An Interview With Lady S Of Nocra
The female Russian black metal duo of Nocra recently released their first music video for the track "Enlightened by Death" as well as posting online a new song titled "Worship to Unholy." Front woman Lady S spoke with Metalunderground about the difficulty of running a black metal band in Russia and the status of her other ambient project Astra Autisma.
xFiruath: How do you and Tesana know each other and when did you decide to make music together?
Lady S: In the beginning of 2009, I met Tesana. She had been a drummer in an unknown death metal band, and we decided to try to write one song for Nocra together. It was "The whisper of Death," a song that had already become popular and was being hailed in Russian underground scene. This success was strengthening for us, so decided to continue working together with Nocra as a long term project.
xFiruath: Is there any specific meaning behind the name Nocra?
Lady S: Nocra is the ancient name of succubus who took human souls with their songs.
xFiruath: How would you describe the sound of Nocra to someone who hadn’t heard the band before?
Lady S: Nocra are atmospheric black metal with a big ambient influence.
xFiruath: Who writes the lyrics and what do your lyrics generally deal with?
Lady S: Usually I am working with lyrics but sometimes Tesana helps me to find the correct way. I write the songs in Russian and our band manager helps me with English translating and interpretation.
xFiruath: Are you currently playing any live shows at this point or do you have any plans for live shows?
Lady S: We do not consider Nocra as a concert band. Because we do not want to invite session musicians. But who knows what the future will bring. If we do give a concert it will only be for a small club.
xFiruath: What is the metal scene like in your local area and in Russia in general? How is black metal received there?
Lady S: I do not know about all the Russian scene. But in my town it’s very sad. Because after local problems our government decided to force an end to all dark activity. I mean all metal and gothic. We have policemen near every underground station. And if you have an unusual style or dark clothing you get arrested and detained by the police and they can do what they like and it is horror. So I do not need to speak on how hard it is to find a metal label, or even go to a concert.
xFiruath: You put out your first official video not too long ago. Where did you record that and how was the recording process?
Lady S: We do not want to use a lot of fire or computer graphics as seen with many popular bands. Our video was created by our own hands in a home studio. Recording went very well, even though some parts were complex to achieve, because I have experience with making Astra videos. Only one problem, was that we did our recording in my house and people nearby began to call the police. So the video had to be recorded in just 3 days and then take 3 days of time with mixing.
xFiruath: What’s going on right now with your other project Astra Autsima?
Lady S: Astra had been in deep silence, having to take a break with this project, because Nocra forced me to give all free time for repetition. But then I came back with new Astra songs “Time” and “Mourning Veil Of Frozen Tears.” Also recently I made the first Astra video in a long time, called “The Idol (No Escape).” But now we have completed our Nocra stuff for a split with Grim Skoll, a Mexican ambient BM band. But I hope to find more time for new Astra songs soon. Astra single tape is already released and is time for a full length album.
xFiruath: What black metal albums do you feel are the most important to the scene and had the biggest impact on the genre?
Lady S: I respect many bands of the second wave of black metal. And can say that “The Secrets of the Black Art” by Dark Funeral will always be my favorite of true black metal. Limbonic Art, Burzum, Thy Serpent, and Graveworm as bands I respect with a more modern sound.
xFiruath: How do you feel about where the black metal scene is at today? Are there any bands you feel are really championing the scene or that are dragging it down into mediocrity?
Lady S: I do not listen to most popular bands. I just always watch for news about my favorite bands, and friends I am always interested to hear what new they bring. Also I am waiting for the new album of Hecate Enthorned. And of course full length album by Obscuratum. I understand and respect bands who are searching for a new sound in black metal. Because roots is always good, but if all bands have only old school sounds the sound of black metal will not move forward.
xFiruath: Outside of black metal what music do you regularly listen to and what do you like about it?
Lady S: I listen to a lot of different music. But it's something in classical or ambient. I do not listen to black metal very often. Because I think that you must know but not always listen to the music which you play. Because whether you want it to or not music which you listen to will force a change in your sound.
xFiruath: That’s all of my questions, is there anything else that you’d like to bring up?
Lady S: Thank you for your questions, and ”ut vivas, disce more”
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