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Nervosa’s Fernanda Lira + Prika Amaral Talk ‘Victim of Yourself’ Album + More

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When you have notable fans such as metal giants Alex Webster, Bobby Blitz and Max Cavalera, you must be doing something right. The Brazilian act Nervosa certainly deserve all of the praise that they’re receiving for their new album ‘Victim of Yourself.’

Loudwire had the chance to chat with singer-bassist Fernanda Lira and guitarist Prika Amaral about the inspiration and process of creating ‘Victim of Yourself.’ They also spoke about the music scene in Brazil and why South America has some of the most passionate metal fans ever. Check out our interview with the members of Nervosa below:

‘Victim of Yourself’ — what does this title mean to you personally?

Fernanda Lira: I was working with lyrics that talked about a situation that happened to us in the band, concerning people trying to blame us for the results of their own attitudes. Prika suggested something similar for the title of the album, so when I named the song ‘Victim of Yourself,’ we decided to name the album after that, too. But the general idea of this album title is that everything you do will have a consequence.

If you do good things, good things will come your way. If you do bad things, it will also come back your way, so what we mean is that everything you do will have a consequence and you need to be prepared to take and assume the responsibility for your actions and attitudes. If you don´t you can´t blame others for your flaws because you are the only one responsible for what came back to you. So you become a victim, but a victim of yourself!

Prika Amaral: The name of album came when some people tried to harm us with envy, talking about things that aren’t true, trying to denigrate our image. These people have gone awry by their own attitudes and this is ‘Victim of Yourself.’ I believe that we are responsible for our attitudes. If you make evil, you will get evil. To everything there’s a return!

This album is heavy, raw and thrashy. How was the creative and recording process for this record?

FL: Everything was pretty organic and pretty well divided between all of us. Me or Prika would come with a riff or a series of riffs then we start improv-ing those riffs or adding new ideas to them until it’s polished the way we want it to be. Then we start working on the drums lines and fills then the songs starts being shaped. But we never actually think or establish what we want for that songs, everything happens pretty naturally.

It is heavy raw and thrashy, it comes from the inspiration we get after the music we listen to. We listen to a lot of thrash and death metal, especially the old school stuff. So when the time comes for us to write our own music, we end up being influenced by them, at least this is what happens to me personally. We started recording the album in the last day of January 2013 and that also took some time cause there we many setbacks during it. Prika got her arm injured, we had to take a break during the recordings due to studio problems.

Also, as it was going to be our first album, we decided to be as focused and as detailed and we could, so the final result would be really satisfying and fulfilling. Because of that we ended up delivering the master to Napalm in the second half of last year.

PA: I create some riffs and I send to the girls and they compose from these riffs or Fernanda sends some riffs and I improve these riffs on the guitar. It’s always a process in group, each one makes their part, somebody brings some inspiration and we build the song in a consensus. The good vibes are essential to create a good song, we let the creative juices flow.

Where did you draw inspiration from to write music for this album?

FL: Everything, we live and face in our daily routine ends up influencing not only our lyrics, but our music also. Especially when you live in Brazil, there’s a lot of things you don’t think is right, so we end up absorbing this hate from these situations and using this as inspiration to write our music. Actually, I think that’s one of the main reasons that Brazilian bands have this particular way of making metal, this very raw and aggressive way, because there’s too much to be unburdened, too much to be spit out!

PA: The reality is the main concept of our lyrics, the feelings are true and the music is our life, our way of expressing. Brazil is a corrupt country, and the hate is inside of us naturally, but we look to all the world and all the problems that bother us. The world is dirty and we have a lot to say. The hate and the heaviness, this is the combination.

You guys have gotten praises from legends such as Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse, Bobby Blitz of Overkill and Max Cavalera of Soulfly. How does this feel for you?

FL: I simply have no words to describe that feeling, but I can only say I feel so thankful and fulfilled at the same time! When you are a teenage headbanger you will never imagine that one day you will have a band and that your personal heroes will get to listen to your band and know who you are, and then enjoy your work and say such cool words.  It’s something you just can´t imagine.

We work very hard to get everything we have but sometimes I feel I’m just a lucky girl to be living all of these cool experiences. Their words were honest and that’s what matters to me the most, being aware that the people that influenced me a lot during my whole life as a headbanger and as a musician appreciate what I do, no price can pay for that feeling!

