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I'm a Typical Brazilian, And I Feel Proud


Архив интервью | Русская версия

There are only female performers in Nervosa, a thrash/death metal band from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Fernanda Lira (bass, vocals), Prika Amaral (guitar) and newcomer Luana Dametto (drums) do not enjoy sitting at home – being on stage in front of a crowd, travelling the world and meeting new fans is what they go for. This is why they tour relentlessly, and wherever they play, people remember the name of their band, catchy, aggressive and feminine at the same time. The ladies have visited Russia three times, so I bet you can easily find their fans among your friends. On the studio front, Nervosa have three releases out, with “Agony“, their latest full-length, giving the band a true breakthrough. We met with Fernanda Lira shortly before the gig in St. Petersburg, and she told us how Nervosa found the new drummer, when the band’s next album comes out and what the essence of true Brazilian beauty is.

This year Nervosa has visited not only Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also other Russian cities, such as Bryansk and Voronezh. What is the reaction, the feedback from your fans that have never seen Nervosa play live before?

Coming to Russia is always really nice because the people are very warm and the crowd reminds us of South America because fans are very passionate, very intense. And then it’s always nice to play in small cities because I can see in the fans’ eyes that they are really happy that we came there, to their city. Most of them probably would have never traveled to Moscow or to St. Petersburg to see us. So, it’s a good opportunity for these fans. So we are very glad to have a chance to play in all those cities. It’s very nice.

What Russian city has impressed you the most?

I think Moscow and St. Petersburg always impress me the most because they are really beautiful. I remember the first time I came to both of these cities two years ago. I didn’t know what to expect and I was really impressed because everything is beautiful. I mean it’s clean, the buildings are very nice. And downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Moscow look like a movie or something like that. I like these cities.

How did you find your new drummer, Luana?

Last time we were here with a Russian drummer, she was helping us. After that tour we went home and started testing some girls but none of them was exactly what we needed. And then a friend from a Brazilian band called Nervochaos, they played here in Russia a few times, and the drummer is a very good friend of ours, recommended Luana to us. He had played with Luana’s other band there in Brazil. And then we watched some of her videos, we thought she would be perfect, so we asked her to learn some of the songs, and she nailed them, she was really good at it. Then we brought her to Sao Paulo to practice with her, and the rehearsals were amazing. Then her final test was to make a tour which we did together with Destruction in January this year. That was her main test just to see how she would be on the road, how she is as a person. For us it’s not only the drumming, the technique that is important, but we also needed to know if she is a nice person. And she passed all the tests. Now she is officially in the band and we love her.

When will your new album come out? “Agony“ is your great achievement, it is on the second place on the list of 300 best albums of 2016 according to music portal Headbangerslatinoamerica. For example, the latest album of Vocífera is on the 82nd place.

It’s nice that you know Brazilian bands with girls. We are already writing new songs, we have like six songs ready. Now we are going to go back home and stay home for the next months, just doing shows on the weekends, because we will focus on finishing the new album. We plan to record it in January and to release it next year. During the first half of next year we shall have a new album out.

Aren’t you afraid to advance move forward trying new things after such success with “Agony“?

We never think how we want to sound on an album. Everything is very organic, we just write songs and create what we were inspired to create. We never think like, “Ok, now let’s try this, let’s test this“. I think it depends on what kind of bands we are listening, it depends on the vibe we have, but everything is pretty natural. The only thing we know is that we want to keep being a thrash/death metal band, we don’t want to go too much away from this.

Do you mean you go both in thrash and death metal directions?

Yes, because we are mostly a thrash metal band but we have many aspects of death metal like blast beats, some of the riffs. Our new drummer comes from a death metal drumming school. So, we might have a little bit more of death metal on this album because she is going to bring a lot of that influence.

Is that true that in Sao Paulo it is strictly prohibited to build big constructions with huge advertisement banners? I’ve read that your government doesn’t want to let advertisement spoil beautiful sights, the landscape.

