Interview with vocalist Diva Satanica
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: December 15, 2020
Brazilian all-female Thrash Metal band Nervosa, formed in 2010, have really made a name for themselves over the last 10 years, recording three full-length studio albums and touring all around the world with the original lineup led by Fernanda Lira. Sadly, the band members decided to go their separate ways in 2020, leaving original guitarist Prika to decide if there would be a future for the band.
Things take sudden turns once in a while and that is what happened with Nervosa. Prika decided to keep the Nervosa ship moving forward and soon hired new members. She found Italy's Mia Wallace for bass, Eleni Nota from Greece for drums and Spain's Diva Satanica for behind the mic and in no time Nervosa was reborn.
The whole band found themselves recording a new album in Malaga, Spain, in May 2020 while getting to know each other, recorded 13 songs for the band's fourth album, Perpetual Chaos (scheduled to be released via Napalm Records on January 22, 2021).
We here at The Metal Crypt were curious and contacted the band about the new lineup, the recording session for Perpetual Chaos, etc. and new front lady Diva Satanica was kind enough to reveal some interesting information. Read on...
First of all, my sincere congrats to you on your permanent position in Nervosa as their new venom-spitting throat! How did it feel when you were told that you were chosen to front the band?
Diva: Thank you so much for your kind words. Sure! Everything happened during the confinement and I remember jumping up from the sofa when I saw Prika's message. I didn't expect such an amazing thing! I knew it was going to be the biggest challenge in my short career as a vocalist, but it's worth it!
INTENSE RECORDING SESSION
I just recently watched the first part of the documentary in which you were all stuck in Artesonao Casa de Grabación Studio in Malaga, Spain (which is in a very beautiful and scenic location) and I have to say that you obviously had a great experience there while you were recording the album. Would you tell our readers something more about your recording experience there and what it was like to spend time there as a part of Nervosa?
Diva: It's been a very intense process. We didn't meet each other until we arrived at the studio and I was the last one to get there so for me it was even weirder because the girls had been there for almost three weeks. We had to learn how to live and work together for the very first time, so we became a family. We spent one month there for the recording sessions and our very first video clip and promotional photo session, so we are very proud of having overcome all the obstacles during this pandemic situation.
I have to say your voice is friggin' awesome! I mean, it's just wicked and evil as hell and fits the band perfectly. I am curious to know does all this grunting come naturally for you or have you been training for years?
Diva: Wow, thank you so much! Yes, I'm a self-taught vocalist and this is the reason it took me many years to learn. I couldn't find a vocal coach, so I started to search for tutorials and I attended a lot of metal shows to study the different performances and I practiced a lot!
You are no rookie with your grunting growls because you have also used them in your other band, Bloodhunter. Did you have to adjust your growling style to fit better with Nervosa's Death/Thrash style?
Diva: This was something that we had to think about in the beginning, because they are very different projects, and we didn't want to bore people with the same performance for both bands. I learned all that I know with Bloodhunter. That was my very first band ever, so I developed my own style over the years. With Nervosa, we wanted to find an approach that matched Fernanda's register but kept my own identity as a vocalist and Martin Furia, our producer, helped me to find new nuances in my voice so I'm very satisfied with the final result!
I am curious to know how you split your time between Nervosa and Bloodhunter. Are they equally as important to you or is your main focus on Nervosa now as it's internationally more well known?
Diva: Obviously Nervosa has to be my priority now and I talked about this with my bandmates in Bloodhunter. They perfectly understand that both bands work differently, and I need more time to dedicate to Nervosa. The good thing is that we were about to enter the studio to record our third album before the quarantine started, so I left all my work done, hehe! When Prika reached me out we discussed this situation and she said she didn't want me to leave my band, so I'm very thankful to her and my bandmates who are so understanding of my situation.
What about some of your inspirations/influences as far as vocalists are concerned? Are Sabina Classen (Holy Moses) and Angela Gossow (ex-Arch Enemy) some of the growlers that you look up to or are there some other names that have been sort of vocal tutors for you over the past years?
Diva: Sabina and Angela were possibly the very first influences that I had as a vocalist, but also Tristessa from Astarte (the first woman that formed the first female-fronted Black Metal band) or Candice Clot from ETHS (my very first attempt with growling was with their song "Samantha"). Nowadays, there are a lot of big names in the scene like Tatiana Shmailyuk from Jinjer, Lauren Hart from Once Human...
UNITED BY A COMMON LANGUAGE
Nervosa has a whole new lineup in 2020 and what makes the new Nervosa interesting is the fact the band contains four different nationalities; you come from Spain, Mia from Italy, Eleni from Greece, and Prika from Brazil. Did you all hit it off right away and what about the cultural differences, if any? Well, digging Metal is a common international language, so.... ;o)
Diva: Heheh... yes, Metal has no boundaries. It's been amazing because I learn a lot from their personal backgrounds, and I think that the three Southern European girls and the one South American girl have a lot of things in common. We are all very passionate and have a lot of determination with any choice that we make. We felt a strong connection from the beginning.
