There are times that you want to speak your mind and be brutally honest. That’s the quiet resistance within you,” says guitarist HJ of Nemesea, referring to the title of the band’s brand new album. The Dutch female fronted band, famous for combining rock with electro, have fine-tuned this musical combination to perfection on their third album. The Quiet Resistance is a gem that reveals its many-splendored colours more and more each time you press play.
According to HJ, The Quiet Resistance is a balanced mix of the first two albums, combining heavy riffs and symphonic musical landscapes with pop sensibilities and electronic music influences. The former jazz guitar student wrote most of the new songs on guitar, piano and computer. Singer Manda added the lyrics, which go beyond the usual gothic rock lingo and fairytale stories. “Lyrics are very important. They can be comforting, but they can also shake things up. My lyrics are pieces of my life, personal experiences that I weave into little stories,” she explains. One of the central themes on this album is being in control, or losing it. “If you want to change things in your life, you just have to go for it.”
The current line-up of Nemesea is a tight-knit unity; complementing HJ and Manda are Sonny Onderwater (bass), Frank van der Star (drums) and Lasse Dellbrugge (keyboards). In addition to Manda’s amazing vocals, there are a few remarkable vocal guest performances on the new album, giving it an interesting vocal range and variety. Delain’s Charlotte Wessels lends her amazing voice to ‘High Enough’, and Marcus Klavan (vocals) and Matt Litwin (turntables) of American band Bulletproof Messenger contribute to the dynamic nu-metal track ‘It’s Over’. One of the songs that stands out is bonus track ‘Allein’, which features German singer Heli Reissenweber of Rammstein cover band Stahlzeit. HJ: “this song turned out to have this Rammstein feel, so we decided to push it as far as we could with partly German lyrics.”
Joost van den Broek, former keyboardist of After Forever, co-produced, mixed and mastered the Quiet Resistance. The band became friends with him when they toured with After Forever in the early stage of their career. His influence was refreshing, says HJ. “We needed someone who could make our sound heavier. He connected all the dots, and wrote all the symphonic arrangements, together with our keyboardist Lasse. He gave us a very big and heavy sound, both in the production and in the mix.”
Nemesea was founded in 2002 by vocalist Manda Ophuis and guitarist Hendrik Jan (HJ) de Jong. The band signed a deal with a small Dutch label and released their debut album Mana in 2004. The album made the band an instant rising star on the musical horizon. Nemesea toured intensively and drew the attention of both fans and industry with great album reviews. In 2006, Nemesea signed with sellaband.com, a brand new format for bands to record and release their music independently. Within a couple of months, the band gathered many ‘followers’ and was the first band worldwide to collect 50.000 dollars, allowing them to record and internationally release their second album In Control (2007). Their cooperation with Sellaband opened many international doors for the band; it enabled them to work with Tony Platt (AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Motorhead), who produced their second album, and mixer Ronald Prent (Rammstein, HIM, Within Temptation). Nemesea, eager to be ahead of their peers, was also the first band worldwide to give two special shows in OMNI-surround.
Although Sellaband has now become history, the experience proved to be of great value for Nemesea. “Our time with Sellaband has taught us that we have great fans all over the world who support us tremendously. However, you need good distribution and promotion as well if you want to expose your music to as many people as possible.”
Despite the slightly disappointing results of this collaboration, the band is more determined than ever to keep going. Opening track ‘Caught In The Middle’ makes that perfectly clear, says Manda. “I wrote the lyrics when the future didn’t look very bright for us. When the Sellaband house of cards crumbled, we wondered about the future of Nemesea. But our message now is: whatever happens, we will carry on.”
And now, after releasing 2 succesfull studio albums and 1 live album
The Quiet Resistance will be released in November 2011 on Napalm Records.