Yes, it’s true. In the city it is forbidden to have big advertisements, you can have a banner in front of your store, but there are some specific sizes. You can’t have too many banners and you can’t have the stuff on the street because they wanted to reduce the visual pollution. We have it in Sao Paulo, for us it’s so natural that we forget that other places don’t have this rule. Sao Paulo used to be a big mess with all sizes and colors. And now it’s a pattern, you have to follow a pattern.

What do you think about girls’ Brazilian contest “Miss Bum-bum“? Every year girls compete and the winner gets the title of the girl with the most beautiful butt.

(laughs) I think it’s complete bullshit. Brazilian girls are usually proud of their booty and it’s ok. I think girls can do with their bodies whatever they want. If they are proud and want to show it, go ahead. I’ll never be against that. They do have beautiful bodies so don’t think it’s wrong to show them. But to my mind it is a very silly contest. They could be contesting for the best vocals not the best booty. But if they feel like they want to do that, it’s their problem, I just think it’s silly.

Actually, visiting your concerts, I usually stand in the crowd with a lot of guys around. And nearly all of them comment on your butt.

I know. I know that’s something exotic. Well, if they don’t tell me that, then, it’s ok, I just don’t want to hear it.

When the USSR was over, a lot of Brazilian soap operas appeared on TV. It was something very unusual, people just loved them. You look like beauties from those soap operas that meant so much for the whole generation.

(laughs) That’s nice to hear. I would say that I am a typical Brazilian. You can tell it by my hair, by my skin, by my body. About my ancestry, I am a mix of the biggest, you know, races and colonies in Brazil. In my family, in my blood I have a bit from black people, a bit from native people like Indians and a bit from Portuguese people. That’s usually the typical mix in Brazil, most people in Brazil descend from Indians, from our natives, and, of course, Portuguese, because we were colonized by Portuguese. So, I usually hear that I am a typical image of a Brazilian. I love it, I feel proud.

Fernanda, is that true that you are also a rock journalist?

Yes. I studied journalism in college for three years and then I quit for the band. But before the band I was a musical journalist mainly focused on metal. And I had everything, I did interviews for magazines and websites, live photos, live reviews, album reviews, I had a podcast about metal, a metal TV show and the last thing I did was heavy metal radio. So I did everything related to journalism and I loved it very much but now I just don’t have time to do both. I had to choose the band or journalism. And I chose the band, of course.

I have the feeling that you transform your singing manner over time. Do you do it specially, on purpose? For example, we can compare the song “Masked Betrayer“ with more of screaming and “Deception“ where your voice sounds different and rougher. You know, “Deception“ is my favorite song of Nervosa. I think it reflects the truth of life: “No expectations – no deceptions“.

Yes, exactly! I learned that from heart experience. “Deception“ is my favorite song from the last album. I think it’s natural that my voice gets deeper, because I’m getting older, I’m singing more. And with time your voice goes deeper. But also I learned it a lot. It’s been lots of years since our first album so I’ve been improving it, I have been learning new techniques so it’s natural that it changes. And for the next record it’s going to change even more.

Nervosa has a tradition to record one song in your native Portuguese language for every release. Why is it so important for you and what is more interesting – to write songs in English or Portuguese?

I think writing in English is important because it’s a universal language, lots of people try to learn it but we write in Portuguese, at least one song per album, just to honor our mother language.

When will Nervosa come to Russia next time?

(laughs) Well, whenever they invite us we are going to be here.

Our conversation had to stop at that point, not because all good things come to their end but because Nervosa had to go on the stage. However, the band's shows speak for themselves. And in case of Nervosa it's impossible to stop listening to that story.

Nervosa on the Internet: http://nervosaofficial.com/

Special thanks to Dmitry Martynenko (Infinity Concert) for arranging this interview

Interview by Alexandra Prozorova
Photos by Alexander Devishin
September, 3, 2017
(с) HeadBanger.ru

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