Last August, I was lucky enough to do an in depth interview with Fernanda Lira, the vocalist and bassist one of the fast rising bands in thrash metal. For almost an hour we discussed things like her influences, her music taste, played a game of ‘this or that’ with various metal bands and we also talked a bit about life in Brazil and also hints of a second album. Fast forward several months and it’s now time for Nervosa to hit the road again on an extensive tour, hitting some summer festivals once again, along with a blockbuster thrash tour in autumn and more shows round their side of the Atlantic, all in promotion of the newly recorded ‘Agony’.
Lucky for me, I managed to squeeze myself into Fernanda’s hectic schedule before her and the girls hit the road.
AN: Congratulations on the album. Have to say it is fantastic, a real slice of angry, straight to the point thrash. How do you feel about the finished product?
Fernanda: You enjoyed it? Awesome! What did you think of it?
AN: You’ll have to wait until the review gets posted up!
Fernanda: You’ll have to send me the link so I can read it… I hope you enjoyed it… Anyway, yeah… Me and the others (Prika, Pitchu) are really delighted with it. Compared to our last album, ‘Victim Of Yourself’, it is a lot heavier and personally, I really love the sound on it!
AN: Talk us through the recording process. A lot of people saw the updates regarding the progress on your band’s Facebook account, but they were just snippets. How was it compared to the last recording? I remember in our last interview you mentioned it was hectic recording ‘Victim Of Yourself’.
Fernanda: Yeah, it was a LOT easier this time… Last time round we had the trouble with a quickly approaching deadline, Prika hurting her arm, our drummer leaving halfway through and having to recruit a new drummer (Pitchu), delays in the funding… It was just a total, stressful experience… But this time, there was none of that… We had the songs ready to go into the studio with so it was just touching up here and there. We came in ready – we were a lot tighter sounding too compared to the previous recording and this is reflected in the music too.
We knew how much time we had this time round too so we used that effectively and the fact we got to record in California was awesome too! A lot of my favourite bands come from there and have recorded there, so to actually visit there, record an album there and follow in the footsteps of some of my influences was so cool… It was like we just fed off that spirit of metal!
AN: How did you find your first trip to the States? I saw you girls enjoyed the snow what happened when you were there, any other highlights?
Fernanda: It was a whole new world to us there, much like when we first went to Europe. Everything is so different, the fans were so awesome and the sights were great too! We got to do the touristy stuff you know… Visit the Rainbow Bar and Grill, see the Hollywood walk of fame and when we went east, we stopped by the Grand Canyon and it was just so inspiring… And New Orleans too… That place was pretty cool! I would have to say, New Orleans is my kind of city.
AN: You’ve certainly been grinding the shows. West coast of America, Central and ‘Latin’ America, 70’000 tons of metal and some shows in South America… What ones stand out to you the most?
Fernanda:: I cannot just pick one because they were all awesome. The metal scene is so vibrant the world over and you get all kinds of fans but they were all the same in one way, just constantly so passionate about metal! Mexico was really awesome too, they are a lot like the South American fans so we felt right at home.
It was a long standing dream to play in Mexico, because of the crowd and how crazy and passionate they were, so when we got to play there and it was fantastic. The fans were so loyal and they loved everything we did. The same as when we played places like Colombia and Peru, it was just fantastic.
AN: Right, so its Europe talk time now. I’ve held off on this question because I wanted to get the initial stuff about the start of the year out of the way. Destruction…. I know Schmier is a huge influence on you and you love the Teutonic Thrash, so how does it feel to not only tour with such a massive band, but to actually be playing on the same bill as one of your idols AND one who lavished praise on the band?
Fernanda: Oh Man! I am so excited for this tour. It’s crazy and really hard to put into words I guess.
We are really influenced by Destruction, the way of singing, writing, the sound… It is just so cool. Schmier is such a great guy and a real cool metalhead and he actually invited us… He Invited Us! I was like “AAAHHH!!!” when I found out!
To play on stage every night with one of my Idols… It’s gonna be so cool!
AN: Well, I couldn’t miss out on this tour, I’ve got my ticket already so I’ll see you there!
Fernanda: You’re coming? Awesome! Which Show? Man, it’s going to be so good, Destruction… Flotsam and Jetsam… It’s gonna be so good!
AN: I cannot lie, I am excited as fuck for that show! So in the mean time, what are the tour plans for between now and then? I know there’s a one off gig in London which I’m gutted I cannot get down to, but any other UK or European based festival appearances lined up?
Fernanda: We’re doing some in Germany – Summer Rock is one of them and we’re also doing Tuska in Finland! For me, it is a dream because I always wanted to go there… But now we’re playing it…. It’s super cool.. We did try for Download but we didn’t have much luck, so maybe next year we can do a UK festival… But this year, after the summer tour we start the one with Destruction… It’s just awesome, I cannot wait to get on the road in Europe again!
AN: Are there any bands you have toured with which you would recommend checking out?
Fernanda: I could name you thousands of Brazilian bands we’ve played with and plenty of bands we toured with last year, but I have to say Crisix from Spain. They’re really powerful thrash band who are awesome live and on record. I really recommend them. They’re great, they remind me of bands like Overkill, a lot of old school sound but with some modern elements. Desolator from the UK were cool too! We toured with them last year and they are the first two which spring to mind.
AN: What about releases this year. I know it’s hectic on tour, recording and so on, but have you had time to check out any new albums this year? There have been a few great thrash ones out so far (which I’ve managed to get my hands on for review!!). What is your favourite so far?
Fernanda: Like when you asked me this last time, I’m so caught up in between what came out this year and the previous year. I listened to the Megadeth album, it’s really good and they have a Brazilian guitarist now too, so I had to listen to it! Also Anthrax’s new one too, I want to check out the Destruction one when I have the time too, but I’ve mostly been listening to Slayer (Repentless) even if it is from last year! But I would have to say it’s the Anthrax one!
AN: So again, I know this is the usual question, but any plans for album number three yet or are you just going to let it sink in a little, tour and regroup?
Fernanda: We want to get this release out and promoted as much as we can. We wanna be touring extensively with it and playing it live as much as we can. With all the subsequent tours we have planned, near 70 shows up ahead, we just want to tour and play it. We’re not even thinking of album number three right now, sure we may naturally end up writing some songs or riffs, that’s part of being a band on tour and getting ideas and so on, but like I said, it’s all about touring, going to new places like Canada and Asia, trying to get some shows over there.
AN: Finally, in if you had to sell Nervosa to someone who had never heard of you or had any clue of what your music sounded like or was about, how would you do it in 5 words?
Fernanda: Oh man… You and those damn hard questions…. Can I use six or seven instead?
AN: Ok, you can have an extra one or two.
Fernanda: This is too hard…. Errr I think I can do this in six…. You love Thrash? You’ll Love Nervosa!!!