Interview with Metal Pulp And Paper
METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Alexandra. So glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us atMetal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
Can you tell the Metal Pulp And Paper readers why they should check out the band shEver.
ALEXANDRA: If you are into some sludge & death doom with emotional aspects and female growls, you should definitely check us out.
MPAP: How did shEver come about?
ALEXANDRA: Jessie originally started the band with the former drummer Melanie whom she knew already. The other three members saw the advertisements online that shEver was in need of new members. At the beginning, we were 4 women. In the meantime, we are 2 women and 2 men.
MPAP: Along with yourself, who are your partners in crime in the band?
Jessie: Soulful guitarist with organizing ability
Chris: Easy-going, groovy bassist
Heiko: Funny, multi-talented drummer
MPAP: Let’s talk about your country for a minute. Is there a strong doom metal music scene in Switzerland?
ALEXANDRA: Swiss people are more into Death Metal, Grind Core and so on. But in the past years Doom Metal became more and more popular in Switzerland.
MPAP: Is it easy for a doom metal band in Switzerland to appear in the media? Any radio stations, TV channels, or magazines, supporting the metal genre there?
ALEXANDRA: It’s not easy because there only a few underground radio stations exist. Same for TV channels and magazines. They are almost inexistent in Switzerland.
MPAP: What about the worldwide feedback? Do you feel like you’ve reached as much as expected?
ALEXANDRA: We are always happy when we see that people in Australia or in the US buy our albums. But we think we should achieve more, like having some gigs offered outside of Europe for example.
MPAP: The United States? Do you feel the music fans here would greet you with open arms?
ALEXANDRA: Yes, we think that the US fans would like us. We have played with many US bands here in Europe and all of them were amazed and asked us to come over.
MPAP: What are some of the goals of the band? What are you, and the rest of the band wanting to accomplish? What’s within reach, but you’re just not quite there yet?
ALEXANDRA: Writing some new songs with the new lineup. Maybe bring out a new record in 2018 and finding a label with it. And to play as many live gigs as possible.
MPAP: You’ve been with the band now for 13 years? Do you still have that same passion you had since day one back in 2004?
ALEXANDRA: Yes. I love to be in this Band. I hope that my voice can handle it as long as possible. Who knows if we can play till we have no more teeth?
MPAP: What were you doing before joining shEver?
ALEXANDRA: I listened to Metal since I was 10 years Old. I have sung in some unknown bands.
MPAP: There have been a couple lineup changes over the years. How has this ever affected your creative process and sound of the band?
ALEXANDRA: Every change brings in some new influences, movement and different but positive energy. This has of course changed the creative process and the sound of the band. But we never lose our emotional aspects in our sound. This for is for sure.
MPAP: In the beginning, Jessica wanted to call the band Shiver, but it was eventually changed to shEver because you were an all-girl band? Were you still trying to keep it that way even after Nadine left in 2012? That was the whole part of the concept behind ‘She Ever’ correct?
ALEXANDRA: In the beginning, we wanted to start as an all-girl band, and decided to change the I to an E in shEver. It was not meant to be „She Ever“, but people keep asking us about it. When Nadine left we were open to any gender to take over the bass part. So it was never really important that we were an all- girl band or even a concept thing. If the person fits, it flows.
MPAP: shEver has been unable to tour the United States of America so far? A lot of stories on the internet say it’s hard for touring bands to travel to other countries because of getting work visas and the costs that are associated with them. Is this the reason for shEver for not being able to travel abroad?
ALEXANDRA: Well the easiest way would be if someone invites us to play and organizes a tour for us. Also to explain the visa stuff to us. We have no idea about that. Of course, it’s always associated with costs. But there is always a way to find a solution…isn’t there?
MPAP: As all bands try to find their place in the business and work very hard getting there to make music and tour, are you able to make shEver a full-time job? Or do you have to work when not out on the road or in the studio to be able to pay the bills?
ALEXANDRA: We all have to work for a living. We cannot make enough money from shEver, unfortunately. We do not live close to each other. Some members have to drive more than 1.5 hours to rehearse, which sometimes feels like a half time job.
MPAP: Let’s talk about your most recent releasePanta Rhei (2015)? It received some great reviews? How are you feeling about it now that’s it been out for two years?
ALEXANDRA: Panta Rhei received some really good reviews from the scene. Some fans called it the best release so far. It is quite different than the other releases and we are still very proud of it.
MPAP: Heraclitus’ philosophy can be captured in just two words: ‘Panta Rhei’. Everything flows. Meaning that everything is constantly changing, from the smallest grain of sand to the stars in the sky. Why did you pick Heraclitus’ philosophy for the title of your album? What was the inspiration behind it?
ALEXANDRA: When Chris joined the band, we felt like everything is flowing again, even the songwriting for the new album and Jessie took the picture on the cover during a Sunday walk a year before. So it somehow had to be “Panta Rhei”.
MPAP: Are you working on any new material? How soon until we can expect new music from the shEver camp?
ALEXANDRA: Yes we are working on new songs and can hopefully release them in 2018. So, if any label is interested in working with shEver, please get in touch with us.
MPAP: Is there anything you can reveal to us about how the songs are turning out?
ALEXANDRA: Triplets, Blast-beats, and some Grind influences.
MPAP: Do the four of you have the same musical likes and tastes? Is it sometimes difficult to create a new song when someone might have a different idea or a new direction they want to go in?
ALEXANDRA: Yes, we have different musical likes and tastes. That makes our Music special. We all write our songs together in the rehearsal-room. It starts as a normal jam or someone brings an idea and so we develop a song out of it. One can’t tell how long this process will take. It depends a lot on the moods of all of us or if there are any other projects going on outside the band that influence the song-writing just like vacation or illness and so on. Sometimes one is really in the flow and could write song after song and sometimes one works on one song for months. But we don’t alter songs after recording them.
MPAP: In 2014, in Switzerland, you played a show along with an American doom metal band called YOB. They are from my home state of Oregon in the USA. What did you think about them? Were you able to get to watch them play that night?
ALEXANDRA: Of course, we were able to watch YOB at this awesome and amazing night! We all think YOB is an extraordinary band and the guys are really nice and very friendly. We had very good talks and some beers with them.
MPAP: Before we bring this interview to a close, one last thing.
Which is your main trademark, what makes your music distinguish from the rest, the thing you feel it’s shEver original?
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Alexandra, for doing this interview. Look forward to what shEver does to finish out 2017 and beyond
Any last words you’d like to say to the readers and your fans out there?
ALEXANDRA: Thank you for the support! Maybe someday we can get over the ocean and play some gigs for you guys!