Nemesea is a female fronted band from Groningen/The Netherlands. Founded by vocalist Manda and guitar player Hendrik Jan [HJ] in September 2002 [under the name “Nemesis”, which was changed to Nemesea only a few weeks later] at the conservatory in Groningen.
Nowadays,the band is part of the known Austrian metal label Napalm Records [Trail of Tears, Heidevolk, Tyr, Tristania, The 11th Hour etc]. The Quiet Resistance is the band’s latest album, released by Napalm Records in 2011. Below an interview with Manda & HJ from Nemesea.
TMR: Hello to you from´The Metal Resource’, how are things going there in Groningen?
Manda: Things are going great in Groningen, most beautiful city in the world…haha.
TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]
Manda: My name is Manda and I’m the singer of the band. HJ is our guitarist, Sonny playes the bass, Lasse is our keyboard player and DJ and our drummer is called Frank.
TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Nemesea’
HJ: Nemesea started in 2003 and released its first album Mana in 2004. We played a lot of shows together with After Forever and after a few years we thought it was time to make the next step. We decided to join an online fundraising platform called Sellaband and gathered a nice budget with which we recorded our second album In Control. The music had changed from Gothic Metal to Heavy rock with electro influences. In 2009 we did a couple of shows in OMNI surround and released a live album. Two years later we got in touch with Napalm Records and decided to collaborate with them for our fourth album The Quiet Resistance.
TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or study do you do beside the band ?
Manda: Oh how I wish that was true! I’d love to spend my whole day making music but unfortunately we are not there just yet. Besides Nemesea I’m a teacher in three different ways. I teach music in primary school, I also teach the 6th grade in primary school and I’m a vocal teacher too.
Manda: I come from a classical background. I played the flute for years and only got into metal and rock music when I was 16 years old. I started singing when I was 18.
HJ has always been into rock. He also learned a lot about blues since his father is really into blues.
Sonny is more the soul/funk kind of guy. You can recognize that in the way he plays. It makes him a really special rock/metal bassplayer.
Lasse also has a classical background and found his way in the electronic world as soon as his hands touched a keyboard after 6 years of playing the piano.
Frank has a very wide taste when it comes to music. He’s had a rock/pop/jazz education.
TMR: Why the name ‘Nemesea’ ? Is there a story behind it ?
HJ: Not really. We liked the sound of the name a lot. It means the day the ancient Greek dedicated to the Goddess Nemesis. It fitted the music we played back then very well.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Nemesea’ ? .. how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?
Manda: HJ is in charge of the songs and I’m in charge of the lyrics. HJ always hears music in everything. He uses his phone to record melodies that he comes up with….no matter where he is…haha. Only a short piece of music (melody, rhythm, beat) can help him create a totally new song!
My inspiration to write lyrics can come from almost anything; a good book, something that happened to me of people I know, a movie, a word or a sentence…
Our last album talks a lot about holding onto your dreams and not giving them up. That’s something we had to cope with in the years between In Control and TQR.
TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Nemesea’ the best ?
HJ: Heavy rock music with electro influences
TMR: How does ‘Nemesea’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?
Manda: We don’t talk about religion and politics in our music. We feel that’s not up to us. Everybody has its own opinion about those things and we don’t like to lecture about that.
TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘Nemesea’ ?
Manda: I carry out my own messages and hope people will find their own story behind the word. I hope people will find comfort and hope in my lyrics. Something to give them the strength to move on no matter how difficult live can be sometimes.
TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?
Manda: We’ve played with the Gathering a while ago and that was quite special for me since I’ve been a fan since I was 16 years old. In the future I’d love to play with Rammstein. They are just amazing.
TMR: First record you bought? [for everyone personal]
Manda: Ahum…Take That – Never Forget. Yes, I was a BIG fan
TMR: What makes you laugh? [for everyone personal]
Manda: My cat being silly…
TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?
HJ: We use Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with our fans. Also Youtube and Myspace are important to tell the world what the band’s up to.
