEM.
                     WHEN WE RETURNED FOR THE SECOND LEG OF THE TOUR “THE THANG” AS WE CALLED IT WAS NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN ??

  12. m/                    m/

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               =        =
                    ^
                    O

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