10 questions for Tides From Nebula's Maciej Karbowski

(Image credit: Adam Bejnarowicz)

We all know the score with post-rock by now: big washes of delay, emotive arpeggios, cyclical chord progressions. However, few bands come close to matching the polished - and indeed, Polish - instrumental stylings of Tides From Nebula.

Fourth full-length Safehaven perfects the group's formula of instantly engaging hooks interspersed with tremolo-picked tonal maelstroms, and guitarist Maciej Karbowski is at the forefront of the finely honed sonic attack.

Here, Maciej spills the beans on his first guitar and "heavy dance moves"…

1. What was your first guitar and when did you get it?

"It was a Polish copy of a double-humbucker Strat. I still have it - unfortunately, it doesn't sound very good, so I don't use it any more. But my attitude is that I don't really sell guitars; each guitar I have means a lot to me and I choose them wisely."

2. The building's burning down - what one guitar do you save?

"Damn, I'm not sure... A couple of years ago, the answer would be easy: the Gibson SG I bought new in 2004; now it's really road-worn and sounds amazing, but man... I also have a sweet blonde Tele, which sounds more my taste. Which one should I choose? I'm confused... okay, the SG!"

3. Is there a guitar, or piece of gear, that you regret letting go?

"As I said earlier, I don't really sell guitars, and all the rest (amps, pedals, etc.) are just an add-on to me; I can play on anything that sounds good. And my pedalboard is a different story: always on the move, never satisfied!"

4. And what's the next piece of gear you'd like to acquire?

"Probably a Deluxe Telecaster or some vintage Les Paul. I have no cash at the moment though - these guitars are so expensive. Anyway, I'm not a collector; there is always a need to build a relationship with a new instrument. I got a Vintage Jazzmaster in 2014 and I'm still learning how to use it."

5. Is there an aspect of guitar playing that you'd like to be better at?

"Ha, probably everything. I'm so lazy and should practise much more. However, we don't play technical music and we all try to get better at writing; technique is not crucial in our case (unlike drumming, which in every band needs to be at least technically decent)."

6. When did you last practise and what did you play?

"We practise as a band almost every day, so we did play yesterday, actually. I don't really practise scales or technique any more."

7. If you could have a guitar lesson from one guitarist, dead or alive, who would it be?

"Thom Yorke."

8. What item of gear would you take with you to a desert island?

"Probably an acoustic guitar to sing along with."

9. What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you onstage?

"I fell down once while doing some heavy dance moves. But it was rather funny. I don't really have dark memories from the stage. Concerts should be fun, right?"

10. What advice would you give your younger self about playing the guitar?

"I am happy with myself, with my band and the music we play. Of course I could be a better player, but... Yeah, what can I do about it. I am a happy person!"

Safehaven is out on 6 May via Long Branch Records and Mystic. Tides From Nebula tour Europe throughout May:

6 May: DunkFestival, Zottegem, Belgium
7 May: We Are a Young Team, Metz, France
8 May: Sanctuary, Basingstoke, UK
9 May: Boston Music Room, London, UK
10 May: Audio, Glasgow, UK
11 May: Firebug, Leicester, UK
12 May: Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds, UK
14 May: Heretic Club, Bordeaux, France
16 May: Le Saint Des Seins, Toulouse, France
17 May: Sidecar, Barcelona, Spain
18 May: Le Molotov, Marseille, France
19 May: La Gravière, Geneva, Switzerland
20 May: Freakout Club, Bologna, Italy
21 May: Lo-Fi Club, Milan, Italy
22 May: Rockhouse, Salzburg, Austria
24 May: Sedel, Luzern, Switzerland
26 May: Druckluft, Oberhausen, Germany
28 May: Neushoorn, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
29 May: Badehaus Szimpla, Berlin, Germany
30 May: Cosmic Dawn, Jena, Germany

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.