Take Five with Morgehenna

Photo by Chris Aarock
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Self-taught metal guitarist Morgehenna started playing guitar at the age of 17. Inspired by bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ozzy Osbourne, and Motörhead, she found her sound in death metal and began building her following. She started covering songs like “Caught Devouring” by Deeds of Flesh, “The Ibex Moon” by Incantation, and more, which led to her garnering more than 44k social media followers.

Continuing to build on her career, Morgehenna eventually became the lead guitarist and vocalist for the Florida death metal band Kryptkeeper. “I started playing music as an act of desperation. I was in a dark place mentally, and I needed something intangible to pull me out of it.”

Tell us a little about your musical background. How old were you when you started playing guitar, and what inspired your passion for music?

I grew up in a very religious household. My parents were both a part of this Christian-based cult, which had very strict rules. I remember catching my dad having to sneak around to listen to rock and metal and my mom always yelling at him when she caught him. It was crazy, and I think the fact that it was so taboo in my household made it more intriguing for me. I started listening to bands like Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, and a lot of classic rock. I ended up picking up the guitar at about 17 after playing keys for two years and bass guitar for one. I taught myself how to play out of the deprogramming of my brain from all of the dogmatic principles that the cult instilled in me. My teenage years were very difficult for me. I was suffering from clinical depression and coping with some really dark things. 

Picking up a guitar was the best thing that ever happened to me. Learning a new song on guitar would give me this excitement and fulfillment that I had never felt before. Still today, my passion for music is greatly inspired by my desperation for creative expression and a sense of fulfillment. 

What inspires you to wake up every day and continue pursuing your dreams?

Photo by Chris Aarock

When young girls tell me that they started playing guitar because of me—and I’ve heard it from men too, which also brings me great joy—but hearing from another girl that I inspired them to pick up a guitar, makes me overwhelmingly happy.  

I’ve noticed society often encourages women to pick up a skill that is financially lucrative or superficial in ways that will grant them temporary satisfaction. Rarely does society encourage women to learn something that will bring them personal fulfillment, grant them mental stability, or make them feel powerful. Guitar did all of those things for me. I think having an outlet for creative expression is something that can save a lot of young girls from feeling like just another mental health statistic.  

Take us through your songwriting process. What types of environments do you feel you need in order to be your most creative? 

I feel most creative when alone in my bedroom. A lot of the time, a girl’s bedroom is her safe haven. It’s where I always come back to when I need to channel the emotions needed to play death metal. Whether it’s anger, frustration, or just the need to be theatrical, the solitude that my bedroom provides is always welcoming of creativity.

What guitars are you playing right now? Name your top two or three, if possible. 

Right now, my favorite guitar is my Jackson X Series Rhoads. It’s the guitar I play in my band Kryptkeeper. I love the tone and the attack of the Seymour Duncan pickups.

My other favorite is a Blakhart 7 string. The guitar is an absolute monster. The tone is crushing and clean at the same time. It has great clarity. I haven’t been able to use it live yet.

I also play a Killer KG-EXPLODER guitar, which was made popular by the guitarist of LOUDNESS. The tone is great for sweeps and warm leads. 

Finish this sentence: I believe music…

I believe music has a unique power that many people fail to recognize. It has the ability to bring people together who may have absolutely nothing in common otherwise.

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Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan is an Atlanta Native and proud graduate of Spelman College and Vermont Law School. Her background in environmental and music law fueled her desire to start and manage the international all-women touring collective, TxLips Band, LLC. Logan believes it is important for artists to be well rounded and versed in many areas of the music business, thus inspiring women worldwide to be an unstoppable force. She is the Diversity Editor for Guitar Girl Magazine and the Board Chair for Girls Rock Asheville. http://www.txlips.com