Ahead of the release of their upcoming debut album, Fernanda and Prika of the Brazilian Thrash Metal band Nervosa took some time out to answer questions about the album, Victim of Yourself, previously reviewed on Swirls of Noise here.
Hi, your new album is really great, and you’ve been getting great endorsements from members of Cannibal Corpse, Destruction and Sepultura, how do you feel getting support from legendary bands like this?
FERNANDA: I always say it’s a dream come true! When you’re a teenage headbanger listening to your fave bands in your room with your friends and dreaming of the future, you’ll never imagine you’ll have a band, and then your idols will know who you are and what your band is, and then they’ll listen to your band and say good things about it! I just feel very lucky to get such support from my personal heroes, it means a lot to me. I don’t feel any kind of pressure because of what they say, i feel the opposite, it’s a great fuel for me to move on and keep on believing in my music and work!
PRIKA – Its a great satisfaction and honor! Its a dream yet! We work so hard in this job and to get recognition from our idols is amazing. They support us really, and we are very anxious to play together with them, we played with Destruction, Legion of the damned, etc… but we want to play again and play with other bands because this is fantastic, the life of a band is to play on the road together with the friends.
Given that you’re an all female metal band, has this made it easier or harder for you as a band? Do you feel that you get more or less media support because of it?
F: Metal is a male dominated scene, so there’s still more men then women out there playing in bands! So an all girl thrash metal bands is still something new and in my opinion everything that’s new draws attention, and i can’t say this helped us promoting our songs and who you are, because it’s still something kinda rare nowadays if you compare to all male bands, so people get curious about checking out our music. So it makes everything a little easier, but we know we can’t hold ourselves to this all female band label, because in some years, this tendency of more women playing will be an even more close reality, so it’s not gonna be new anymore, so in the end of the day, music is what matters the most to us! The only bad part of being an all girl band is the prejudice that we faced in the beginning and still face a little nowadays!
PRIKA – Our image calls attention, but this is a curiosity, the fact that we are women helps media support because a female band is still new, but it’s harder to get respect, because many female bands explore an appealing image and because of this some people think that we are as them, but not! Our work is serious, and we are here only for music. Napalm Records understood our purpose and they bet in our songs, because image doesn’t sell albums, the songs do! The image helps, but image without good songs doesn’t work.
Victim of Yourself really captures the old school Thrash Metal feeling, but without that feeling of dull nostalgia – it sounds fresh and original. How do you manage to make your music sound different while still capturing that great old school Thrash feeling?
F: It’s something really natural for us, because we’re very influenced by old school metal, me, for example, I love and worship 80’s thrash and early 90’s death metal, so when I write songs or gather up riffs ideas, all of this things I listen to end to being reflected in our music! But, besides that, we really appreciate the current quality of technology, you know, so I think this giver this more modern aspect to our songs! But in the end, our music is the perfect mix of everything we listen to, and we have a very wide taste in metal, so you’ll listen to a little bit of everything metal in our songs, what can give this ‘fresh’ feeling on the songs, because we don’t attach ourselves to only one kind of influence or genre!
PRIKA – It was in the old school that my history with thrash metal began, I love double picking and I use this technique from the past with macabre melodies from death metal that is a very important influence. I compose with feeling of moderns solos like Dimebag, Alex skolnick and Sami Yli-Sirniö, in the rythm guitar I am inspired by Gary Holt, Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, with elements of death metal of bands like: Vader, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Napalm Death… Its a mix of thrash metal old school with death metal.
There’s a definite vitriol and rage to the album. What are the themes behind the album that are expressed with such an angry approach?
F:We like to write about realistic things and mainly about the human aspects! Daily we have to face many things we don’t agree with in our routine, so I like to say I use my lyrics as my dearest way of expressing myself, of unburdening about all the unfair things I see everyday, so there’s a lot of rage inside of us due to the things we see around day by day and disagree with, so when I have the chance, I use the lyrics to spit out all this indignity I feel! In our album you’ll find many things related to human attitudes, so you can read lyrics that talk about corruption and violence in Brazil to child abuse and envy!
PRIKA – We have a lot of hate inside of us, for many reasons, Brazil is a very corrupt and unfair country , there are many reasons to feel hate, other things like human bad behavior, envy, revenge, destruction, war and all what bothers us. Our idea is to talk about real things, the reality. 50% of lyrics are mine, and 50% of Fernanda Lira’s, but we think equally, we write differently but the idea is the same.
Do you have a particular favourite track from the new album?
F: It’s really hard to me to say that, I like the album as a whole, and all the songs are special and mean something important to me in a certain way! But if I reaaaally had to do that, I’d say Victim of Yourself and Justice Be Done, because both of them have all the elements we usually use in Nervosa’s songs, so I think they really represent what Nervosa sounds like and also because their lyrics are really meaningful to me!
