For a voice that spits in such a malevolent, Schuldiner inspired manner, Fernanda herself is an absolute ball of energetic bubbliness, her friendliness only trumped by her love for all things fast and thrashing. With the hot streak of Victim Of Yourself and Agony under their bullet-belts, Nervosa are currently in the final stages of piecing album number three together for a summer-time release. For now however, we were lucky enough to catch Fernanda briefly on their European tour supporting Venom Inc. and Suffocation. With the latter band rumbling below during their soundcheck, the lead vocalist and front-woman extraordinaire talked through the tour, the band’s career thus far, her favourite parts of the touring life and what their third recorded output will hold in continuing their keen urge to grab listeners ears by the err… ears.
It’s been going just fine. It’s been like touring with friends, we’ve known the Suffocation guys for a while now and Tony Dolan is like the best person ever so it’s literally like touring with friends. It’s such a blessing.
Have you played with them at all before?
No actually, not with Venom Inc. Whenever they were in Brazil, we were touring somewhere else. With Suffocation, we’ve just bumped into them on tours and festivals. Also when they came to Brazil, we took them to have a little party, it was cool.
Is this a dream tour for you guys then?
Yeah, it is (laughs). It’s terrific. It’s the same with Destruction also. I’d never have imagined when I was 15, headbanging to all these bands in my living room like Destruction and Venom and Suffocation, I never thought we’d be touring with them!
Have you got a favourite part of Nervosa? Are you a touring person or a recording person?
I’m definitely a touring person. I think of course, most people would say this but, and I don’t want anyone to follow in my example, I hate rehearsing. Recording is OK but still, I hate repetitive things. I hate going through things over and over. I know they’re important and I do them, of course, but when it gets to touring, I’m like “Fuck yeah”. It’s something different every night (laughs). It gets boring to me. I try to have a routine on the tour bus. I try and wake up and read some stuff and practice some French and I try to set a routine but like last night, you get too drunk and you miss the loading you know? (laughs).
You’ve been in a couple bands before, is the touring and recording much easier with three people?
Definitely. That’s what I love the most in Nervosa. When you’re in threes, mainly three girls, it’s easier to do everything. It’s easier for decisions because it’s going to be two against one and that’s it (laughs). It’s easier for travelling, it’s easier for bearing with costs and that’s why we play a lot, because we’re not an expensive band to get on tour or play a gig or whatever. Sometimes when we’re travelling with our staff, it’s like what a band is actually like, so three is easier, it’s easier for everything. I also feel like we can get more of a unity. You know when sometimes in bands, you get too many people and there’s a split? With us, it’s a unity.
Do the audiences differ very much when you’re doing these European tours and playing Latin America and everywhere else?
Definitely, audience is something very particular. Each country and even each city reacts in different ways to a concert. But, I think I could split it. Latin America is one thing because we’re very passionate when we go to concerts. I say we because I’m also a fan, I go to shows and everything. Because bands don’t tour there all the time, whenever we get to see a band we get super excited. That helps with the passion. I think here in Europe, fans are more critical. They’re more analytical. After a gig, you get more of a technical feedback and they’ll say “I like it when you do this and that”, which is good because that helps us to improve. In the US I think it’s the perfect mix between Latin America and Europe. Sometimes they’re like this, sometimes they’re crazy. In festivals though, here in Europe, it’s very peculiar because it’s not like a usual European crowd. I think because it’s a mix of different cultures, it’s something very different and I love that. I love playing festivals. The vibe is always crazy. I feel like at festivals, people are more passionate. They just live for the three days.
So is the US your favourite place to tour?
I think every place you go, it’s different and it’s special in a different way. I’m not just saying this but to me, it’s really, really hard to choose one place out of so many because there are different vibes and we need all of them. Sometimes when we’re touring Latin America I’ll think “Oh my God, I’d love to be in Europe right now” and we might be in Europe and I’ll think “I miss the US”. It’s just like that because each continent and each country is different in a special way. I can’t choose, I just love meeting people each night. For example, we’ve been on tour for five days and I’ve had so many different experiences. I love this so I can’t choose. Of course, playing at home in Brazil, it’s always nice but it would be unfair to everywhere else if I chose Brazil.
Obviously Nervosa draws a lot of its influence from classic thrash and death metal but what first brought you into metal and why do you think so many young people are attracted still to this kind of heavy music?
Firstly, I’ve always been into metal because my dad is a metalhead so since I was a child I was listening to all kinds of metal. Then I started to listen to melodic metal and heavy metal and I only came into thrash when I was like 16 or 17. The one band that made me want to have a thrash band was Nuclear Assault. When I listened to them I was like “Fuck, that’s exactly what I want to do”. That was quite a changing point. When I decided to have a thrash metal band, that was exactly when.
I think that many young people go to the thrash metal for exactly the same reason as me, because when you’re young, when you’re a teenager and becoming an adult, you’ve got so much energy. You’ve got so much energy and at least I felt like I needed a metal genre that would actually help me put that out. When you go to a thrash metal or a death metal concert, there’s mosh pits and you can scream. I think it’s all about the energy that mainly thrash metal holds. When you hear ‘do ga do ga do ga’ (imitating thrash drumming), you listen to it and you’re like (strange grunting noise). Of course, as I said, I love all metal but the energy of thrash metal is beautiful. It just makes you wanna (punches hand) walk around and kick stuff. That’s the feeling (laughs).
On the upcoming Nervosa album, am I right in thinking you had your touring live engineer producing it?
Yeah, he toured with us a couple of times. He worked with us on both the tours with Destruction. He’s a super nice guy, he’s from Argentina, he can speak some Portuguese because he’s been there a couple of times and he was actually travelling to Argentina near when we would be recording the album so we were like “Let’s do it”. We love him and he’s very good at engineering live. I was actually curious what it would be like with him recording stuff in the studio and it was just awesome. He is the kind of person I like to work with. He’s super patient and he takes everything easy. I hate people who are too stressed. In the end it was very nice, we’ve worked with him on three different occasions live.
So did that end up influencing the recording? Was he trying to capture Nervosa live?
You just answered it. I remember when we were recording with him, we did a live streaming and one of the fans asked him “What is your objective with the recording” and he was like “Well I toured with them, I worked with them live and I know live, they’re super powerful so I wanted to bring the live thing to the album. I wanted it to sound as visceral as it does live” and I think you’ll get it. When you listen to the album, it’s pretty brutal. It’s very in your face. It’ll be out in June.
It’s the first one with Luana on drums, has she settled in with the band?
It’s been a little over a year now that she’s been in the band officially. She’s definitely fitted in. She’s awesome, she’s super nice, she plays very well, she pushes herself to be better every time. She was in a death metal band before us so there were some things more related to thrash metal that she couldn’t do very well! She was pushing herself into it and she’s super young and she’s got huge room to grow. In the new album it was pretty nice because we were able to get a little bit more aggressive. We wanted to use this feature of her, like the aggressiveness to the new songs and it was pretty nice, yeah.
Yeah, I was going to ask if that would’ve bought your death metal side out a bit more…
Definitely, because our way of writing already has a little bit of death metal, you can see that on the last album, so when you get a death metal drummer, that gets more into it. Don’t worry guys we’re still thrash metal but it’s going to be more aggressive, not exactly like more death metal necessarily, but definitely more aggressive. Thrash metal but faster, more aggressive and darker. It sounds dark, that’s pretty much it!