Ola friends. I just interviewed Brazillian heavy metal legends Melyra via email. Not only are they a brutal and musically skilled band, they are a delight to talk with. Read on –
– Ola Melyra! Welcome to Metal Health and thanks for being here.
– Firstly, congratulations for recently being recognised as number one band out of the top five female bands for the website O subsolo. Wow!
Fe: Thank you Greg! And Thanks a lot for having us for this interview, we are very happy about it!
– What does good mental health mean to you?
Fe: Good mental health for us is when you are happy with who you are. Even though we all have problems, when you are sure you’re in the right path and you’re sure about your beliefs you can rest your head on the pillow at night and wake up the other day ready to fight.
– How is life for you off the road or when you’re not gigging? Especially after a tour or big event, is it difficult to adjust back into life at home after time on the road? If so, how do you adjust/cope?
Fe: Well, all of us have other occupations beside music. So, for us, is easy to change from “musician mode” to “regular people” mode when we’re not playing because we do it often.
– What motivates you? What keeps you going?
Fe: MUSIC! We’re passionate for music and we love what we do. To be at the stage and know that the songs we’ve created touched someone’s life is the best sensation ever!
– Are you all positive thinkers? How do you stay positive?
Fe: In general, yes we are. As I said before, we all have problems though. The beauty of being a band is that, when one of us is down, the other always help this one to cheer up again. We always see each other as family.
– Have you experienced any tough times personally that you’d be okay talking about? If so, how are you/did you get through this.
Fe: Everybody knows that we’re experiencing tough times here in Brazil. We all have been into financial crises during the past/current year. To overcome this we always rely on each other. In this band we see each others as sisters, we feel comfortable to talk about our issues and we help each others to solve them.
– What does making music mean to you? Why do you do it?
Fe: When we make music, we are the best version of ourselves. It’s how we express our feelings and feel free. We do it so we can spread our message to the world and, maybe, help other people to feel better about life and inspire them to find their better selves.
– I know the band formed in 2012, but when did you start making music individually? Was it like finding some buried treasure that you didn’t know you had, and how did making music fit in with the rest of your life?
Fe: I always loved music, but I only started to play the guitar in my 20’s. Before Melyra, I had another band where I helped as a songwriter, but was still trying to find my way to do it. I think Melyra helped me to show my best to the world.
Nena: I come from a musicians family, my father was a guitar palyer and songwriter and I used to join him in rehearsals and saw him playing all the time. My house and my relatives’ houses were always full of music, so it was very natural to me.
Roberta: My family is also full of musicians and my mom is a songwriter so I live this life since I was young. I saw her making music, learned how she did it and it was automatically taking part of myself. I’ve improved it over time and keep improving it every day.
Verônica: I sing since I’m little girl at the church. Around 8 years ago I was at a Karaoke night with my friends and I met a maestro and two musicians there. Since that I started to sing professionally. I’ve played several different styles and made a lot of friends on that road. Nowadays I live for music!
Drika: My father and almost all his family are musicians. My love for music comes from the childhood. Sundays were the best days, when my dad was at home, because he used to watch his jazz VHS and I was fascinated by the drummer’s brushes. I’ve started to play drums at 8 years old and it was all very natural. In 2002, the drummer of my father’s gospel band left the band and I said that I would replace him. I knew all the songs and watched all the rehearsals at the drummer’s side. I just loved it! And so it was. The first time I played, people liked it and I was the drummer for my father’s band for a while, until I had my own band.
– I have just been listening to your new album ‘Saving you from reality’ and some live performances on your website. Veronica, you are badass with such a great strong vocal tone. Lot’s of body and depth, and when you go high, it’s something else again! How do you look after your voice? I love the single ‘Dead light’ and the lyrics. ‘A black spot with dead light’. I can relate to that in times past!
Verônica: Thanks a lot for the compliment! I study a lot ! I’m very tough with myself. The voice is an instrument you can’t replace so it needs lots care and attention, avoiding things like cigarettes, alcohol, acid foods, etc. Besides that, I take lyrical singing lessons, that helps me to reach and sustain the notes, keep in tune and breathe better witch helps me to take care of my voice.
