BEHEMOTH Frontman NERGAL Talks Guitars - "The Secret Of The Universe Is In E Minor"
March 9, 2017, a year ago
Music Radar recently caught up with Behemoth frontman Nergal, who offered his Top 5 tips for guitarists. Following is an excerpt from his rundown:
Become A Space Explorer
Nergal: "John Porter (Me And That Man) says that the secret of the universe is in E minor and I agree. Recently when I’ve been making – simultaneously – the new Behemoth songs, I go back home and use my Gretsch in an E tuning, not C#, which we usually use. So what I do is just use that guitar and then I transpose that idea and bring it to rehearsals and we transport it to the fast, evil guitars and tune it down but basically all the positions stay in the same spots.
Playing a Gretsch just triggers different vibes; the whole point is that when I play it, it’s less shredding and fast-picking, because it’s not a guitar made for that. It’s a guitar to make big chords and make space and give the notes the time that they need, so it’s going to affect the new Behemoth songwriting. There’s more space in the music, it’s more atmospheric.
There was one bit of great advice I got. I remember I approached Tom Warrior and Martin Aim from Celtic Frost like 10 years ago when we were opening for them and Slayer in Poland. We were talking and they were amazed by our show, but I was mesmerised by what they did. There was so much magic in it. I remember I told them, ‘Guys, all of the chords you played in the whole show, that’s what we did in one song!’ Martin Aim said, ‘Well, this is because you need to remember to give your tone time to vibrate.’ It really stuck in my head. I think I’m still learning that and I think the next Behemoth album, it will really benefit from that knowledge."
Go to this location for the complete rundown.
Me And That Man will release its debut album, Songs Of Love And Death, on March 24th through Cooking Vinyl. A new music video for the album track, “Ain’t Much Loving”, is available for streaming below.
The duo is fronted by Behemoth founder, songwriter singer Nergal. The album puts away any pre-conceived ideas about what heavy music 'should' be, with the release of this side project. The duo draws heavily on blues, country and folk to make music as dark as if it was being screamed over shredding guitars. Me And That Man pairs Nergal with British/Polish rock musician John Porter.
Behemoth is one of the most internationally renowned and unrepentant black metal bands. Nergal himself has tread a road that few would dare to walk - arrested on charges of blasphemy in his native Poland, authoring a bestselling book Confessions Of A Heretic, and titling Behemoth's last album The Satanist - but in true contrarian fashion, appearing as a judge on Poland's version of The Voice, and as the cover of Polish Newsweek, and more.
Songs Of Love And Death is a dark journey through sun-bleached, dusty plains, soundtracked by low-slung acoustic guitars and steeped in the rawest essence of rock and blues. The duo's debut will prove to be a revelatory affair for Behemoth's huge global fan base, while simultaneously luring many more people into Nergal's artistic world. Fans of everything from Nick Cave, Danzig, Leonard Cohen, and Johnny Cash's American Recordings, through to the grim, frontier polemic of Wovenhand will find countless mesmerizing moments on the album.
"This album is not meant to turn Me And That Man fans into Behemoth fans," Nergal notes. "If one day they follow, OK. Something like “My Church Is Black” is a strong declaration, a song that naturally invites people from the extreme metal world, and perhaps they'll want to enter this world too. They might even like it. With Me and That Man, I'm telling simple stories in a simple way, not overloaded with metaphors and hidden meanings. It's just got to be as natural, organic and stripped down as it can be."
He further explains, "With Me And That Man, the songs just come out in a very organic way. One would be bluesy, one would be more of a ballad, but put together they all made sense. I need Me And That Man to keep the balance, as the potential of my mother band seems limitless. It gets bigger and bigger, more advanced and more sophisticated... and darker ...and blacker. But Me And That Man is at the opposite pole, artistically speaking. With all the best art, once you have it in you, you have to release it, otherwise it becomes intoxicating and dangerous to your own system. This is how I deal with my emotions and my dark feelings and shadows. This is not happy music, but it's liberating."
"This is a side-project, but I don't really know what it's going to grow into," Nergal concludes. The idea was just to get this music out to people. There's no hidden agenda. It is what it is, and if you like it, it's cool. If you don't, that's cool too. This is the battle we've already won."
“My Church Is Black”
“On The Road”
“Cross My Heart And Hope To Die”
“Better The Devil I Know”
“Of Sirens, Vampires And Lovers”
“Love & Death”
“Get Outta This Place”
“Ain t Much Loving”
“Ain t Much Loving” video:
“My Church Is Black” video:
26 - Jazz Café - Camden, UK
27 - Tivoli Vredenburg - Utrecht, Netherlands
29 - Les Étoiles - Paris, France
30 - De Casino - Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
31 - Luxor - Cologne, Germany
1 - Zoom - Frankfurt, Germany
2 - Komplex Klub - Zürich, Switzerland
4 - B72 - Vienna, Austria
5 - Halle, Backstage - Munich, Germany
6 - Frannz - Berlin, Germany