Brazilian thrashers Nervosa are one of the hardest working bands in metal, constantly on the road devastating audiences the world over. Ahead of their upcoming third album, the band hit the road with Venom Inc and Suffocation on a tour that would wholly satisfy any extreme metal fan. We caught up bassist and vocalist Fernanda Lima on the bands tour bus they are sharing with Suffocation, on the first date of the tour in Bristol to hear about the anticipation to be playing with Venom Inc and Suffocation, how the band cope with life on the road, highlights of touring and dream tours, the bands new album, crazy audiences, her home country of Brazil and what else they have planned for the rest of the year.
This is the first date of your European tour with Venom Inc and Suffocation. Are you looking forward to the tour?
Definitely, The day they invited us, I was already dying, like oh my god! We know the guys from Suffocation and we’ve been wanting to know Tony Dolan for a while and we know Mantas also, he knows the band so we are very excited and have been from day one when we were invited on the tour! It’s going to be nice, it’s like touring with friends.
Have you toured with Suffocation before?
Not toured but I’ve known Terrance and Derek for like, ten years now and because I interviewed one of them. I used to be a metal journalist like you that’s why! We caught them playing a couple of times in Europe and then they were in Brazil and we hung out so we’re friends you know. That’s why it’s so nice, we’re doing what we love and surrounded by friends. It’s just perfect!
How do you prepare for such an extensive tour like this one?
This tour is totally chill for us because we’re really crazy and we’re used to going out fir two or two and a half months on the road, like fifty dates! This is like twenty something dates touring in a tourbus which is pretty comfortable but of course we do get ready, we listen to the songs a lot, we practice a lot. Mainly, what we do the most before coming on tour is taking care of our health. We do our best to get our bodied strong and full of vitamins so when we come here, we have a routine do our bodies can stand it!
Especially if you’re drinking a lot!
Haha, not a lot! Honestly, I’ve been drinking less and less because of my vocals, today I am but it’s not all the time. Otherwise I get sick and get stomach problems and I don’t want to mess with that and also my my voice. The thing that ruins my voice the most is air conditioning, which is everywhere and heating, this ruins my voice and alcohol too. I can control that but sometimes I like a sip!
You’re obviously big fans of Venom Inc and Suffocation so it must be a thrill touring with them and other bands you admire too ?
Exactly! That’s the main thing. That’s why we’re so thankful about everything, we love doing this and we love doing it with friends and idols too! We’ve always listened to Venom. The tour we did with Destruction, Schmiers like a personal God to me! I love him and he’s very inspirational to me so it’s like a dream come true when we do Venom Inc. I’ve listened to Venom since I was a child because my dad is a metalhead so he was always singing “Black Metal”!!! and he’s dying for Tony Dolans autograph! Like oh my god, you need to bring something signed! Mantas and all these guys are amazing and Suffocation are one of the best death metal bands there is out there. It’s like watching teachers play, you learn so much from these guys. It’s very technical and brutal so it’s just really, really nice.
Are you fans of the other bands on the bill Aeternam and Survive?
I have to be honest, I hadn’t heard them before but I’m looking forward to checking them out live which I think us the best way to check a band out but they’re nice dudes.
What can fans expect from the Nervosa set on this tour?
The sets in this tour are pretty short because we’re not headlining so it’s going to be thirty/thirty five minutes and when we’ve got a short setlist, we do it like totally in your face. No time for talking and shit like that, we just want to play! We’re playing more songs from Agony and a bit from Victim Of Yourself but it’s going to be the faster songs.
So you can get more in!
Yeah, so we can play more songs and from the show people can expect a lot of energy because we’ve been recording our album during the last two months so we’re dying to get onstage! You will be able to feel that!
Is your new album recorded?
Yeah, it’s all done finally. We wrote the album last year and we got into the studio January and February, it was pretty tough as we had a short time to record, over twelve hours a day in the studio, three weeks in a row but we finished it and we’re happy with the result and our label loves it so that’s the important thing.
When’s the album coming out?
In June so when we’re back in Europe again in mid July, people will already be used to the album and I hope you all like it! We like a lot do we hope you do like it!
Are you going to be playing new material in your set on this tour?
Not on this tour, it’s still about Agony and we’ll play some songs from Victim Of Yourself. We need to practice the new dongs a little bit more! Our next tour here, then we’ll be playing new stuff.
What are the bands plans after this tour, are you taking a break to promote the album before you head back out onto the road?
Yeah, we go back home. We have a couple of dates in Latin America. We decided we wanted to chill out a little bit because last year we’ve been playing like crazy, the year before we played like crazy. In 2016, we did 160 shows, 2017, 130 shows, that’s a lot! So this year, we’re not doing as much, we’re doing this tour now and we recorded the album at the beginning of the year and we have a couple of dates, not tours, in Latin America and then we release the album in June, play those couple of gigs then we’re coming back to Europe in mid July until the beginning of September then we’epre still analyzing what the plans are going to be.