TMR: How do you prepare for a show? [for everyone personal]
Manda: I warm up my vocal chords, take some time to put on make-up and turn into my stage outfit. Right before the show we wish each other good luck.
TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically ? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
HJ: Our show visually is different from other female fronted bands. We do a lot with electronics so both guitar and bass player also play keyboards during the live performances. We have a lot of energy on stage but are not (or don’t want to) losing the quality of playing although it’s always different from practicing at home.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? [for everyone personal]
HJ: If there was something wrong with the mix or recording of our first album Mana since it lacked guitar in some parts of the songs ; ) Like music always needs guitar right?
TMR: Do you have a life philosophy? [for everyone personal]
Manda: Follow your dreams, don’t regret anything, try to learn from bad experiences and find your happiness in life!
Manda: I don’t visit a lot of gigs, to be honest. I should do that more often. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. Right now I really enjoy listening to 30 Seconds to Mars and Paramore.
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
HJ: Well, there’s a lot of metal music happening but very heavy stuff and often very bad
Hardrock not so much. There are more pop and indie bands over here.
TMR: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
HJ: I would say interesting and challenging. I think it’s that situation with everybody : record labels, artists & bands, have to work harder to get around but this is not necessary a bad thing.
For the audience these are ideal times. Music is easy to get, there’s a huge offer and online it’s well priced.
TMR: Your latest album ‘The Quiet Resistance’, was released in 2011, tell us about the songs, the recording proces, who did the artwork/label etc.
HJ: TQR can be considered as a low budget album since we didn’t have a recording budget to make it very high standard. We are fortunate to have recording, editing, production and writing skills ourselves so the album doesn’t sound low budget. We also are very happy that Joost van den Broek stepped in and took the album to another level soundwise. Still it was tough and very time consuming. Next to that it was Frank’s first thing to do with Nemesea. Frank entered Nemesea and a week later he had to record the drums. Pretty weird circumstances but it worked out.
The song writing was done in stages, some songs were there for quite some time and other were written during the production/ recording process.
The artwork was done by Stefan Heilemann who also does the artwork & foto’s for other bands like Epica etc.
TMR: ‘The Quiet Resistance’ was released by ‘Napalm Records’, how did you get signed by them ?
Manda: We’ve been in contact with Napalm Records for quite some time now. They’ve asked us to join them a few years ago already but we wanted to join the online platform first to see if that would work for us. Unfortunately it didn’t so we decided to join NR when they asked us again a year and a half ago.
TMR: You are one of the first bands, who are made known for The fifth edition of ‘Brainstorm Festival 2012’. What are your expectations for this?
HJ : I think we expect to have fun and hopefully please the crowd. Festivals are always something to look forward to.
HJ: We are already working on some new ideas for our fourth studio album. We hope to tour a lot more, since we just had an amazing experience touring with In Extremo in Germany. We’re also working on some festivals for this summer.
TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
Manda: Follow your heart, make the music you want to make, not what people expect from you.
TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands ?
HJ: To get proper promotion, proper gigs & tours. Musically to create something new & fresh and next to that tofind people that help you with the business side…. But theirs is probably more…..
TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Nemesea’ all the best for 2012 … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]
Manda: We’ve put a lot of effort, hard work and passion into our album The Quiet Resistance so go check it out and let us know what you think on www.Nemesea.com !
Mar / 31 / 2012, de Bibelot, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Jun / 01 / 2012, Atak, Enschede, The Netherlands
Aug / 11 / 2012, Rommelrock Festival, Eisden – Maasmechelen,Belgium
Aug / 24 / 2012, Spijkerpop Festival ,Niekerk, The Netherlands
Oct / 20 / 2012, Metal Female Voices Fest – Oktoberhallen, Wieze, Belgium
Nov / 02 / 2012, Brainstorm Festival – de Gigant, Apeldoor, The Netherlands
Nov / 10 / 2012, Gothic Fantasyfair – Prins Bernardhoeve, Zuidlaren, The Netherlands
Nov / 11 / 2012, Gothic Fantasyfair – Prins Bernardhoeve, Zuidlaren, The Netherlands