Sunday 9 September 2012

20 Questions w/ shEver

shEver 2012
Hey Guys, so it is that time of the week again, Yes! another dose of 20 Questions.  Today I am excited to bring you my interview with the all female Death/Doom band shEver.  This interview comes on the back of the excellent review by our good friend, Seb Biscoult from the band Abrahma which you can read here

In my attempts to interview some of the finest bands around, it is always cool, to get such  enthusiastic responses from bands and labels alike.  shEver were not different and I am extremely grateful that they took the time to answer my questions.  So here it is in full, 20 Questions w/ shEver.  Enjoy!  


Q) Hey, How are you?  I appreciate you taking the time to talk to talk to us, here at the Sludgelord.


A) Hey Aaron thank you very much. We’re fine, sitting outside of the rehearsal room and answering your questions, enjoying the undoomy hot summer.


Q) Where are you at the moment and what are you doing, in terms of the band?  You preparing to tour? 


A) We’re preparing our release-party for the new record Rituals and we’re looking forward to some shows coming up in October.

Q) Our  good friend Seb Biscoult from the band Abrahma reviewed you record for the blog and he loved it (I really think it is great too haha).  For those people who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell me little bit about the  history of the band and some of the bands you've played with? Where you’re from, when shEver first formed? Current band members?

A) The band has been formed in 2003 when Jessie and Melanie started the band and Nadine joined.  The actual line-up is fixed since February 2004 with Alex. Sarah replaced our former drummer Melanie in 2007.

Alex: eve-ill brutal screaming, voice
Jessie: down-tuned heavy riffing, voice
Nadine: drone-doom bass, infernal growls, violin, voice
Sarah: doomed drums

As we all live in different cities in Switzerland we’re not able to say, we’re shEver from Zurich or Bern or so on. We’re just shEver, 4 women from Switzerland, making some witch-doom. A few bands to mention we’ve already played with are for sure: Jex Thoth, Esoteric, Amenra, Place of Skulls, Saturnus, Ahab…

Q) Is shEver a full time project, or do have other bands?

A) shEver is like a second job for each of us. We’re doing some side-projects from time to time, but shEver is the main project.

Q) Probably a stupid question, but are you or would you like to be full time musicians? Presumably you work jobs too, right?

A) Some of us would really like to but it’s hard to survive without doing mainstream-music, playing birthday- or wedding parties and so on…

Q) Are you big fans of rock/metal, if so what are you listening too at the moment?


A) Alex: Eyehategod, Graveyard, Khuda, Skindred, Electric Wizard, Bongzilla
Jessie: YOB, Alice in Chains, Nadja, Batillus, Crowbar
is very into French black metal: Glorior belli, Deathspell Omega, Merrimack, Seide
Sarah: 13th Floor Elevator, Shining

Q) When you started shEver, what were your hopes for the band?

A) It started in 2003 and the goal was to get out of the rehearsal room once and to play live as much as possible.


Q) If someone was unfamiliar with your band, how would you describe your sound? Has it evolved?

A) Our sound is mostly slow, full of emotions, brutal in a female way J, melancholy, and consequent. We rehearse twice a week for 10 years now, so we do at least hope that our music evolved a bit yes.

Q)  Why the name, shEver?  Where did the name come from and why the capital letter E in the middle?  Any significance in that? 

A) Jessie always wanted to have a band called "shiver" but a band with that name already existed. The big "E" came out of the fact, that we’re all female: "shE".

Q)  What is the scene like in your hometown of Zurich, or Switzerland for that matter?

A) We’re not from Zurich :) we’re from all around in Switzerland (German-speaking part).  The doom-scene has grown larger since 2003.

Q) What made you start the band?  Did you all know each other before you formed?

A) Jessie originally started the band with the former drummer Melanie whom she knew already. The other three members saw the advertisements on line that shEver was in need for new members.

Q)  What's it like being in an underground band in your hometown or even in the Switzerland? Is it a struggle and is their camaraderie within the scene?

A) It’s not that hard to get gigs but there are not many locations and you have to make sure you’re not playing in the same places all the time. Switzerland is very small. Camaraderie exists but as an all-female band it’s hard to deal with prejudices and envy.

Q) Listening to your music, it appears that there are influences of Death metal and Doom Metal, however what would you say is your direct influences musically and artistically? Did those influences contribute directly or indirectly to the type of music you write?

A) We’re playing the music that comes out of our souls. Sure all music you listen to influences you subconsciously, but we’ve never planned just doing doom or death.

Q)  What are your views of blogs such as the Sludgelord reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?  Has your music reached the mainstream mags, at home or around the world?

