Thanks to Metalheads Against Discrimination, once again, we were able to stablish contact with yet another great «all-girl» band. Five women that just didn’t want to live music passively. Let me introduce you to NEMESIS:
Subterráneo Webzine: Welcome to Subterráneo Webzine, NEMESIS. Who is answering these questions and which is your soundtrack while you do so?
NEMESIS: Hi, this is Selena the drummer, and I am currently listening to SAVAGE CIRCUS – Dreamland Manor album.
Subterráneo Webzine: So, I read that part of NEMESIS roots were generated from an ARCH ENEMY tribute. Did you do live shows or was it more like a hobbie?
NEMESIS: Yes. We did a couple of shows as ARCH ENEMY tribute, but later we also started to cover KREATOR, PANTERA and DEATH. We wanted to play the songs we liked and to get to know each other better in that way.
Subterráneo Webzine: Raising from Serbia. I am sorry to say that I don’t remember any Serbian bands besides BANE. It seems to be like the Spanish music world, only if you are an underground digger you will find the bands. How is the metal scene over there? Which genres are more alive these days?
NEMESIS: Metal scene in Serbia is small and really underground but it is strong and welcoming. The genres that tend to be more “popular” are thrash and black metal, and I must say that we really have great bands in these subgenres.
Subterráneo Webzine: Do tribute shows work well for the public over there? How about other concerts, underground and mainstream? When there still were some…
NEMESIS: Well, it depends. If you are METALLICA or IRON MAIDEN tribute band – sure, the audience will be thrilled to come to your show, but it seems like the audience would prefer bands with original songs. The most mainstream genre in Serbia is called turbo-folk. It is a mix between Balkan folk music and popular genres such as rap, trap, hip-hop and disco. The music is mostly horrible but aesthetics are even scarier. We don’t have much concerts now because of the pandemic but usually in our capital city, Belgrade, there is at least one metal concert in every two weeks.
Subterráneo Webzine: By the way, how are things out there right now with the COVID situation? Music-wise, are you being able to play any shows at all? You started doing concerts outside your country, right? How much has the pandemic messed with your plans for the band?
NEMESIS: Pandemic messed up our plans big time. We had to cancel or postpone over 20 shows in Serbia and our region. We were scheduled to play on the biggest festival in Serbia called Exit festival, which was supposed to host SEPULTURA and NERVOSA, but it was postponed for 2021. We were also supposed to play at Hungarian Rockmaraton festival alongside with ACCEPT, CRADLE OF FILTH, SODOM and many more. But it is also postponed. We only got to have a few concerts in the begging of the year in Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina and in Slovenia before this mess started. But we haven’t played since then because the clubs that could host shows preferred to host band that play genres that are more popular than metal.
Subterráneo Webzine: You are now presenting your first LP, The war is on, which has been released by Grom records on CD. But there also is a vinyl version under Soul Peddler records. Is that correct? Did one contact come with the other, or were they separate events? Which format has worked better up until this point?
NEMESIS: Yes. And in the meanwhile, we also released cassettes under the Funeral Hymns Records label. It all started and was initiated by Milan Rakić the main man behind the Grom Records label. He has been active in the Serbian underground scene for 20 years now and is our good friend and he made it all happen! It seems like the CD format is the most popular with our audience so far. But maybe this will change when we start playing and selling merch at the concerts.
Subterráneo Webzine: The war is on was recorded at Citadela Studios and I must say it is one of the aspects I most like about the album. It sounds fresh and smashing. Did you look for a precise recording studio that was able to achieve what you had in mind for your music?
NEMESIS: Citadela studio is one of the most productive when it comes to Serbian metal. We had couple of more recording studios in mind but we knew that this is the right choice for us, since Luka (the owner) is our friend and he knows our band very good and he knew how to produce the record so it keeps the most of the energy we have while playing live.
Subterráneo Webzine: I am sure you must be happy with the result of your first record and the melodeath followers must be loving it too; there’s a lot of quality there. Is that main genre you individually listen to? Any 2020 album that has captivated you so far? Anything from Serbia?
NEMESIS: We all listen to various types of metal. Depending on the band member and the atmosphere you will find us listening everything from symphonic metal to metalcore or black metal. Our friends and colleagues from the metal scene CENTURION, QUASABORN, VOID INN and ALITOR all released their new albums this year and all of them are really great. I believe that Serbian metal scene is definitely worth exploring.
Subterráneo Webzine: Going back to The war is on. There is always so much more behind an album than just the music. For example the lyrics and the artwork. The last shows a woman who’s drowning, right? In reallity, in society…? What is the meaning behind it and the conection with the concept of your lyrics and the title of the album?
NEMESIS: Since our name is NEMESIS, and not only because of ARCH ENEMY, but also because of the Greek Goddess Nemesis who represents justice and divine retribution. We wanted to depict her drowning as a type of metaphor for everything that is happening in our homeland and globally. We have the feeling that the systems of some moral values are falling apart everywhere and that also communicates with our rebellious lyrics and general ideas about life.
Subterráneo Webzine: I see your drummer, Selena Simić, plays and has played in other bands, most of them without male musicians. So you have experienced both sceneries. Have you found it equally easy or difficult? Does it have any kind of influence over the band’s dynamics?
NEMESIS: I, Selena, personally believe that the band is much more than its members, but speaking from experience I would say I prefer playing with girls. Playing with men and women is equally easy. It always comes to who is individually as a person more motivated and involved in the band, but I am having more fun playing with girls, especially with girls from NEMESIS because we all have this kind of weird humor and understand each other so well.
NEMESIS: Our bass player, Biljana Sovilj, has her solo project with acoustic guitar playing. Our vocalist Sanja was a guest singer for couple of bands and currently the rest of us are only focused on NEMESIS.
Subterráneo Webzine: It has come to my attention that you use the term “all-girl band”. Do you believe it is neccessary to point out that it is in fact a band formed exclusively by women?
NEMESIS: It depends. Sometimes it is good to point that out, especially because we are living in the more conservative region where most of the people are not aware that there are girls involved in music and also extreme music such as metal. Also, it can be a good influence on younger girls who are maybe wondering whether or not to start playing or if they are questioning whether they will be accepted as a female metalhead. But apart from it, it is not that necessary but we neither believe it can be hidden from the audience since it is so obvious.
Subterráneo Webzine: What kind of impact do you believe that note brings to the public? Do you believe it is possitive now that women are rocking the metal world?
NEMESIS: It seems that public can be really critical when it comes to metal bands in general. It also affects female bands, and at our beginnings some people would come to our shows only to see whether it is true that girls play metal, but honestly, people should listen to the bands they like for music not for gender. I believe that women who are rocking the metal world are bringing some type of diversity to the scene in general. We are all in the band because when we were little, we used to watch all these metal concerts and we didn’t satisfy with just being in front of the stage, we wanted to be ON the stage so having more and more women coming on the stages around the world can be inspiring for other girls.
Subterráneo Webzine: Besides the album, you have also launched a couple of videos and a drum playthrough. Which are your next steps promotion-wise with the world pandemic and all? Is there new material in process?
NEMESIS: We are hoping to do some livestream concerts in the future and we are currently focused on songwriting for our second album. We believe that it is going to be amazing and we are also having a lot of fun while doing it. We had big plans for everything but the pandemic stopped us from putting plans in motion so we are now mostly practicing and enjoying whatever that is left from our ordinary lives.
Subterráneo Webzine: Well, I think this is enough for now. I leave this space for you to add anything else you would like to say. Thank you very much for your time and answers. I hope to hear and read you soon!