Metaladies has interviewed Nadine, bassit and violinist from the swiss doom band shEver.
First of all, please, explain how you met each other and how it all began.
In spring 2003, our ex-drummer Melanie and Jessica (guitar) did meet for playing music together – soon they found a female singer, Tanja, and in summer 2003, Nadine (bass), through announces in the internet. Because Tanja didn’t really fit into the style we others wanted to play, she left the band and we did look for a new singer – in January 2004, we finally did meet Alexandra. In summer 2007, Melanie decided to leave shEver for personal reasons, and we did found a worthy substitution in Sarah as the new witch on the drums.
And since then, you’ve released two demos and finally one LP, “Ocean Of Illusions”. Are you happy with the final result?
Yes, in general, we are very proud of our debut album “ocean of illusions” (2007). Of course, in the meantime, we developed personally and musically, but it was the best we could produce at the time we did the recordings (2006).
What about the worldwide feedback? Do you feel like you’ve reached as much as expected?
As it was our first real album, we didn’t know exactly what to expect. We did get a lot of really awesome online and printed reviews, especially from Greece, Germany (Legacy), Serbia-Montenegro, France and Holland. I don’t remember all of the reviews, but we got reviewed in quite a lot of countries, and almost everyone is very positive. The most critics do come from Switzerland, hahaha.
Did you produced it yourselves? It sounds pretty professional. Is it that difficult to get a record deal nowadays?
We recorded it with a guy in a quite professional studio in Switzerland. He did the mix and the mastering as well, but always with our co-work. So it’s half self-produced. It’s not very difficult to get just some record deal – there are a lot of little underground labels and we had some offers. But it’s damn difficult to get a record deal which really comes up to all our expectations. I mean all the stuff these labels offered we can do by ourselves – it’s a big work, but at least you have the control over all the things going on…
How was the recording? Have you got all the time you wanted to do the things well?
It was a cool experience, and we did get to know each other much better in this time. We also reached our limits (both musically and psychically) sometimes…We did record the CD within 4 days. It’s not a lot of time compared to other bands, but it was the maximum we could afford. We did live-recording most of the time. I think you could spend years producing a CD and to optimize the sound etc., but you have to work with the time you have. View from this point, we did have enough time.
ShEver plays doom in its purest definition, slow, contundent, opressive and full of strenght. How would you define your music?
It’s witch doom, full of emotions and a brutality without compromises, but there is also beauty and hope in our music.
Which are your main influences? My Dying Bride would be one of them, probably.
Almost everyone comes up with My Dying Bride. They may be an influence, as especially our guitarist loves them a lot, but I don’t think that we got a lot in common with this band – we have a lot of sludge influences such as Grief, but as well of traditional doom bands such as St. Vitus, Black Sabbath etc. Neurosis, Crowbar and Isis are influences too. Lately, we had as well some Stoner Rock influences.
And there are many more influences, because all of us listen to different stuff besides doom, and this music has a big influence as well.
ShEver can be read as She Ever. Being an all-female band is part of the concept?
Yes, it is. Jessica always wanted a band called “Shiver”, and as we are all girls, we changed it into “shEver”.
Are there any other all-female bands that you know, and respect musically?
Drain STH from Sweden for example, or Sacralis from Germany, L7, Girlschool… BTW: Congratulations to your page about brutal all-female bands, it’s a fucking cool site, and I did already check out a lot of bands!
Do you have the four of you the same musical background and taste?
As we are 4 individuals, it’s not possible to have the same musical background and taste. But I guess we have similar tastes at least, and everyone brings in a very special “attitude” from his musical likes – all added together, that’s the sound of shEver.
Your music is capable of transmitting feelings. Which is the one you think it spreads the most?
This question is not easy to answer, as we never stood in the audience and heard us playing. And it’s always difficult to judge your own music… I think it spreads a lot of emotions (without making a difference between good and bad ones), but I cannot say which it spreads the most – it’s not our target to define this, the listeners can take out of our music what they want.
And what about the lyrics? Do they have any pretension, anything they are willing to express, something that need to be listened?
Our lyrics are mostly personal and talk about life and death, about emotions, relationships between humans or human and nature. But it’s the same thing as with our music: It’s not important what I wanted to say as I wrote the lyrics: it’s important what the listeners take out of it. So I just can say: listen to the songs, read the lyrics, and let the songs enter your mind.
Tell us a little bit about your two past demos. Can we find a different ShEver than the one in “Ocean Of Illusions”?
The promo 2006 contains 2 songs from “Ocean of Illusions”, so there isn’t any difference exept the mix/mastering. But obviously we did develop from “The Mirror” (2004) until “Ocean Of Illusions” (2007). 3 years of live experience, and on “Ocean Of Illusions” we did find “the shEver style” I think (which doesn’t mean that our next album will sound exactly the same!).
“The Mirror” was recorded at the very beginning of our band history and this demo is not to be compared to our debut album regarding the recording quality of course.
And as all the bands trying to find a place in this business, you have to work hard gig by gig. Are you touring that much?
Most of the gigs, we are driving to the concert, have some party and go home again the next day. But since we use to play abroad (Germany, France, Austria and Belgium so far), we are concerned to get at least 2 gigs running to not lose money – a so-called “mini-tour” :-).
Which is the most important concert or festival you’ve played in, or the one you remember as the most special?
All concerts are important as we do love to play live, but the best were probably the ones this may in Hamburg and Berlin (Germany) together with Esoteric (UK) – everything just fitted perfectly (the live performance, the feeling and the sound on stage, the audience and the mixer…).
And the one desired, the gig of your dreams? Who would like to share stage with?
Neurosis, Electric Wizard, My Dying Bride…
How is the swiss metal health?
There are a lot of metal bands of all genres in Switzerland, and there is quite a big possibility to get stage experience, but the country is too little – if you were playing live since 4 years like shEver, you have to get abroad for not always playing in front of the same audience… Unfortunately, in Switzerland doesn’t exist a real doom metal scene…
Let’s look to ShEver immediate plans. Which are them? Have you got new songs to record? Any conversations to get a record deal?
At the moment, we are focused on composing new songs. The new material will be a bit different from what people know from our debut album – faster, more varieties… But for a new recording, there aren’t any plans yet…
Later this year, we want to get on stage again, possibly in France, Italy or Spain…or elsewhere in Europe…
Tell the people why do you believe they’d like ShEver.
If music is feeling for you, and if you are not afraid to let yourself be taken by a strongly emotional atmosphere, then you should like us.
Plus, all-female bands are rare in the whole world of doom metal!