Since forming in September 2012, the Netherlands’ Nemesea have been entertaining the masses with their fun, energised alternative rock. But after a five year absence, they’re back with an excellent new album in Uprise. Speaking to guitarist HJ and bassist Sonny from the band, we talked about their latest album, fan interactions, a possible return to live shows and Spotify.
Jack: Hi, thanks for taking the time to speak to me. How are you doing?
Nemesea: Hi, we are doing very well and always a pleasure!
Jack: Uprise came out last month and it’s a really fun album. Are you happy with the response?
Nemesea: Yes! The response is really good so we are very glad people like the new music in it’s new form.
Jack: Who drew the artwork and what does it represent?
Nemesea: The artwork has been designed by Heile / Stefan Heilemann who also did the artwork for our previous album The Quiet Resistance and again did a great job! It represents the Uprise of an/the individual. Getting control of your own life and take the necessary steps that lead to a better, more positive result.
Jack: Is there a theme or concept to the album at all?
Nemesea: It’s not a concept album per se because different themes come along but you could say the title Uprise is a key word that reflects on most of the songs.
Jack: What was the recording process like?
Nemesea: Well, pretty intense [Laughs] but what else is new! When looking back it basically was a great experience. First of all working with producer/mixer Guido Aalbers was great. In many ways he helped us out fantastically and it was very inspiring. It took us quite some to time to get started again after a silent period and it started with some bad news. In 2014 we rented a studio for a couple of days to do the first pre-production with producer Guido. Unfortunately Lasse/Keys, sound design had some bad news an mentioned he couldn’t work with us on this new release. Because of work and family circumstances he just wasn’t able to put in the amount of time that was needed. We had to find a replacement and this was DJ/sound designer Bas Veeren. The good news was that Steven returned to Nemesea and took place behind the drum kit again so this felt like coming home, and that applied for everyone. We used the first half of 2015 for more songwriting so we could record the album in the summer of 2015. We recorded the album in Guido’s brand new studio in Zwolle and things went great. We chose a different (sound) direction/production this time because we didn’t want to make a second Quiet Resistance. We all had experienced a lot the last couple of years so we really aimed for a more pure sound. The whole album process was like this and by that we mean no unlimited editing, no drum samples and just record 2 or 3 takes a go for the one that had the right feel.
Jack: What are your main influences?
Nemesea: This is a tough question because we all have different bands/ styles we like. Bands like Linkin Park, 30 Seconds To Mars, Placebo, Muse probably would be in everybody’s playlist [Smiles].
Jack: Is there a favourite song to the album?
Nemesea: This is also very personal. We all like “Forever” very much and is the reason why we chose it as the first single.
Jack: My favourite is the catchy ‘Get Out.’ What is it about?
Nemesa: Ah, great! It’s Sonny’s favourite as well. ‘Get out’ is about releasing yourself from a situation that is not good for you. It’s about leaving the past for what it is and move on, pretty dramatically but that’s often the only way.
Jack: What has working with Napalm Records been like?
Nemesea: Working with Napalm has been good up to now. They had a lot of patience when the band was on hold for a couple of years so we experienced that as very valuable. Of course Napalm is a (heavy) metal label and Nemesea is one of the ‘softer’ bands so sometimes we (band and label) face certain challenges but all is there to overcome.
Jack: You’ve hosted some album listening events for the fans, what’s it been like sharing the album with fans?
Nemesea: This was a great experience and quite emotional. Making an album is always very intense and personal. When you post a ‘contest’ on Facebook many people apply from all over the world and this is just amazing. We had fans from France, Italy and Holland at the listening session so that was awesome. We held the session in the Studio where we recorded the album so people could get a bit of the vibe we experienced during recordings. We made a movie/picture presentation and gave the fans a special goodie bag with unique Nemesea items. We also streamed the complete listening session so people all over the world could follow us. In total a great experience!
Jack: Is it weird knowing that fans want to have their photos taken with you and their CDs signed?
Nemesea: In a way it is but we understand and feel really touched and honoured.
Jack: I noticed you talk to fans on social media a lot, how important is social media for you?
Nemesea: For a band like us it’s very important because the way you connect to your listeners gives you a good idea of what the music does to people. We don’t write music for ‘others’ but knowing that fans like what we like is awesome. Sonny is in charge of social media and he always does a great job!
Jack: What’s your view on Spotify?
Nemesea: We think Spotify is great! We are all users and supporters. It’s the present and future, at least for the next couple of years it will be. It’s great that you discover all this new and old but great music, make special playlists, again, we feel it’s a fantastic concept. This probably sounds like we are working there [Laughs] … but…. we don’t.
Jack: Nemesea have been a band for fourteen years, did you ever think you’d last stay together this long?
Nemesea: Well, yes. You can question a lot of things during and after your career but our drive has always been there. We are still in progress, keep getting better in songwriting, making music, so for us there is no reason to quit. We just want to see what is possible with this group!
Jack: What keeps the band’s relationship healthy?
Nemesea: Hmmm, good question and one with many answers probably. We feel it’s part communication, part honesty. Keeping passion and drive. Love making music, connecting with fans etc.
Jack: Do you have any plans to visit the tour at all anytime soon? If so do you plan to visit the UK?
Nemesea: Playing live is something we really want to do but has always been a bit of a difficult thing to realise. We had some bad luck when it comes to management/bookings these last couple of years so … We are working on getting tours going but first Manda has to recover from her health condition. That’s the most important thing right now.
Jack: Where do you see the band in the next five years?
Nemesea: We try not to look back too much and the same goes for looking into the future. Now everything is good, a brand new album we are very proud of.. focusing on getting the band and music on stage is the challenge for now.
Jack: Finally there has been some debate about the use of the term female-fronted band. Do you hate that term?
Nemesea: We don’t hate it. It’s just a term to say there is a female singer. The thing is that it’s only applied on certain bands and that why it’s a bit weird. Garbage, The Cranberries, etc. were never called “female-fronted” bands, just rock bands so… But if people describe Nemesea as female-fronted we don’t mind. It’s the truth, but it just doesn’t cover the style of music we play being alternative rock.