Saturday, 11 May 2019

***NUVOLASCURA exclusive interview***

In January of 2019 California's NUVOLASCURA released a beast of a full length with their self titled debut. 'Nuvolascura' was met with instant love from many a people, but none more so than those in the screamo scene. With the first pressing of 200 likely selling out before 2019 finishes, I would strongly recommend picking up a copy of their 12" through Zegema Beach Records or at one of their shows this summer. They are hitting a few spots on the west coast with friends Senza, Elle and Joliette, all on their way to their Zegema Beach Records Fest appearance on Friday May 31st, 2019.

The event page for day one (aka the Nuvolascura day) is linked here...

while the link for day 2/June 1st is here...

and the link for day 3/June 2nd is here.


Taylor Jewell of NUVOLASCURA had a scary incident in January that led to a 4-day hospital stay aka $8,000. Jon (ex-Beau Navire) started a gofundme in hopes of alleviating some of the cost which you can check out and donate to here.

Soooooooo...

In honor of NUVOLASCURA destroying my life at the end of this month and in an effort to help drummer Taylor with their recent medical bills, Zegema Beach Records has a special on for only $22CAD in the Canadian store, from which we will donate $5 from, and you will receive:
1x Nuvolascura 12"LP
1x Vril 4-way 10" split
1x free 7"
1x Zegema Beach Records sticker
5x ZBR download codes

That's a goddamn steal and you get to help out an awesome person, my friends.

Okay, holy shit...on to the interview!!!

Alrighty, let's start! Can you first run a through the history of Nuvolascura dating back to Vril's inception, member-wise? And what was the catalyst for the band's birth?

Erica
I’ll let Dom and Taylor speak to the catalyst/origins, but from what I know, they went to the same high school and started jamming together. After a couple vocalists, I joined in 2015. And Dan joined shortly after... in 2016? They started out without a bassist. My friend Zach started playing bass for them and asked me to jam and see if I’d want to do vocals. Their musicianship blew me away and I’m still in awe every practice.

Taylor
I’d say Erica’s answer just about does it for me, lol. Nuvolascura as a whole I see as exclusively this lineup, pretty definitively.

Dominick
Yeah Taylor and I pretty much just wanted to start a screamo type band and we really solidified our style when Erica and Dan joined. As far as a creative catalyst I think we were just really down to write and start a project without any confines and that’s been somewhat of the theme for us.

Daniel
I got to know Dom, Taylor and Erica early on in the band's history through booking shows while volunteering at Bridgetown DIY in La Puente, Calif. and photographing their shows. Because of this, I've been fortunate enough not only to have been friends with them for a while, but also to watch the three of them really find their style and grow as musicians over the years. They truly were my favorite band at the time (honestly they still are lol) so I was very honored when they asked me to play with them. I almost turned them down at the time because then I wouldn't be able to take photos of them!

If you want to know the exact history of me joining: Erica asked me to play with them after their previous bassist quit while we were extras in a concert scene of a really hurt Sid & Nancy rip off movie. Our friends Left Astray were the "band" playing this VFW hall and the main characters had an argument in the middle of the circle pit the directors made us do. It was really weird. That was the end of 2015 and my first show with them was early 2016, we've been playing with this lineup ever since.

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How do you feel the band's sound and ideals have shifted from the early Vril days to now?

Taylor
I’d say with the No Traditions-era Vril, we approached the heavier/dirtier side of screamo with more of a chaotic/noisier lens. I’d say we’ve been a little more patient in the writing process since the conception of the s/t, involving more melody and tranquility in the context of more abrasive parts. We’ve also definitely been inspired by bands like Lord Snow/Youth Funeral and I think it shows with our newer material, haha.

Erica
I agree with Taylor. As far as ideals, mine haven’t changed 🤷‍♀️

Dominick
Our ideals are the same in the sense that we still strive to write without any mental limitations or biases. Nuvo is the more refined product of that where we feel more comfortable in our sound and therefore more eager to explore more dynamic and melodic extremities in our new music. With Vril I definitely took alot of influence from my favorite past and present screamo bands but with nuvo I take more influence from bands who aren’t even remotely close to screamo. I feel like that allows for a greater variety in the context of songwriting

Daniel
I will defer to everyone elses answers for early Vril. The one thing i will say is that I do feel that the songs between the No Traditions EP and this LP that I was there for weren't written with as much intention to be a cohesive document of the band as this record was.

I think ideals wise it's always been important for this band to make our stance against racism/sexism/etc known and we, as anyone should, are always looking to grow and learn from others and do our best to create a community that is both inclusive & conducive to growth.

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Why the name change?