PRIKA – I can’t answer to this question, I don’t have a favorite. But I can say some things about each one. “Nasty injury” for me is the richest song, because the riffs have a lot of technique, the melodies are very rich, “Envious” is the song that touches me, because of the heavy and furious riffs, “Deep misery” because of its energy and because I liked very much of my backing vocals, “Death” because there are my best double pickings and the lyrics I wrote with a lot of hate, “uranio em nós” because this song shows my death metal and grind core style, and “Justice be done” and “Nasty injury” are the best solos that I already did. But I love all the songs, all songs means a lot to me.
While being Thrash Metal, there’s definitely a death metal element to the music too, with it being reminiscent of Cannibal Corpse at points. Which bands would you say are Nervosa’s main influences?
F: You are very correct about that! As I told you, we’re all death metal fans, and most of death metal bands are very influential to me, personally I’d say that Cannibal Corpse, Vader, Morbid Angel, Deicide and Behemoth influence me a lot when i’m writing music. But this I’m saying is just personal taste, but the band as a whole I think is very influenced by bands such as Slayer and Sepultura, but also these death metal bands I said before!
PRIKA – Each band their strong point, the drummer likes some different bands than the bassist for example, because each band has an instrumentalist that stands out. For me in the guitar the influences are: Slayer, Exodus, Vader, Death, Testament, Cannibal Corpses, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Judas Priest, Napalm Death, Metallica, Hypocrisy, Venom, Sepultura, Pantera, etc…
How do you view the Thrash Metal scene currently? With a lot of bands going for the old school aesthetic, do you think it’s harder for bands to be really original these days?
F: I think it’s hard to be original in ALL metal genres, because a lot has already been created, even metal with flutes, violin and opera vocals, so you there aren’t many more things to be created or developed, you know? I think most of the band from now on will only reinvent what has already been done, but creating something new is really hard! I like the current thrash metal scene although I’m an 80’s thrash lover! I really appreciate this old school thrash revival, because it’s a way to pay a homage to the bands that influenced most of the current bands, they deserve that! Also, I think it’s a way to perpetuate metal, so it will never die!
PRIKA – What is good has to exist! So the old school is necessary for music, good things were made and this has to repeat always. Each time has its strong point. Today is hardest to make something new, but there is much new things to be made, the music is infinite and there are many possibilities. Today we have the advantage of internet, its very easy to disclose our job, for example Europe and Brazil closer because of the fact of internet, the communication is excellent. The quality of recording is a lot better today, this is amazing, its so easy to record an album and disclose this job. The value of money with sales are few, and for this reason the music has a bigger value, because only what has much musical value is sold!
With the debut album being released on a big label like Napalm Records, it definitely means the future is bright for Nervosa. What does the future have in store past the debut album?
F: Deep down, I really try to be positive and I really hope everything works wonderfully for us from now on, but I also like to be a realistic person, I don’t like to grow many expectations, so if nothing happens, I won’t get disappointed! haha But Napalm is helping us A LOT and doing a very good album promotion, so to help on this cool promotion they’re doing, we just plan to tour A LOT this year! We’re a band which likes to be on the road, and we’ve never left Brazil for gigs, so this year we’re already working on plans for European and South american tours, and, hopefully, with a lot of hard work and dedication, a North American tour!
PRIKA – Our job is serious, and we worked hard to this album. Napalm records is a great label, and we are very happy, its a great partnership, they respect us and believe in our job. We make what we love, we will always make this. Its a fantastic opportunity, and we will work to make better and better!
Do you think you’ll be able to tour in places that are further afield, such as Europe?
F: I usually answer questions before they are asked! haha Yeah, we do, we have a deal with The Flaming Arts Agency, so they will soon start working in European tours, that’s a very concrete plan for us and we’ll work our hearts out to make this happen!
PRIKA – Of course! We have a contract with the agency The Flaming Arts, so it’s certain that we going to make a tour in Europe. But we have plans to play in South America and North America, and also all of Brazil. We have some partners to make this happen. Soon we will release dates.
Thanks a lot for your time, do you have anything else to add about the new album?
F: Thanks a lot for the opportunity to be talking about us and our album and I just hope everyone likes it, it’s a way more mature album than our first recording, it really represent the spirit of Nervosa musically speaking and I think we did a great work as a debut album! Keep supporting metal so we can make its legacy survive on and on! Thanks a lot and see you guys in the pit!
PRIKA – Thank you so much for the opportunity. I hope to see everybody in our shows, we really want to make many shows, and if you want to hire our show you only need to send an email to us. Thanks again! Thrash till death!
Many thanks to Andy Turner at Napalm Records for setting up the interview.
Nervosa’s Victim of yourself is released on 3rd March 2014.
Nervosa can be found on facebook here.