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At The Rock and Metal Crossroads with Nereis

Photo Credit: Silvia Benatti

At The Rock and Metal Crossroads with Nereis

Nereis is a hard rocking metal collective from Italy at the crossroads of their career and are more than ready to take on the music world in an epic way.  Their Turning Point magnum opus has been been unveiled via Eclipse Records, an absolutely gripping sonic entreaty that is sure to set the imagination in flight.

Highwire Daze Online recently interviewed guitarist Samuel Fabrello to find out more about the dynamic Nereis and their stunning auditory journeys.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Nereis, and how long the band has been together.
Hi everybody, I’m Sam, guitarist of Nereis. As it probably happened for many other bands, “Nereis” were born when a group of kids decided to play metal. Everything started in 2007, when we played just for the desire of playing and making music together.  After a couple of years, two of the original members decided to give in and leave “Black Star”… yes, originally “Black Star” was our name, until 2017.  However, the rest of us were motivated and stubborn enough to go on and look for other musicians. We found Andy, as lead vocals, and Pex, as guitarist. After that, we begun to consider playing as something more than a hobby and since that moment the idea of transforming this passion for music in an actual job started to take form.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We are Italian, from a small city in the north of Italy, and as it often happens in small cities, the music scene here is quite weak. In general, in Italy it is quite weak. You know, AC/DC said “it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ’n’ roll”… well, in Italy it’s more than appropriate, unless you are already in the circle of famous bands.  Talking about pubs, unfortunately they keep becoming fewer and fewer and therefore the chances of playing and spreading our music keep diminishing too. This is why we are trying to play abroad and export our sound around the world.

How did you wind up signing with Eclipse Records?
During the Summer of 2017, we finished the recording of “Turning Point” and I was wondering: ”ok, but now? Our album is almost ready… what am I supposed to do?”.  I knew Eclipse Records, they signed with some other Italian bands like Genus Ordinis Dei and Sixty Miles Ahead, and I definitely wanted to work in the US, so I tried to send them our stuff. In a couple of days we received a contract proposal.  I remember that day… we were thrilled, glad and proud about it.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Turning Point.
Actually the title of the album speaks for itself: a change of course. All of us at one point need to turn and change direction towards something unexpected, a brighter future, towards calm waters. Humanity probably needs these abrupt changes too. Everybody deserves the opportunity to point towards the best, a second chance, redemption. The album speaks about this, it reveals that all of us have the possibility to change our existence, fighting against the whole world, but also against ourselves.

Select two songs from Turning Point and what inspired the lyrics.
The first song I choose is “Breaking Bad.”  Breaking Bad is about someone who has been oppressed for a very long time and at some point, this person finally gathers his last strength and unleashes a fiery redemption upon her adversaries.  For the video, we translated this into a post-apocalyptic scenario in which a masked woman is kept prisoner and used as a source of electrical power, a kind of human battery. In the end, she manages to break free and hunt down her oppressors.

The second song is “Two Wolves.”  A turning point usually occurs when you get wise enough to change course, and talking about wisdom, the Native Americans are a stunning example we could not avoid mentioning.  Two Wolves is about a Cherokee legend which illustrates the central internal struggle of humanity. In this legend, a tribal elder is teaching his grandson about life. He explains that there is a battle between two spirit wolves going on inside each of us. One is evil, and the other good. The first represents anger, greed, arrogance, and self-pity. The second represents love, humility, and kindness. The kid thinks about this for a while, then asks which will win. His grandfather replies that the wolf you feed will win.

Who did the cover art for Turning Point and how much input did you have on it?
The concept of this album comes from the 1800’s maritime environment, and we like to think to our band as a galleon ship. The “Turning Point” is exactly the moment when the ship Nereis with its crew changes course to follow what will bring it towards its future. We had had a sort of inspiration: a small toy boat enlightened by a candle that projects the shadow of a great sailing ship on the wall behind. That is a metaphor to point out that everyone, even if lost in the storm as a small boat, hides a grater potential inside of himself.  When we gave to Dani Hofer from Archetype Design these few inputs, he had already the idea of the album cover in his mind.

Who produced Turning Point and what was it like working with them?
We started the recording of Turning Point at the end of 2016 at NOLOGO Studios, a local studio near from Trento, where we collaborated with Fabio Sforza and Carmelo Giacchino in order to make the arrangement of the songs perfect. In this creative and quite “magic” environment, we set up some collaborations with various musicians, as Isabella Turso, an internationally well-known pianist, Giacomo Gamberoni, John Salins and, last but not least, Davide Dalpiaz, who has literally transformed and boosted some of our tracks (“Overdrive” and “What is Wrong and What is Right”).

Once we finished the recording, we commissioned the mix and master processes to Mauro Andreolli and his “Das Ende Der Dinge” studio, here in Trento.  To work with Mauro has been definitely a great pleasure. He has been very professional and precise (almost insane in the care for details), showing his real passion for his job. You don’t find such professionalism anywhere. Musicians obsessed with details such as us could not find any better! It took a while to finish the recording, but it was totally worth it! Mauro did a great job.

What could one expect from a live Nereis show?
Well, nice question. If someone comes to see our live show, the first thing he can see (and feel) is definitely our passion and how much we are enjoying our time on the stage. I think this is the most important thing. Once, the late Ludwig Van Beethoven said: “to play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.

If Nereis could open for a band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
If I was Gian, our bass-man, I would say Accept. I love Accept too, but I would say Alter Bridge. Our main musical influences comes from Alter Bridge and I think we could open for them, it’d be a dream.  Moreover, I love the way Myles Kennedy sings and plays guitar, he’s not a shredder, but as I said above, while he’s singing and playing I can see his passion… well, that’s my opinion.

What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
My favourite beer? I like the hoppy flavour of American and India pale ales, but, in general, blondes are always the best! 😉

What’s up next for Nereis?
We have some gigs scheduled for the next months, some here in our city and some others around Italy. Stay tuned, our social pages will let you know what we’re preparing for the upcoming season!

Any final words of wisdom?
No matter what you are doing, no matter what they think, no matter if you break a guitar string…Always horns up and play louder! \m/

Nereis is:
Andrea “Andy” Barchiesi – Vocals
Samuel “Sam” Fabrello – Guitar
Mattia “Pex” Pessina – Guitar
Gianluca “Gian” Nadalini – Bass
Davide “Dave” Odorizzi – Drums

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