– Strong, blistering and precise guitar work from Fe and Roberta, and also from the solid grooving rhythm section.
Roberta: I love playing with Fernanda! We have an unexplainably perfect tuning. The way we connect helps a lot when it comes to writing guitar themes because we fill each others ideas. She inspires me this mutual feeling and we both understand the most important thing that is studying our instruments.
– Drika, I look forward to hearing you on the next record. How are you settling into the band?
Drika: It’s very easy to set into Melyra! I’ve just came across four women that know what they want and what they want to reach, with an amazing potential to get all of our goals. What fascinated me, besides the high standards in music, feeling, geniality and love for music, was exactly that. We don’t wait for things to happen, we make them happen. This, for me, is the magical element that will take us wherever we want to go.
– Nena, i note you play fingerstyle. Do you prefer the tone it gives, as opposed to a plectrum? You really drive it hard!
Nena: I like to play with my finger because it sounds wider and it fits me better. And the unique feeling of my fingers touching the strings fascinates me! Although I have no problem with the ones that choose to play with a pick, I’d rather use my fingers.
– Why do you all play and sing? Is it simply the opportunity for self expression?
Fe: Our producer (Celo Oliveira) did an amazing job with the vocal section of the album. You can hear many different vocals recorded at the album. We really love them so we wanted to make our live performances as close as we can to the album. It costed us hours of rehearsal to make it happen, but we think it payed off in the end.
– Sim, the production and sound Celo and you all achieved on this record is astonishing. It’s a first rate performance and production. How important is it for the bass guitar and drums to be tight, and where do you see the guitars and voice fitting in the groove?
Drika: To me, it seems like the drums without a bass guitar loses it’s magic. When we rehearse and Nena’s bass is too low I get nervous, trying to give more weight and feeling to the song but it simply DOESN’T HAPPEN! I need Nena to hold myself as a drummer. The bass guitar is the base of our kitchen and the guitars and voices are our special ingredients.
– How was the recording process for your last record? Did you bang it down live, or record an instrument at a time etc?
Fe: We’ve recorded the album at Kolera home studio, here in Rio, with Celo Oliveira as our producer. The album was recorded one instrument at a time at the studio. First drums, then rhythm guitars, bass guitars, guitar solos and at last the lead vocals and backing vocals. It was mixed and mastered by Celo Oliveira at Kolera studios too.
– So what are your plans? Some more touring or any dates you can mention?
Fe: We are negotiating a few dates here in Brazil for the next months. And yes, we intend to tour and take our music as far as we can.
– Any other projects musical or otherwise happening?
Verônica: I’m part of other two musical projects. Six years ago I’ve joined Biographia54, a pop rock/alternative band that plays brazilian 80’s music. I also sing at a lyrical group, called Chão de Folhas, that focus on the lyrical circuit events.
– Ok, last question. What would you say to fans who are struggling with their mental health, or doing it tough at the moment?
Fe: Keep strong! We know life ain’t easy sometimes and we have to face challenges all the time. Always talk to someone you trust, let them know how you feel and ask for support. Your life matters to us!
– Obrigada Melyra for taking the time to talk with us. I hope we see you in Australia sometime! Wishing you safe travels, and all the best with the upcoming shows. Greg \Mh/.
Verônica: Our pleasure, Greg! We want to thank you for this great interview and for all your attention. We’re looking forward to show our music in Australia! We also want to invite everyone to follow our social media channels and to listen to our new album, “Saving you from reality”. We are at Facebook, Instagram, Youtube (look for @melyraband) and at your favorite streaming service too. Thanks a lot!
Thanks mi amiga’s! Check out this amazing band at sites mentioned above, and also at links below –alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression, drug abuse, good mental health, heavy metal blog, heavy metal interview, heavy metal music, heavy metal music interview, mental health, mental health blog, mental health conversations, music interview, schizophrenia, stigma, stress, suicide