Doom, sludge, drone, noise. That's what you can expect on, Carrier, the forthcoming album from Mannheim, Germany-based metal mench Black Shape Of Nexus. The group are set to release said ruckus on March 18th, 2016 via Exile On Mainstream and recently, vocalist Malte Seidel was kind enough to answer some gear-related questions offering us fans some insight into just how this group manages to produce their crazy sound!
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound? Seidel: It's the whole rig. I am using a combination of a regular Shure SM58 vocal microphone and a vintage NVA tank driver carbon throat-mic (laryngophone) connected to a custom preamp. Both signals are sent into my pedal board including a delay as the most important unit. The processed signal then goes to a full stack consisting of two vintage Suprem Super tube heads, a Shine 2x12 full range cab and a Shine 2x15 bass cab.
What about it makes it so important to you? Seidel: Speaking about the throat-mic, it gives me much more freedom of expression on stage as i don't have to handle a regular microphone. The use of a throat-mic does also have an immense effect on the audience, as this is something most people never have seen before. The combination of my singing style and that mic is very exhausting but also very, very powerful and scary.
About the stack: it sounds stupid and useless to use a tube full stack as vocalist. But I love stupid actions and this setup is very helpful to form the band's live sound. As our stage sound is pretty loud, all the noise gets multiplied through my rig and a serious portion of extra noise is added. Furthermore, piling up more gear on stage is always a good thing.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album? Seidel: This gear is only used live and for rehearsals. For recording I usually use a SM58 and a exotic near-to-explosion solid state combo amp with the excellent name "Hollywood 2001." This thing really needs some repair... which we won't do as it creates a very unique, fucked up sound.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set? Seidel: It's the other way around. We are trying to bring the extreme live sound into the studio.
What are the major pros and cons? Seidel: You do already know the pros. The cons are as follows: the throat-mic does not like sweat which results into instant death of the mic after a few shows. The mics are cheap and I always have some in spare. Furthermore, the throat-mic sounds shit... which is – in our case - more a pro than a con. Removing the mic from the throat during the performance results in a very unpleasant and painful feedback. This makes adjustments and head banging a little difficult. Speaking of the stack: more stuff to haul.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what? Seidel: If everything fails I can still do an intense show with a regular mic, a battery-powered delay and a DI-box. It is just a little less fun.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it? Seidel: I am using throat-mics for over 10 years now. With the end of the DDR over 25 years ago also the manufacturing of this specific throat-mic stopped. So there will be the day all mics of this type will be gone. I am already testing newer models. The use of a vocal stack is tightly connected with the musical style. If the style ever changes, there is the possibility that this stack gets obsolete.
Give us your best "gear goes wrong" story. Seidel: My gear does not go wrong. Fingers crossed!
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear? Seidel: Don't do things like everyone does. Don't listen to the voices telling you that the thing you're doing is ridiculous or pointless. And most important: enjoy your G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome)!