A) There have been some reviews about us in so-called mainstream-metal-magazines around Germany, for example Legacy. With the on line reviews you can reach a lot more people around the world and they spread the review-links further. It seems that people writing blogs do this because they’re interested in this kind of music and it’s not only a job, it’s their personal interest. So it’s very cool that blogs like The Sludgelord exist.

Q) Rituals is an exceptional record and appears to be getting universal praise, what are your thoughts about that?  Does it have an effect on the band in terms of record sales etc?  Are record sales important to the band?

A) It makes us proud to get such good reaction from all over the world and we think it’s our best release so far.  We’re not doing it just to earn money and get rich. The money we obtain by record-sales or gigs is re-invested into new projects like merchandise, recording new stuff or just renting a bus to get to the next gig.

Q)  Rituals is your 2nd full length release to date, how does this record compare to your previous records and is it your best work to date? 

A) With every new release you think its better that the last one. But that’s okay, because we’d like to evolve musically.

Q) Does it surprise you when people buy your music and merch?

A) It doesn’t surprise us, but it makes as proud that there are so many people wearing our merch or listening to our cds. It’s just amazing.

Q) 2 albums, 1 EP and 2 demo’s since the bands inception, what are some of your highlights so far? What are your aspirations for the future?

A) Some of our highlights are our appearances at Roadburn 2010 and Doom Shall Rise VII and of course the new record which is being released on CD and vinyl.  Our aspirations for the future are a split-LP in 2013 together with our friends of Spancer and Nocebo-label from Basel. Maybe a little tour for 2013 and hopefully playing the UK once.

Q) You’re signed to the awesome Jerusalem based label Total Rust, were you fans of the label before you were signed and how did that come about?  Did you consider a DIY approach of releasing your music yourselves?

A) Gad from Total Rust Music was already interested in our music when we released the first album Ocean of illusions, but we decided to release it by ourselves. All past albums we released by ourselves as well. Now 5 years later we got into contact with him again and asked if he’s interested in releasing Rituals.

Q)  This will sound stupid (therefore I apologise in advance if it does), however you’re obviously an all female band.  Do you feel that you have had to work harder in any way to be taken seriously, given that metal is predominately a male dominated genre?  Are you judged more harshly in your experience?  (We think you’re awesome BTW)

A) It’s definitely harder to be taken seriously as an all-female band in the male-dominated metal-scene.  It’s an easy excuse to dislike our music just because we’re female, but we’ve learned to overcome it.

Q) Do you have any interesting stories from your tours, favourite’s places you’ve toured and bands you’ve toured with?

A) Well we have a lot of stories…a broken bus at the end of a tour, organizing rental-cars in the middle of the night and accidentally leaving our equipment in Germany, a singer losing her voice, running out of gasoline in France in the middle of nowhere, unexpectedly finding strange guys playing with knives upstairs our sleeping room, a broken car in the middle of Belgium and some Pfeffi-stories in East-Germany…(Pfeffi is a peppermint-liquor).
Every place has its own charm, but a few shows and bands to mention are:

  • Leipzig, Germany with Spancer
  • Hamburg, Germany with Esoteric
  • Nurnberg, Germany with Obelyskkh
  • Roadburn, Netherlands
  • Doom Shall Rise
  • Doom Over Bielefeld with Amenra
  • Doom Over Vienna
  • Munich Germany with Jex Thoth
Q) Did you have an agenda or a game plan in terms of what you wanted to write for Rituals? Does everyone contribute song ideas?

A) Rituals is not a concept-album at all. We never work with a specific agenda in mind. As we’ve mentioned before, it comes out of our souls. Everyone is involved in the song-writing process.

Q) How do you feel about the digital era of music and people downloading music for free? Would you or have you ever considered releasing your music for free or ‘pay what you like’ to raise the profile of the band?

A) This is life and as long as it helps to spread our music we support it, this way you can reach people who would never get into our music. However Real Fans buy the CD or LP.  We invested a lot of time, work and effort into all our albums and that should be appreciated.

Q) What are your plans for the rest of the year and any chance you're coming over to the UK?

A) Already mentioned above :)

Q) Thanks for answering my questions, but one final question, do you have anything you like to say to your fans?

A) Thank you for this interesting interview Aaron and thank you Seb for this awesome review and of course thanx to all our fans who’ve supported us for all these years!!

Doom on

Well, that is your lot for this interview.  I hope you thought it was cool!  It goes without saying that I have to say a big thank you to shEver for answering my questions.  Also give a special mention to Gad from Total Rust, total dude and he was able to hook me up with the band.  So thanks man!  Appreciate it.  Hopefully more to come from your amazing roster of bands.  You're doing an amazing job.

If you want more info about the band or Total Rust, check out the links below.  Thank is it for now.  More to come.  Perhaps sooner than you think!  Thanks again to you guys for reading.  You're proper cool and youre support means so much to us.