For those who may not know Nevalra, can you give us the broad stroke view of who you guys are, and what you’re all about?
“Nevalra was a project I started working on in 2013. I had written a substantial amount of material before even seeking out other musicians to fill in the drums & bass roles. Through a mutual friend, I had met Zach Lindsey; who auditioned for the drummer position and was immediately in. A few months later Cody Sprock was added on bass. Myself as the lone guitarist, as well as vocalist, we stuck as a 3 piece.
Nevalra’s material covers a wide range of extremity. Very bludgeoning and rythmic in spots, but my specialty is in the music/guitar theory area. Blending harmonies and conducting the guitar, bass & drums as if it were an orchestra. In fact, Nevalra has strategically placed symphony orchestra elements incorportated inside the music. Segments of violin, cello, horns; even choirs. These heighten the dark atmoshere and a sense of “awe” to the music. The way horror movies can reach your fear, through calculated moments in the music alone.
Lyrically, I write a lot about the occult. I’d point to “Descend & Die” & “VRIL” as examples as such. Additionally, lyrics of what could be deemed mankinds “secrets”, both historically and some more modern. I’d point to “Vimana” & “Groom Lake” in these instances. As well as an abhorrence of religion, as in “Terror Throne” and “Prophet For Profit”. Recently, I’ve been writing highly philosophical. That will show in some of Nevalra’s releases coming up…”
I saw you when you joined Final Drive on stage and simple made an assumption about what Nevalra would sound like. Then, I turned it on and turned it up, and was surprised by the level of aggressiveness. As annoying as it is, fans like to categorize. Would you say Nevalra fits well in most of the aggressive genres of metal?
“Ah, yes. Final Drive are great guys. They had had an opening for a session live guitar for some tours coming up. Nevalra had shared the stage with them many times. We became great friends instantly. So they hit me up knowing I’d definitely be on board to throw down on guitar for them.
Categorizing Nevalra… That is quite the task for even myself. I try and extract the best of each of these “categories”. Overall, the closest would likely be Blackened Death Metal. In harmonic melody and vocal style; very Black Metal. The atmospheres created in black metal is unparalleled. That sense of evil. These elements are abundantly clear in Nevalra. Although there is plenty of Technical Death Metal elements, old-school Heavy Metal styles, grinds & blasting. We’ve performed alongside bands like Rings of Saturn, Havok, Abigail Williams, and even Trivium. All very different. So I’d say Nevalra would fit nicely in almost any aggressive metal circumstance.”
What were the highlights of 2015 for Nevlara? What are the big plans for 2016?
“Nevalra spent the beginning of 2015 in the Studio and filming our music video, entitled “Descend & Die”. It was great fun to co-produce & direct the video. We filmed the in an all original Mansion built in the 1880s, a hidden graveyard from the 1870s, bat infested caves, and high atop mountain cliffs; mere inches from a considerable drop off. We put ourselves in some dangerous spots to get the shots we wanted. Nevalra actually released a “making of/behind the scenes” video recently to show you some of what I’m explaining.
Mid-2015 is when we did most of our performing & touring. The biggest highlight of 2015 for us all is most definitely the Nevalra headlining tour of Puerto Rico. We obviously made time to do some sight seeing and lots of exploring. The most notable being the great El Morro Fortress. Used to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay, and defend the Spanish colonial port city of San Juan from seaborne enemies in the 16th-century. It was quite the adventure. You can check it all out in Nevalra’s Puerto Rico Tour footage video.
2016 & 2017 have a lot in store for us. USA tours headed West, hoping to invade Dallas, Phoenix, Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, Denver and all places in between. Then, reload and head East. Chicago, Milwaukee, Indy, Philly, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa, Nashville. Again, hoping to hit everywhere in between. Being located in central USA is actually pretty nice when it comes to touring. We’ve actually been in talks with some agencies to tour South America and the UK/Europe; and even South Africa. Hopefully Australia a little further down the road.”
Can you explain the band’s name?
“I wanted to have an original sound in our music. Different. The name had to reflect that. To stand alone it needed to be original. Thus, not merely a name… A title.”
Pronounced: [ Nev·ALL·ra ]
Several music magazines recognized The Black Flame in their Best of 2015 Album lists, what makes it such an incredible album, in your opinion?
“It is a humbling experience to be included in such prestigous lists. Top metal albums of 2015. Wow… To be lumped in with the likes of Lamb of God and The Black Dahlia Murder, who put out such amazing albums. I take great pride in feeling someone else is noticing how much effort is put into what we do.
What made “The Black Flame” such an incredible album?
I think the attention to detail. I’m a detail freak. Any musician or studio engineer I’ve worked with will tell you that. I probably drive them a little crazy sometimes with a miniscule detail I’m wanting to get just right. And there is probably 10 of those little details I’m always bothering them with; or more (laughs). Sprock & Zach have a great ear in the studio and on stage as well. They understand my striving for the perfect sound, energy and ambience. They are a insanely great musicians, and understand the method within the madness.
My music will outlive me. It has to be perfect.”
Is it more challenging to establish yourselves being from Missouri instead of say, Chicago or LA? Are there advantages to your location?
“As before, I think it is an advantage to be located centrally. Makes for easy scheduling, and an uncomplicated route back to home base. I think our being detached from a big city works to our advantage as well musically. We’ve noticed many (not all, but many) bands tend to start to copy eachothers sound. Sometimes by accident. Being from the same area, sharing the stage often; seems to rub off on eachother.
Obviously, there are disadvantages to being the outsider of a city’s scene. But I think the isolation keeps the creativity fresh. Thus, when we do perform in these areas, Nevalra most definitely stands out as a bit different from what is typically being heard there.”
If you could be on a bill with 3 other bands of your choice, who would they be, and why?
“The 15 year old me would obviously say “METALLICA!”, however that is quite a difference in style from Nevalra. If I could hand-pick a colossal lineup; Nevalra would love to destroy all that is holy alongside Slayer, Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir.The theatrics would be beyond epic. Monumental.
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