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If you like Opeth you might like flamenco and tango music

Martin Mendez of Opeth
(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Opeth bassist Martin Mendez revealed there was more to his playing than people might realise.

The longest-standing band member asides from Mikael Akerfeldt, Mendez adds his experience of music in his native Uruguay to the group’s ever-changing sound.

He told Guitar World: “I guess I use theory as a guide, but I trust my ears and ideas more than anything else. First of all, you have to believe in the note you are choosing.

“But you also have to understand why certain notes feel more beautiful or threatening – you need the theory to do that, but eventually you start trusting your ears and breaking away from the books and scales.

He added that he enjoyed “surprising the listener” by going outside any expected limits, to achieve effects that “intensify the atmosphere” and add an “extra sense of darkness.

“I also grew up on a lot of flamenco and tango,” he continued, “which isn’t typical major-scale stuff. I’m often looking for notes that are fighting each other. Of course, the ‘right’ notes are more pleasing to the ear, but if you want more nervousness and tension in the music, try using them less.”

Opeth are currently touring the European festival circuit.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.