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.