Guitar is no longer genuinely the first sound that comes to tips when the reasonable fan thinks of hip-hop outfit Wu-Tang Clan.
As for Wu-Tang’s fresh touring guitarist, Cody Nierstedt, it goes even deeper than that – hip-hop wasn’t even on his radar as a young player.
“Or no longer it is attention-grabbing,” he says, “I did no longer develop up taking stamp of it. However the humorous thing is that although I used to be very into metallic, the first accurate CD I owned used to be in third grade after I supplied a G-Unit album from this child for 3 bucks [laughs].”
“I listened to that album and not using a spoil in sight,” he continues. “But I saved getting heavier and heavier, entering bands love Slayer and then put up-hardcore. But now, dude, I cherish hip-hop; although metallic used to be the glorious thing ever to me as a teenager, now I will no longer conclude taking stamp of your entire faded hip-hop stuff.”
As for how he picked up the guitar, it originated with keyboards… and a Nintendo traditional.
“I be mindful my brother getting a Sharper Portray keyboard,” he says. “I would possibly perchance sit there and rob a build at and resolve out the presets, and then I obtained into Story of Zelda on Nintendo and desired to learn all these songs [laughs].”
“But after I used to be round 11, we moved from Brooklyn [New York] to Glossy Jersey, and this child in college talked about how he would possibly perchance play guitar. I used to be love, ‘Whoa, that’s sick, you play guitar?’ And then I asked my mother, who curved me up with lessons, an orange [Ibanez] RG30FM, and I straight stated, ‘Yup, that is the totally thing I care about.'”
From the jump, Nierstedt found himself knee-deep in metallic and rock, studying Electric Funeral by Dark Sabbath sooner than intriguing on to Neil Younger’s Rockin’ within the Free World and Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Prepare. So how did a heavy metallic child from Glossy York Metropolis and Glossy Jersey conclude up on stage with hip-hop icons?
“I went to university for classical and jazz guitar,” he says. “I saved making an strive to suppress that heavier side of me, ? And after I graduated, I moved help to Jersey and labored in a tune store. In some unspecified time in the future, the shop owner had a uncover together and invited me over, and I stopped up talking with his son for roughly an hour. We uncover on smartly straight, started a revolutionary band known as Shot, and it turns out that our bass player’s dad used to be RZA.”
As for how he ended up hitting the side road with RZA and Wu-Tang Clan, Nierstedt says, “Adore a yr-and-a-half later, RZA approached us asserting, ‘Hey, I’ve obtained a TV roar on Hulu[[Wu-Tang: An American Saga], and I would possibly perchance cherish for you guys to maintain out the get.”
“We did all three seasons,” he recalls. “And I believed that would possibly perchance be it. But then, RZA stated, ‘Attain you guys would really like to come to Hong Kong and play with Wu-Tang?’ I used to be love, ‘Hell, yeah!’ then we enjoy been asked to head to South The US, I stated, ‘Hell, yeah!’ and here we are as of late, wrapping up the final leg of the tour.”
Now entirely embracing his heaviness and sharing the stage with a hip-hop community that has lengthy erred toward the heavy metallic side of a genre that on the total disassociates itself with such issues, Nierstedt has found his niche.
Nonetheless, Wu-Tang’s normal recordings are some distance from guitar-ahead, leaving Nierstedt with a self-discipline.
“Or no longer it is more about improving the beats,” he says. “I prance to double some ingredients, give a grand wider self-discipline, and construct it more challenging. But in actual fact, as I used to be studying the beats, I felt love Wu-Tang has plenty of heavy and even classical vibes. So, being ready to construct one thing on guitar by being throughout the loop with the MC has dialed me the fuck in.”
“Songs love Ice Cream and Killa Bees are dope,” he continues. “They permit me to make advise of pinch harmonics and even add reasonably solo while doing minor harmonic stuff and diminished sweeps. Or no longer it has been a studying abilities and a just test, nonetheless I cherish the energy, although it is precise looping the predominant part over and over.”
Nierstedt’s gallop and data enjoy brought a brand unique dynamic fluctuate to Wu-Tang’s tried-and-just classics. And he’s brought some killer instruments to the uncover together.
“I’m using a Fender [Evangelion] Asuka Tele,” he beams. “Or no longer it is fundamental-rare and in step with this anime series I cherish known as Neon Genesis Evangelion. I’ve obtained a bunch of tattoos from that series, so when Fender launched this guitar during Covid, I knew I needed to enjoy it.”
“I known as my Fender gain because it straight supplied out,” he says. “And he stated, ‘Dude, you enjoy a better probability of a success the lottery.’ But just a few yr later, he known as, asserting, ‘One popped up, I will uncover it, nonetheless it is a ought to to aquire it correct now,’ and I used to be love, ‘Fuck, yeah.’ But it is so rare, so I never played it and saved it within the case.”
“Of us repeatedly wanna rob pics,” he laughs. “They did no longer mediate it wasn’t staunch or concept it used to be precise a meme, and I is probably going to be love, ‘Okay, yeah, it’s staunch… nonetheless construct no longer tumble it.’ But after we found we enjoy been going out with Wu-Tang, I used to be love, ‘I’m bringing that fucking guitar.’ I’ve obtained love Forty five guitars, nonetheless for this gig, the Asuka Tele used to be the transfer.”
As for the results that he injects into Wu-Tang’s already eclectic mix: “I’m using a Neural DSP[[Quad Cortex], which is fucking saving my life, dude. I’ve obtained it space up love a pedalboard, with each button as a totally different enact. But I cherish the Strymon Mobius [Multi Modulation], which is love the final sleeper pedal, and I’ve obtained my Fractal expression pedal, too.”
With all-over-the-map influences and the knowhow and would possibly perchance just tranquil to genre-hop, Cody Nierstedt is vivid a lightweight on a nook of the guitar community on the total left in darkness.
“The more I’ve delved into this, the more I realize how grand guitar is in hip-hop,” he says. “Adore many people, I believed the guitar used to be unsung in that tune, nonetheless there’s so grand you would possibly perchance perhaps operate with it. While you would possibly perchance perhaps snatch onto the melodies or emulate totally different vocal tones, you would possibly perchance perhaps bear this tune out with totally different chords.”
He concludes, “I do know plenty of hip-hop has digital samples, nonetheless there’s plenty of guitar pentatonics, so adding electrical guitar – notably distorted guitar – to Wu-Tang’s live sound has stuffed it out. Or no longer it is a extremely totally different animal, and there’s more red meat to it. You would possibly perchance perhaps rob hip-hop extra with a slight of grit, distortion, and tone, perhaps because, at the very least with Wu-Tang, it used to be nearly there already. It shall be the most easy thing I operate, nonetheless it goes to construct a mountainous incompatibility.”
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