We recently caught up with Opeth bassist Martin Mendez to discuss his new death metal project White Stones and their debut album, Kuarahy, which was released in March via Nuclear Blast.
Can you talk more about the formation of White Stones?
White Stones was formed by: Jordi Farré on drums, Albert Martí on rhythm guitars, Joao Sassetti on lead guitars, Eloi Butxerie on vocals and me on bass. Three of them are from the band Vidres a la Sang, from Barcelona. We all live in the same area. So it was easy to find musicians this time. I had kind of the best metal musicians in the area in the same place. So I had a drummer, a singer and a guitar player. Then we needed a good lead guitar player and had Joao Sassetti recommended by Javi Félez from Moontower studios in Barcelona. At this point we were all set as a band.
How long have you been working on the debut album, Kuarahy?
The whole process took me a year and a half. It’s a lot of work, but I really enjoy it. I like to go through all the different stages. Now the last move is to release it. Once it’s released I think I will start thinking about the next one. I’ll take it easy for now, but I like to start feeling what the next one could be. But first Kuarahy needs to be released.
How was it for you returning to death metal with White Stones?
Nice, I love playing death metal. I never stopped really. I mean, until today we still play older songs live with Opeth. We close every show with the song “Deliverance.” That’s a good dose of death metal I get every night on tour. But this is different, I feel confident in this style of music and the idea was to do something a bit different than bands sound like today. Not for the matter to be different, I feel more connected to old death metal and I wanted to create something that sounds modern but with the same feeling I get from older bands.
What are some of the lyrical themes?
Most of the songs are a bit of a protest against some kind of mentalities or ways of thinking happening in this society. Political. Other songs are about a close person to me. So it varies.
But all the lyrics are open to their own interpretation. That’s the way I like it at least. I know the meaning behind it but it might not be obvious for others or have the same meaning.
What was the experience like creating the video for “Worms?”
I didn’t attend the video shoot, but I was talking with and changing ideas with the director during the process. I gave him some instructions at first, then he created an idea. They found the place and shot the video. After it was finished we edited it and kind of decided together about the final look.
Is there anything else you want to say or add to your fans?
Thanks always to everyone for the support.. and I hope we can have a show for you soon! Cheers!