Greetings Lady S., how are you lately?
Hi Adrian! All is well,thank you. Working, working, working. So many plans and things. First I can tell you that I found a new sound for Nocra. I'm just tired of the "plastic clean" sound like a lot of "atmospheric melodic black-death" bands use and looking for a future with more raw, more old school sound. Also thinking about a new EP with a few new songs in the middle of February. And of course a new video.
So a lot of work.
For those who don't know Nocra please introduce us the band's history.
Mmmm... First song for Nocra was recorded 3 years back. It was solo project. Something like depressive BM with "doom" influences. Nocra was born like rest for my brain from some harsh noise and dark ambient stuff. And after one DEMO MCD with 4 songs was forgotten because I gave all my time to Astra... But in January 2009 I've felt that is time to continue my experience with Black Metal. A few weeks later I've recorded and released the first official DEMO. On this DEMO you can listen guest voice by my friends from the bands Beliar and Grim Skoll. At that time I used only growls in my songs. I begun to learn screaming and, yes, it was a very hard and painful process.
Anyway after DEMO the next release should have been a split with Grim Skoll but we chose a bad label... And the split CD was never released (who knows, maybe in the future?)
In summer 09 we begun recording our first full-length album. It was released on 01 December...
Nocra is a two pieces act, do you consider it a real band or more a project?
Oh, right. I do not consider Nocra as only a studio project and be sure in the future there will be some live shows. But not now. Need to find guest musicians and hmmm... Are you ready? Do not know about correct time but I hope it will be until next year.
Where and how did you meet with Tesana and how come you have decided to form a band?
When I decided to continue working with Nocra I understood that I can not do it alone. I can play on a lot of instruments but never wanted to be a professional drummer. With Tesana we have decided to just try working together and look what happiness. Just our musical ideals were very different...But after DEMO we were decided to continue our work as a long term project...
What's the meaning of Nocra? Where does it come from?
Okay, about the word "Nocra" - sure that everybody can translate it as he wants but for me "Nocra" is a spikes of frost in a sunny day, something brutal into the mild, a black spot of hatred on the white dress... And of course it is my favorite band where I sing and play on guitar, if you have heard about it hehehe :)
I would compare your project, image-wise, to Mortiis. Is your band's image very important to you? What would you like to suggest through it to the ones who come across Nocra?
Haha - like Mortiis? Really? Well, I am sure that I never used plastic ears and nose :) But seriously I like and respect old Mortiis music (until "Stargate").
About image- hmmm, I just consider BM as something deeper than only music. And I listen a lot of shitty-pretty female black metal bands and was always surprised how they try to be so glum with pink lips and blond hair... Barbie black metal :) So I always will be anti glamor band. Because BM must go into the heart and be always true. But here... Alas!
You're quite a good-looking lady, and this may be a bit offending, why have you decided to adopt such a look, and I'm referring to your hair and nails? Is it a rejection of the surrounding world?
Hmmm... My hair and nails... About nails I can tell only that I always liked my long nails but with long nails its impossible to play guitar. So I chose what's more important for me.
About hair... I was never interested what people are saying around of me, I just do what I feel inside. A few years back I decided to shave half of my head because I wouldn't have wanted to hide my self behind hair... But I am tired of this "style" and now I'm growing up my hair again. Do not know how long it will be interesting for me, maybe I will shave red horns or green Iroquois. Will see what future brings.
Getting back to Nocra, how would you describe your music?
Well, Nocra is Black Metal (okay "atmospheric" - I hate this word) with ambient and classical influence. Can not say anything more, need to read reviews hehe :)
The sound on your materials isn't the best around, where are you recording? Is it a choice to have such a sound or is it hard to find suitable studios in your area?
Shit! You don't like my sound (n.Adrian - nope, not really)? I'm sure that every first album from every band can not be compared with the second or third because they are learning, searching correct sound and of course do mistakes. Hey, it was our first album and be sure that we did all the best we could in those moments. Maybe it's not like the sound from rich and popular bands but its also not dirty "garage".
I guess you write the lyrics, what are they about? Which are your main influences when it comes to writing your thoughts for Nocra?
Yes, lyrics are my work and our band manager's who's helping to translate in English and fix the mistakes.
About the lyrics - every songs is different, one can be philosophical, second can be like fantasy, next can be antichristian. I write about things which are important for me and can show what I want to bring in the song...
You have recently signed with Beneath The Fog Records. What do you think of this label? Do you know any other bands on their roster?
BTF is the best label for us now. We are speaking the same language and its very important...
About bands - some titles look a bit familiar but I don't listen to them.
Last month you have released your debut full-length album, "Enlightened by Death". What can you tell us about it? How many copies were pressed and where can we order it?