Erica
We made this statement on our facebook page when we changed names and I think it sums up the reason pretty well: It’s recently come to our attention that the word VRIL has indirect connections to nazism and we can no longer reconcile going on with a name with these connections, no matter how far removed, given the times we are living in where fascists & neo-nazis openly and freely wear their beliefs. We as a band are staunchly anti-fascist and deeply regret not being able to change it sooner. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and want to thank everyone that has supported us over these past few years. We are excited for the future & can’t wait to share what will be the first NUVOLASCURA LP that we will be recording in May. [currently out now 😬]

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Right on. What is the meaning of Nuvolascura?

Dominick
Nuvolascura means dark cloud in Italian.

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How long were the ST songs in the works for? Were they written as one piece (with an LP in mind) or is it a collection of songs?

Dominick
The songs were written over the course of two years. They were all written with an emphasis on cohesion for a full length. We wrote more than 11 songs during that time. Some of them made it on to splits and others were never released but these songs are all meant to compliment and play off each other, at least that’s what we had in mind while writing.

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Holy fuck you are holding on to some unreleased recordings or were they never captured?

Dominick
I don’t actually think we have any recordings of songs that didn’t live to make it onto a release at some point.


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Are you still writing on a release-by-release style format? Is done both instrumentally and lyrically?

Dominick
We have some demos that might get reworked in the future but we typically write songs for specific releases. I prefer to conceptualize the song, then write music for that concept. Erica typically adds lyrics after the songs are completed instrument wise.

Erica
Right now we’re writing with a couple releases in mind. Dom usually has a skeleton outlined. I look at each song as an individual thought/feeling instead of a flowing concept. I try to have some things written then edit/tailor them to the completed songs.

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Erica, what are your primary inspirations for writing?

Erica
My primary inspirations for writing are experiences or moments that have a deep emotional impact. Whether it’s something I’ve experienced firsthand, a story I’ve heard or a combination of both. Words seem to flow easier when it strikes an emotional nerve. This record was mostly about things I had experienced or tried to come to terms with over the past few years.

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How do you work your lyrics in? Do you do it at practice or figure them out at home afterward? Do you do much editing? Do you change lyrics to fit the song patterns?

Erica
I tend to write big stream of consciousness paragraphs at first, to get all my feelings out, without having a song in mind. I write alone, in a very quiet environment, since it’s usually pretty emotional for me. Once I have some ideas down, I’ll bring that to practice, feel out the moods of each song musically and decide what experience/idea would fit best. Then I write a vocal pattern that looks like a bunch of lines and dashes, that represent syllables, breaks and syncopation. I take my big paragraph and strip it down to a version that fits the pattern. There’s a lot of editing is involved. Sometimes I’ll keep editing up until we record.

As a vocalist I was intrigued and this is a great answer.

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What is your setlist?

Dominick
I think our set list will be half, flower, poison, cerulean, color, zen, plagues, trance.


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What is your favourite song from the LP to play live?

Dominick
My favorite song to play might be trance just because it uses a different tuning and kind of has different feel to it.

Erica
I like flower offering and zen depression. They’re both very cathartic.

Taylor
My favorite song to play currently live is definitely Cerulean Wound. I feel like this song really captures the concise/dense screamo that I’ve always loved.


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Do you get nervous before shows?

Dominick
I never really get nervous cause i always see it as a fun thing to do

Erica
I don’t really get nervous. It helps to have your back toward the crowd so it feels like I’m only with my bandmates, and it’s more comfortable in general.

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What's the best part about playing shows?

Dominick
It’s a very unique meditative and cathartic experience, I think I just really enjoy that.

Erica
The best part is the huge release of emotions, feeling a synergy with my bandmates and seeing/playing with a bunch of awesome bands.

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What's the most difficult part of playing shows?

Dominick
The only thing difficult about playing a show for me sometimes is socializing during it. That might sound stupid but there are certain nights where it’s hard for me to be any amount of extrovert.

Erica
The most difficult part might be similar to Dom’s-- having to deal with social anxiety. Also the worst part is when people smoke cigarettes/weed very close to me and the smoke makes me have an instant cold.

Taylor
I’d say the most difficult part of playing shows is playing a set without something breaking or getting pushed around haha.


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Holy shit how was the release shhhoooooowwwww?!??!?!

Erica
It was wild!! And I guess people were doing windmills or something to cerulean wound. I didn’t see it cause I always have my back toward everyone.

Taylor
The show was so sick. It was honestly insane being around so many people I genuinely love and seeing so many people stoked on screamo in one place.

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Can you tell us about the other bands that played? Why were they chosen for the release show?