In order for the band to function better, have you had any talks about all moving to the same country, to have the ability to rehearse together physically and become a closer unit?
Diva: Nowadays bands just take a couple of days before going on tour to do their rehearsals all together because so many people live in different countries, so the individual work is very important. Prika has been thinking about moving to Europe because it would be easier to travel from one country to another versus coming from Brazil. But, who knows...
A guy named Martin Furia worked on this new Nervosa album as a producer. Since he also plays in such bands as Furia and Bark, it's also quite obvious he had a few tips to give on the band's new album. Which areas of the recording process was he smart and forward-thinking about?
Diva: Martin Furia was the producer for the last Nervosa album, so he knew about the band and their sound and he has worked as a tour manager for the band before. He's a very dedicated and professional person, he understands people perfectly and he has the ability to make you feel comfortable from the very first moment. We are very happy that he wanted to work with us again for this new album!
How much spontaneity is there in the songs on this new album? As far as I understand, you finished some of the song structures at the studio, sharing your best ideas with each other, and then just went for it and this is how you recorded your album, correct?
Diva: We tried to enter the studio with the whole album finished, but obviously and especially considering we did not know each other, we did some arrangements there all together. Martin helped us find particular sounds for the songs and that makes this album very diverse.
MARTIN IS THE MAN
Are there some songs on this record that you are ultra-proud of due to your specific vocal parts?
Diva: I'm very proud of this album because I'm sure that a lot of people are going to fall in love with the songs. We created this special mix of influences that everybody will enjoy a lot. As for the vocal parts, Martin helped to find new ways of singing and performing, and that's something I think people can appreciate while listening to the album because there are a lot of dynamics between the low and high pitches. Also, one of the biggest challenges for me was to sing very long phrases, because in this register it's difficult to sing for more than 8-10 seconds and I finally could hold the sound for even longer! I'm very thankful to Martin!
Being in front of a camera isn't anything new to you, but did it feel any different when this "Guided by Evil" video was shot by Juanjo Crespo (Visualcrespo)? How did you find Juanjo and was there any reason Malaga was chosen for the location?
Diva: It's amazing because we had to change our plans almost 24 hours before the filming sessions so the owners of Artesonao helped us to find another director and we chose Juanjo because they knew him and we liked his work. We wanted to travel as little as possible and we filmed the video on one of the last days in the studio. I remember that we had been working all day and at night we started with the video clip. We finished very late at night, but we had lots of fun!
THE WORLD IS IN TURMOIL
The album's name is Perpetual Chaos, which pretty much says it all that our beautiful blue planet, along with us humans, is about to meet destiny if we don't start to respect each other and stop exploiting nature's resources the way we have. Are you afraid of how we (stupid) humans have been treating each other since the dawn of time, plus how ignorant and stupid we have become when we refuse to see that our actions are far from being smart if we look at all of the negative things that have thrown this world into a rapid downward spiral, especially since the birth of industrialized societies?
Diva: We came this far because of our choices, but that has resulted in collateral damage and massive destruction. I thought that maybe with this pandemic situation we would learn something about this, but every time I see somebody dumping a mask on the ground, I understand that I was wrong. I think most people now respect our environment more, but we are very mean sometimes and that's very sad. Hopefully people will make the choice of educating their children about this.
The cover of Perpetual Chaos looks very eye-catching. Do you think it reflects the content of the new album?
Diva: Absolutely! We wanted something classical in a way that still represented Nervosa Prika's presence, so it's kind of old-schoolish in my opinion and that's very cool! The artist is called Alcides Burn from Burn Artworks and he has worked with bands as Bark, The Damnation, Krisiun, Keep of Kalessin...
Times are what they are, and we cannot do anything about them (yet) but I bet the Nervosa ladies have also taken a brave glimpse at some future comings and goings of the band like hopefully festivals and other shows in 2021. What can we expect from the band next year? Since I come from the land of the real Santa (Finland), your wish will be his command (which I can probably deliver to him) ;)
Diva: That's very appreciated, Luxi! We had a lot of plans but as you say, we don't know what will happen next year. Fingers crossed, let's see what happens and anyway, there's a lot of new stuff coming from this new album, so stay tuned!
Well, phew...that was it for my part, so I sincerely want to thank you, Diva, for having this chat with me and in the very same breath want to wish you all the best as the new front lady of the band. If there's anything you'd add to wrap this conversation properly enough, then by all means be my guest...?
Diva: Thank you so much for your kind words, it's been a pleasure! Hope we can meet in the future. Stay safe and don't miss our upcoming news! Take care! :)
|Other information about Nervosa on this site|
|Review: Victim of Yourself|
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