Interview: Nervosa

I found a family. I'm very thankful to be able to work with these women. We can't wait to show you what this new line-up has to offer in this new era.

Brazilian thrash metal masters Nervosa have gone through a lot of changes since they released their last record but have come back refocused with a new lineup that features vocalist Diva Satanica, bassist Mia Wallace and drummer Eleni Nota joining longtime guitarist Prika Amaral in a new chapter for Nervosa who are ready to move forward with their new album Perpetual Chaos. An album which shows the band back on fearsome form and with a new energy to their thrash metal assault. Gavin Brown caught up with Diva Satanica to talk about the return of the band and Perpetual Chaos including how the album came to be during the pandemic as well as how the new lineup came together, the video for the album track ‘Guided By Evil‘ and the plans for Nervosa for the rest of the year.

E&D: Your new album Perpetual Chaos is out now. How did the creation and recording of the album go? 

Diva: We wrote the album from the distance using the Internet and sharing ideas with each other in only 3 months because we couldn’t travel because of the pandemic situation. Then, we spent one month last August in Artesonao Studios (Málaga) for the recording sessions and also for our very first meeting in person. It’s been a very intense process but we are very happy with the final result!

E&D: This is the first recording with the new lineup. How was the experience of the new band members working together?

Diva: From the very beginning we felt a strong connection between us, everybody was very happy and open-minded and that made things going easier. I really like to have this combination of many different backgrounds in only one record, you will love any single song from this album because none of them are similar to the others.     

E&D: How did this new lineup of Nervosa come together?  

Diva: Prika started to do the auditions in order to find the new band members some months ago: she knew about Mia because of her career with Abbath and Triumph Of Death, she discovered Eleni through one profile for female drummers on Instagram and we met during the Nervosa Spanish tour one year ago because my band Bloodhunter was opening the shows for them. We all received a message from Prika asking us if we wanted to do the audition and after many video calls, here we are!      

E&D: Do Nervosa feel reenergised with the new lineup?  

Diva: I think that in this era we all needed a fresh start, so this has been the perfect gift for us!      

E&D: How testing has the past year been on Nervosa both with the lineup changes and with the worldwide pandemic? 

Diva: I really feel admiration for Prika because overcoming such a challenging situation completely alone is not easy. She’s a real warrior.      

E&D: What effect do you think the pandemic has had on the metal world and what does the future hold once this vaccine is rolled out?  

Diva: I think that we all needed a break from these crazy times of always running from one place to the other, but this too much. Hopefully things change with the vaccine so everybody can be safe and enjoy live music again. We can’t wait to hit the stage!

E&D: What has the reaction to the new material been like so far?  

Diva: We are overwhelmed! We appreciate the amazing feedback from the old fans and from the new ones that are joining the Nervosa legions. We couldn’t be happier.      

E&D: Do you feel that Perpetual Chaos last album starts where your last album Downfall Of Mankind left off or do you feel it is a separate entity in line with your new beginning as a band?  

Diva: Downfall Of Mankind was more aggressive than the precious albums but I think that with this new one we explore new different paths for the very first time in the history of Nervosa.

E&D: Did you always want to kick the album off with such an energetic track as you have done with ‘Venomous’?  

Diva: It’s a big punch in the face and this is how we are now: PURE ENERGY!       

E&D: Aside from the speed and thrash that’s on the majority of the album, a song like ‘Blood Eagle’ is still crushingly heavy but more mid-paced, did you want to include that side of Nervosa’s sound too?  

Diva: ‘Blood Eagle’ has a big influence on the black/death metal background with bands such as Behemoth for example. Prika had the idea of writing a song about this Viking ritual and the main riff is simply brutal, couldn’t be another way.      

E&D: What has been the biggest influence on the sound of Perpetual Chaos?  

Diva: I think that facing these challenges all together in the middle of this pandemic situation had a big impact on us: we had to learn to work in different ways, from the distance and without knowing each other. It’s been very special for all of us.       

E&D: Do you think that there is a lot of death metal and black metal influences on Perpetual Chaos and in the sound of Nervosa too?  

Diva: Sure! We all like many different music genres but our backgrounds will always be there.      

E&D: Is the albums title a statement on the way the world is at the moment and do the lyrics on the album reflect that?  

Diva: This chaos that we are talking about exists since the very beginning of humanity because we are responsible for many of these horrible things that happened all over the years, so that’s why it’s perpetual, because it has existed since always. But yes, we live in this era of fear and anger because we thought we were on the top of the world with technologies and so on and now we were forced to stay at home or we died. That’s the most scary thing that happened to humanity in centuries.      

 

E&D: You have done a video for the song ‘Guided By Evil’. Can you tell us a bit about the song and the video and what its themes are? 

Diva: ‘Guided By Evil’ talks about the lack of empathy and egoism. People that don’t care about anything else then themselves. We decided to symbolize our union as a ritual to fight against this kind of people in our lives, we are done with that and we are starting a new era at many levels. 

E&D: How much fun was it to film that video? 

Diva: We’ve been working in the studio all day long and we started to film the videoclip after that, late at night. It was very funny because we filmed everything in the surroundings of the studio and that was the very first time that we looked to each other and thought “girls, this is our very first time playing together! haha”.      

E&D: What are some of your favourite metal videos and what makes you love them? 

Diva: I really like Behemoth videos because the visuals are more than amazing: they reinvented the concept of extreme metal and took it to another level much more artistic. ‘Ov Fire And Void’ is one of my faves.       

E&D: Are you looking forward to hitting the road again as soon as it is possible and have you got any touring plans you can tell us about at the moment? 

Diva: We have a lot of plans: we confirmed many Summer festivals and booked some shows around Europe for this year, but let’s see how things are going…      

E&D: When you do start playing live again, will you be playing a lot of the new material from Perpetual Chaos

Diva: I hope so!      

E&D: How do you go about compiling a set list that takes in all aspects of the bands material?  

Diva: It’s going to be hard for sure, because Nervosa has been playing shows for 10 years and this band has a lot of hymns that we have to play also.      

E&D: What have been some of the highlights of your touring life that you can tell us about?  

Diva: Touring is the funniest part at all and can be also the most difficult because you don’t always have the best conditions at venues or even for travelling from one place to the other, but anyway having that connection with the audience it’s wonderful even when you can’t understand between of each other because of the language. Music has no boundaries.      

E&D: Who are your biggest influences as a musician both past and present? 

Diva: Sabina Classen from Holy Moses, Angela Gossow (ex-Arch Enemy) and Tristessa from Astarte were my very first influences in the extreme metal scene.      

E&D: How did you get into thrash and metal in the first place?  

Diva: I started with rock n roll first: I was watching a TV Show and there was one girl performing ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi and I instantly fell in love. It took me some years to get to the extreme side. I used to listen some grunge and right from there I wanted to discover more aggressive sounds, so it was like a natural transition for me.    

E&D: What are your favourite thrash bands and albums of all time? 

Diva: Obviously classics are a MUST, but I really like new bands like Suicidal Angels (Division Of Blood) or Dust Bolt (Awake The Riot).       

E&D: What were your favourite metal albums of last year?  

Diva: Me And That Man New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Kiko Loureiro, Open Source and Conception, State Of Deception. 

E&D: What have been the highlights of your time in Nervosa so far and what are you looking forward to in the future? 

Diva: I found a family. I’m very thankful to be able to work with these women. We can’t wait to show you what this new line-up has to offer in this new era. Stay tuned to the news!

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