Have you got any plans for any festival shows at all?
Yeah, we have got a few festivals confirmed and we are still booking gigs and everything so stay tuned or them.
Which bands have you enjoyed playing with the most and what made it so memorable?
Krisiun, who are my favourite Brazilian band and Destruction of course because it was a dream come true. Exodus who were the first band outside of Brazil that we played with, five or six years ago and it was amazing. We’ve played with many bands but more on festivals and things. I can’t wait to play with Suffocation and Venom Inc, it’s going to be nice.
Who would you live to tour with in the future?
Slayer! but I don’t think that’s going to happen because they’re doing their last tour and I don’t think we’re going to be lucky enough to get to play with them. There’s many other bands that I’d love to tour with like Obituary and Nuclear Assault. Cannibal Corpse, I would love to. They’re our friends and I would live to go on tour with them, it would be just amazing, also Death Angel, I’d love to tour with those guys and they’re also friends so it would be like the craziest thing ever.
What have been some of your favourite touring memories with Nervosa so far? I’m sure there’s so many to choose from!
Oh man, there’s so many to choose from, exactly! It really depends, I mean sharing a bus with Destruction was one of the best things ever. We were having drinks and fun and laughs every night and every time we get to play to a new place it’s something special. All the fests we’ve played, these are the greatest memories from old tours like when we played Obscene Extreme which was our first gig ever in Europe, that was amazing, there was a lot of people! Brutal Assault, every time we play there it’s packed. Metal Days which is the best festival in my opinion. I think the festival memories are all pretty nice and also on the last tour, we didn’t get to play Metal Days but we had days off exactly when the festival was running so we went there to have fun, that was amazing. When we went to the States, our first tour in the States, we had time to visit some places so we went to the Grand Canyon and stuff like that and these are all dear memories.
You’ve been touring around the world for a few years now, you must be comfortable with the touring lifestyle or does it still take a bit of time to adjust back into it?
It’s crazy coz when you’re home, you want to be on tour and when you’re on tour you want to be at home! It’s like this never ending cycle but now we are way more used to it that we were before. On our first tours we would get sick a lot and it was harder to keep the control over your body and my voice and everything. Now, everything is smoother because we k is how to deal with everything and also now, I personally know how to work on my privacy a little more. When you’re on tour you spend like two months doing everything with the same people every time and now I know when I need some time off or need some time alone to rebalance everything and to chill. We know how to deal more with touring now but I love touring. It’s like 100% of the reason we evolved as a band is touring. Playing every night makes you a bette musician, definitely.
What’s your favourite song to play live and what songs gets the best reaction and makes the crowd go the craziest in your opinion?
Good question! Well, the one I like to play the most is Guerra Santa which is from Agony. It’s our song in Portugese from the last album and I love playing the song, it’s super fast (mimes the main riff) so I love playing that. Good reactions we get from the singles we’ve released. Intolerance Means War, sometimes people help me sing it, so I think these two.
With being on tour and being away from home so long, do you miss Brazil?
Definitely, I miss everything about Brazil and you know what, I learned how to love Brazil even more after I stated touring because when you’re there, and we suffer a lot, it’s hard to make a living and just very corrupt and everything so you can get tired of living there after a while. You’re like I can’t wait to be out of here and when you’re out of thee you start missing everything.
You appreciate it more.
Yeah, you start appreciating. What I love most is the food, I miss Brazilian food very much when we’re on tour. Our food is very diverse, we have a lot of diversity with all the different kinds of food so I miss that a lot and the second thing I miss the most is the people. We’re a specific kind of people, we’re always happy. When you see a Brazilian, he or she are always going to be smiling. We’re always going to be fun and like it’s ok and chill. I miss that sometimes in some places, some people are very cold and very reserved and us Brazilians, no. Whenever I get home, I feel very comfortable again. As I said, I learned how to appreciate that after I started touring and I love it. (Talking to Suffocation guitarist Terrance Hobbs who has just entered the tourbus where the interview is taking place) Don’t you agree Terrance, don’t you love it too?
Oh yeah, it’s amazing! How can you not like Brazil?!
How do metal crowds differ in Brazil?
I think in Latin America, in a general way, it’s more intense but mainly because we don’t get bands playing all the time, they take, one year, two years to get back so whenever a band is there, we’re dying to see them so although bands are traveling there all the time but because it’s more rare, we’re more intense. We’re very intense people in our normal routine, we’re very passionate and it’s the same with heavy metal. We’re very passionate about metal. It’s not that Europeans or North Americans or Asians are not passionate, it’s just a different level. Our crowd shows it more but all of them are different, here, what I like most about Europe is that people are more analytical, they analyse everything and they give you different feedback, more technical feedback which is also important for us. It helps us grow, you know, and evolve. Latin America is always going to be crazy and then North America is a mix between Europe and North America, they pay a lot of attention and at the same time they’re like fuck it! So every continent is different but I don’t think one is better than the other, they’re just different.