About music - this is a bridge from Astra to Nocra, from classical to metal. Guitar and piano, bass and violin, harp and drums - all instruments working together. People who listened Astra can find some influences here... And well I'm sure that the CD artwork is so much important for the listeners, like the music is.
The CD includes 12 pages booklet with lyrics, unreleased photos and must bring full atmosphere from the music.
Sorry - I forgot how much copies were printed but hope they are not out of stock by now. They can be order here: www.beneath-the-fog.com/nocra
You also have a side-project called Astra Autisma. Please tell us a bit about it.
Astra was born 5 or 6 years back and had a lot of changes on the long way. Early sound Astra Autisma can be considered like "old piano in the dark cave". Here was a Dark ambient, noise and hypnotic piano melodies. After that it was like "funeral march in rainy day" sad and tragic music but with years Astra got a cleaner and pure sound. Neo-classic or old classical music. Today Astra sounds like OST from thriller or dramatic movie.
It's sad but I can not give my time to Astra because I have no free time - Nocra takes all my time, but near the New Year I've recorded a new song for Astra, "Dunkelheit", a Burzum cover. I never played covers but this was very interesting for me, to play Black Metal with classical instruments and try not to loose the original idea. Maybe I will record something again next month, of course if will find a time...
What are your goals with Nocra and Astra Autisma? What do you hope to achieve through them?
Mmm... Astra is a beautiful and sad music not for everyone. If the listener will look in night through the window, drink a good wine, play Astra and will think about something deep and forgotten, I'm sure that it will be the best achievement for me...
About Nocra... Please ask me about it after 20 years!
What can you tell us about you as an everyday girl? Are you a normal girl, with lots of friends, who likes shopping and gathering piles of clothes in her closet? Are you a student or an everyday worker? How's a normal day for you?
Hmmm... Regular day for me - I wake up at 2 or 3 AM, add volume on CD player, take a coffee, check my e-mails, continue the work with mixing music, or video, or photo editing, or writing lyrics. Play on guitar a few hours, voice rehearsal, play piano. Recording some riffs, checking e-mails again and I'm ready to sleep with good music, or a movie, or a book.
Lot of friends? Not sure that I call by phone more often than one time a week and I have a very narrow circle of friends...
Shopping? Yeah! If it's a CD store or piercing jewelery or musical instruments... But to be honest with you I don't leave my house more often than two times per month...
Gathering piles of clothes... Hehehe - in my closet "gathering piles of cables, rack-cases, amps and microphones" :)
So I am "a normal girl" who considers music as everydays work and the most important part of my life.
What books do you read? What movies do you like? which metal and non-metal bands/artists do you listen to at home?
Damn! This question sounds like a questionnaire on a dating site :) (n.Adrian: well, after reading it, the whole interview questionaire sounded like for a dating site :))
Books? Something mystical, philosophic or historical. My favorite author is Dean Koontz. Sure I've read all his books.
Movies. Oh, good question! I absolutely hate modern movies with digital effects, a lot of fire and one or two "super heros". I like a lot old good movies until 90's or maybe something from middle of the 90's. The best for me always will be the original "The Hitcher" with Rutger Hauer, "Repulsion" by Roman Polanski (or maybe also something good and old from him), "The silence of the lambs", hmmm,"The Thing", "Runaway Train" and many others. I think you know what I mean...
About metal its old Dark Funeral, old Darkthrone, Burzum, very old Satyricon, Immortal, Alastis, Thy Serpent... Something from King Diamond, something from Septic Flesh...
Non metal - classical, dark ambient... Soundtracks from old movies...
Christmas is aproaching, so is the New Years eve, what do you do this time of the year? Do you like this time of the year when everyone's celebrating something?
Hmmm... These days are shit. Everyone is running and trying to complete and quit things. For me the New Year is a time to look back at what happened, how many dreams and plans came true... And 2009 was not bad... But it was only the beginning!
About celebrating - I am not very happy these days and not sure that anybody will see a smile on my face... But I'm glad to send warm wishes to people who are important for me...
christmas? In Russia this day is celebrated on the 7th of January but I'm not sure that this day is any interesting for me...
Which would you say are the main differences between you and Tesana? And again, which are the things that bond you?
Sure that there are differences between us - its like Black and Death metal... Something wrong, something correct.
Hmm, music bonds us, our long friendship and trust. And we are have a same hair colour hahaha :)
Well, I told you before that this will be a long questionaire so I hope you're still breathing. :) What should we expect next from both Nocra and Astra Autisma?
Yes, very long! I drank a lot cups of coffee and smoked half pack of cigarettes :)
For Astra I hope I will release a big and long full-length with all the best and unreleased songs, will record some new and maybe a new video.
For Nocra as I told above - new EP (or split), new videos and maybe first concerts...
So not time for rest!
Interviewed by Adrian