Brazilian thrash trio, Nervosa, is one of the hungriest bands on today’s scene. Their relentless drive, determination, and aggression are palpable. The success of the band’s 2014 debut album, Victim of Yourself has elevated Nervosa to the next level, and with the release of their sophomore album, Agony, they have crushed all expectations. This week we caught up with bassist and vocalist Fernanda Lira to discuss the new record, the band’s new direction, and their upcoming tour with Destruction.
Guitarist Prika Amaral founded Nervosa in 2010. She joined forces with Lira and their former drummer in 2011. They released a demo and their Time of Death EP in 2012. Solidifying the trio with new drummer Pitchu Ferraz in 2013, Nervosa recorded and released their critically acclaimed debut, Victim of Yourself in 2014. This led to over 18 months of non-stop touring around the world, building their fan base, writing new material, tightening their sound. With two years of thrashing as a unit under their bullet-belts, they entered the studio closer and stronger than ever, packing Agony with their heaviest and most aggressive songs so far.
Timed with the release of Agony, Nervosa will travel to Europe, where they have been wildly embraced, for a month of headlining dates followed by a support tour with Destruction; which Lira is quick to note is a big inspiration for Nervosa and her personally:
“Everyone who listens to our music knows Schmier and Destruction are a huge influence for me, not only on writing riffs and writing songs, but also on vocal lines and everything. They’re a huge influence to me since I was a teenager. My early memories on thrash metal involved Destruction. So when Schmier personally invited us to be joining this tour, I literally almost had a heart attack. We were really happy and Schmier’s just a great supporter. We owe a lot to Schmier cause when we released our first video clip, even before we released our demo, he shared our video clip on his Facebook page and then Napalm [Records] right away got in touch with us, so we are really thankful for him.”
Between writing and releasing Victim of Yourself and creating Agony the band has been on an amazing journey that has seen them grow stronger and more cohesive as a trio, and their experiences touring the world have matured them as songwriters: We asked Lira how this journey impacted the making of Agony.
“It impacted a lot in many ways, and all of them positive ways. We recorded the album in California, and this has been a long-term dream for the band. We wanted forever to record in the U.S., especially California where the bands that influenced me and the bands I liked very much–they recorded albums in California or they are from California; the Bay Area and stuff. So recording an album there was just awesome in many ways. We would wake up at seven every day–like 7 a.m., come on, any other day i would wake up willing to kill everyone around me, but no, I would wake up with a smile on my face like ‘yeah, let’s do another track!’ Then we would record for 10 hours and come back very tired but very accomplished. This whole energy, this whole vibe, really contributed for us to go there and just kill when we were recording. There’s a lot more energy–it’s more aggressive faster,so it was really influenced by all the good experiences we’ve been having.”
While Ferraz plays on Victim of Yourself she had not really been involved in the creation of the music for the debut record. With Agony, Pitchu had the opportunity to put her own stamp on the Nervosa sound, and her contributions are immediately noticeable:
“On the new album Pitchu wrote all the songs along with us. So me and Prika would come with riffs and then she would listen to it and put the drums. She’s a very aggressive and technical drummer, and because of that she kind of pushed us to write more aggressive and faster and more technical riffs. I think this is all influenced in the final result on the album, because for sure it’s a faster album. The songs are straight in your face and there’s a little bit more death metal, more technical album. Most of that I think, we can kind of thank Pitchu for that, because she really pushed us on writing this kind of blend between thrash and death metal.”
You can check out the full interview with Fernanda below as she talks about the album’s production, and several of the songs on Agony, including “Intolerance Means War” and the album’s surprise track, “Wayfarer” which includes some clean vocals from Lira, some blues, and even an acapella close.”