Erica
New Ruin, Super World, Ghost Spirit and Hawak played the show. Super World and Hawak are friends from the bay area and were so nice to make the drive down to play with us. They’re all very kind and talented. New Ruin is a band we used to play with a lot so we were stoked they came out from Riverside. Our friend Marcel plays bass for them now so it was fun to see him shred. Ghost Spirit is one of Taylor’s other bands who are good friends and, dare I say, a supergroup. All the bands/members have had some influence on us through our band history so it felt really good to play with them.

Daniel
Could i just really quick add that Marcel, one of our very good friends in New Ruin and in general, also runs Sombras del Progresso, who helped release this LP! And since it was Marcel's first show with them and their first show back in a long time, we were very excited to have them play this show.

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How did y'all first connect with Marcel?

Erica
I remember seeing Marcel around LA in 2010 maybe? There are photos of us at shows together before we were actually friends. He was a big fan of Vril when I joined and was at almost every show. We also played with his band Left Astray a lot and toured with them down to a fest in Mexico. He’s always been so supportive so it was a no-brainer when he offered to put out our 7”.

Daniel
I think I met marcel around 2012 at a Left Astray show maybe? But didn't really got to know him until we both started volunteering at bridgetown diy together in 2013, then I went along for a Left Astray tour I think also in 2013. Marcel has been a part of my core group of friends since then and a big supporter of this band from early on. He started Sombras del Progresso with Ivan (also from Left Astray) which helped release our good friends La Bella's LP "Ides" and an early 7" of ours. So when it came time to release this record it was a no-brainer. We're very lucky to have Marcel/Sombras be a part of this project.


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And Taylor mentioned screamo, what would you consider your band?

Erica
As far as genre goes, I think our main influences are screamo bands so we’d probably fall into that category more than any other.

Taylor
I’d definitely say Nuvolascura is derived mostly from artists that are categorized as screamo. I’d also say there are certain metal bands we might subconsciously take from conceptually, but of course I don’t think any of us have genre directly in mind when writing.

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Yeah there are definitely metal elements in your music, but they don't necessarily seem to be at the forefront. You have at least one upcoming tour, with Senza if I'm not mistaken. Tell us about that, and are you thinking of travelling overseas at some point?

Taylor
Yeah, I think that’s the only real upcoming tour we’ve started booking. There are a lot of places I’d like to  tour... I’d love for us to eventually be able to set something up in Europe in 2020 or something. If anyone in any screamo bands in Europe are reading this and want to bring us on tour please hit us up lol.

Daniel
Playing in Europe or anywhere overseas would be amazing! Being able to tour in general has been a real privilege and great experience. We're lucky to be touring early this summer with Joliette & Senza on our way up to ZBR fest. We were able to play with Senza on our most recent tour we did up to Portland and back, which was a lot of fun & probably our best tour so far! And Joliette are great friends of ours that we've played with a couple times when they've been in town, we had some bad luck the last time we had a show together and we weren't able to play, so we're really excited to be on the road with them to make up for that!

There are many things a band can push if they want to, what is the most important idea, thought, question or opinion that Nuvolascura wants to promote above all else?

Taylor
I think with writing in general for me I would just want the listener to be emotionally affected; I’m definitely at a certain place with each piece of music I try and write and I’d just like for anyone listening to get something out of it either thoughtfully or emotionally, and that there’s no distinct feeling that should be felt but that it would be felt organically. 

Dominick
My answer would be near identical to Taylor’s.

Erica
I have strong convictions that come out in my lyrics, but on a larger scale I hope we can help people feel less alone.

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Did you want to do any venting/educating about the current political/social climate in the U.S.?

Erica
Our friend Cameron from La Bella helps put out a quarterly newspaper called Salvo, dealing with working class issues around Los Angeles. He tabled at our record release show to raise money for printing costs. I’d be interested in distro-ing it at future shows! Shameless plug: 

https://salvopaper.org/

I read a zine before traveling to Israel in 2009 called “Anarchists Against the Wall” and reflect on it often. It’s still relevant and is something I’d like to have available at shows.

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What is next for the band?

Erica
We’re touring up to Canada in late May and working on a split and another full length. We’d like to tour the east coast again as well.

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And lastly, what releases have floored/touched you in 2019?

Taylor
i’d say i’ve been super impressed by the last Lord Snow and Senza full lengths that recently dropped, those are two bands that really inspire me musically and i’m honored to be peers with them, haha. Also joliette’s last album is so good.

Erica
I’m stoked on the new Fluoride record! And they were really rad when we played with them on the east coast. And new lord snow 😊 Was also excited about the new Dido record, but it didn't deliver.

Thank you all for being amazing in every respect. I can't wait to meet you!!!


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