PA: This is amazing! Our idols talking very well about our job, it’s the best return that we can receive. It’s simply fantastic. It’s very rewarding to know that the words said are sincere. It’s wonderful!

Growing up in Brazil, how would you describe the music scene there?

FL: The scene here is very wide and rich, wherever you go here in this continental country you will find very solid local scenes, especially when it concerns bands. Fans are very passionate here and also very supportive, and this is the main fuel to keep the awesome bands we have here to move on believing in their music! There are many I could list here, but my favorites nowadays seem to be Torture Squad, Claustrofobia, MX, Sinaya, Necromesis, Vocífera, Leatherfaces, Jackdevil and many many more!

PA: There are many headbangers here. It’s a scene with a lot of potential, our scene grows each day. The Brazilians are fanatic and dedicated fans, really there are many bands here, and they are very good bands. Brazil is a very large country, so its possible to make a big tour here. Old bands that are active and are very good are Korzus, Krisiun, Torture Squad, Ratos de Porão, Sepultura. New bands are Lacerated and Carbonized, Voodoo Priest, Krow, Vocifera, Skinlepsy, etc… And old bands that returned now like Anthares, Executer, MX, Disaster, etc.

Did you go to shows as a kid?

FL: When my parents went to metal gigs they always left me home! My first gig was Iron Maiden at Pacaembu Stadium in 2004. I was 13-years-old back then, and ever since I never stopped going to gigs, first to enjoy them and a little later to be covering them for the press and media I worked for.

PA: No. I lived in another city, and there were no shows,  it was a little city. My mother likes rock ‘n’ roll bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, etc … but my father doesn’t like, so it was very hard for my mother to go out with me for a show in another city. But I watched and listened many songs in my home. My mother had many vinyls, and I was crazy with ‘Houses of the Holy’ from Led Zeppelin. I was five and I loved this album and loved the art cover.

Was there one show in particular that inspired you to want to be in a thrash band and create music? What band was it, elaborate on this experience.

FL: When I started going to gigs I was already was playing in bands, so all of the bands I saw live were really inspirational to me. As for thrash metal, when I saw Slayer back in 2005 for the first time, it really twisted my mind. I got crazy about that energy and no doubt this gig has influenced me a lot to become a diehard thrasher and musician. Slayer is always inspirational.

PA: Each show that I see is motivational for me, I watch and I stay with the desire to play, with many ideas in my mind. Playing with Exodus was a special moment for me because they are an important influence for me and it was our first show with a big band. After our show, Tom Hunting was singing our song!

Every band I speak with always says that South American fans are the most passionate and crazy. Why do you think this is?

FL: I completely agree with that because it is a fact. South American fans tend to be more receptive and also more passionate, maybe because there isn’t as much international gigs here as people have in Europe or in the States. For example, everyone has that old dream of watching the ones who influence them as headbangers or their personal idols live. When we have a chance for this to happen. It ends up that we just can’t control our passion and our happiness.

PA: We are caliente people. [Laughs] For a long time bands didn’t play here. An international show was very rare to happen. This shortage has caused an anxiety, so when a band comes here, it’s a special moment. We are warriors, because here, the metal music is banalized by the great media, by the government. So with love, we make metal and we are underground and we make it all by ourselves.

What are your future aspirations for Nervosa?

FL: After the awesome feedback we’re getting from the album release worldwide, I can say that now more than ever we feel not only re-energized, but with full force to keep the machine working. We’ll plan a lot of promotion on this album and also already start working in new songs soon. There´s almost no break between the end of the promotion for ‘Victim of Yourself’ and the beginning of the release of the next one. Music is our lives, so we’ll do whatever it takes to keep on living this dream!

PA: We want to play around the world, in all places possible, take our songs to all countries, to know the people, promote our music, to play and play forever! I’m very anxious to write a new album. I have many ideas in my mind and I need to write now.

Our thanks to Nervosa’s Fernanda Lira and Prika Amaral for the interview. ‘Victim of Yourself’ is currently available at iTunes and Amazon.

Check Out the Video for Nervosa’s Single ‘Death’

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