For those not familiar with thrash metallers Nervosa, they are one of the most extreme bands, (in my opinion), in this day and age. With the release of their second full length album Agony, I managed to get some questions answered by bassist/vocalist Fernanda Lira.
I want to start by taking it back to 2010, and ask how you initially formed?
I had just quit my previous band, and was looking for girls to gather up a thrash metal trio. Then when I was almost giving up, cause it might be really hard to find girls who wanted to commit the way I wanted to the band, Prika got in touch with me through mutual friends about this project she had called Nervosa with a drummer. I was in a need of a drummer and a guitarist and they were in a need of a bassist and a singer, so a always say that we completed each other, they were what i needed and I was what they needed. Then after I joined, we actually made Nervosa be an actual professional band, writing music, recording, playing gigs, etc.
You have a new album entitled Agony out. What was the inspiration behind the album musically?
Well, the inspiration is always pretty natural, we never plan how to sound or what to write about. But naturally, because of our influences and because of our daily life, we end up doing pretty much the same, just improving the techniques and stuff like that. On this album we were really inspired by old school super fast thrash metal bands. Also, the three of us were really inspired by death metal, mainly Vader, for example. We were listening to a lot of death when writing the music and this ends up influencing a lot of the new songs.
Listening to the album, especially with the song ‘Arrogance’ which for me really stands out on the album, with lyrical themes based on current social affairs. Is this a theme that runs throughout the album?
Lyrically, the inspiration is still the same: all the hard daily routine we have in Brazil, the bad stuff we live, watch around, and also all the shit we read and see on the newspaper that’s going on world-wide – that’s what we write about as a way to unburden all our anger about these things, which are mainly social issues, inequality and all the shit the human being does to harm society and other people. In addition, on this new album apart from that, we also write about more abstract aspects of human behavior, like arrogance, hypocrisy, intolerance, which can be as harmful as other stuff too.
Also listening to the album, I can hear a lot of 80’s musical influences such as Destruction. How has classic thrash metal influenced you as a band?
Thrash metal is our main influence. I mean, the three of us have different influences in metal, but we definitely agree on thrash metal as being our favorite thing. I personally was raised listening to bands from the 80’s, because that’s what my dad used to listen to. For instance, Nuclear Assault was the band that made me wanna have a thrash metal band, so I’m huge influenced by them, and also by many other bands from the 80’s, such as bands from the Bay Area scene and German thrash and also a lot of death metal from the 90’s.
Moving on from the album, how difficult is it being a female metal band in a heavily male dominated genre?
In the beginning it was a little hard, because we come from a very sexist country, so being three girls in a male dominated scene was something new, and then some people just couldn’t deal with that in a cool way. Now pretty much everyone respects us as a band, mainly because, I think, they just realized we are nothing but three metalheads playing the kind of music we love, nothing but that, you know? There’s also the good side, which is lots of people supporting us, not only because of our music, but also as a way of supporting and encouraging more girls in metal, and that’s awesome!
What inspired you to want to become a member of a metal band?
I was born and raised listening to metal and my dad played the bass too, so it was pretty natural to me to want to be a musician. I don’t even remember how it started, but I have early memories of me as a child ‘jamming’ with my dad with his acoustic guitar, or playing drums on the leather couch while he played. It was always pretty natural to me! But when I was around 15 I decided I’d love to be in a band and that’s how everything started.
What are your plans for the future?
We plan right now to play as much as we can to promote our new album, and for the next year our main aim is not only to go back to all the places we had before, but also explore new territories for the band, such as Asia, Oceania and Africa, where the scene is getting bigger and bigger. We wanna play to these metalheads all over the world.
Final question, How did you actually come up with the band title?
When I got to the band, the name was there already, but I totally agreed, because it was exactly the kind of title I had in mind: something short, easy to be remembered. In Portuguese, which is our mother language, Nervosa means ‘angry girl’!
Agony is out now and available in the following formats: