Interview with Dani Nolden of Shadowside
Shadowside hail from Brazil and recently released “Theatre of shadows” on Chavis records. I had the opportunity to interview vocalist Dani Nolden and find out more about this band.
MM-When and how did this band form?
Dani: We basically started out in the recording studio since there was a lot of material from previous bands we all had in the past and after a few rehearsals, we decided we should give it a try. So I'd say Shadowside was born in 2001 with the EP release. We were all a bunch of friends having fun and making some noise, which is basically what we're still doing nowadays (laughs).
MM-Who are your influences?
Dani: That's very hard to answer honestly. I'm into lots of different stuff and couldn't tell what influences me directly, I love bands like Deep Purple, but also love Skid Row, Judas Priest and more modern stuff like Disturbed. Maybe it's all that together mixed up with our personality and attitude that forms the Shadowside identity.
MM-What is the metal scene like in Brazil?
Dani: There are some very good bands, unfortunately most of them don't realize how much potential they have and the world will never heard of them. People here hardly give them a chance, especially the ones that could really make things happen. The fans are great and they all try their best to support bands they like but what can you do when a record company doesn't do what they're supposed to do, like making the album available to them?
MM-How are the shows and audiences different in Brazil as opposed to here in the United States?
Dani: People in Brazil usually have no idea what your lyrics are about (laughs). Apart from that, I haven't noticed much of a difference so far. All the bands that come here say we have the craziest audience and all that, so maybe the crowd was insane at Indy Metal Fest just because of us (laughs). We're used to playing some very big venues here, we even shot a video at two of those locations but it's also a lot of fun to play smaller venues, that way we have a chance to meet some of our fans, there's nothing better than interacting with people and having a real party with them. That feeling of having fun with lots of friends screaming to good metal is the same everywhere, doesn't matter what part of the world you live in or play at.
MM-You have a few dates lined up for playing in the United States next month. Do you have any further plans for touring in 2008?
Dani: Sure, actually the North American tour should be a lot longer than what's already announced, we already have some stuff lined up for January and maybe February as well. We should also be doing an European tour, I just don't know if it's gonna be before or after the South American gigs. We'll surely be busy as hell this year, since after the tour we'll be releasing the new album, which will be very heavy, intense and full of energy. We have just finished recording it and I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a real surprise to everyone and a big step for Shadowside, it will be shocking in a very good way. It's real in-the-face material and you'll either love it or hate it. But no one will be able to say it has no balls. (laughs)
MM-What do you think that you are doing that makes Shadowside unique?
Dani: Probably everything I just said. Energy, passion, attitude. Some people also say it's my voice. Though as much as I have a very different voice, I don't believe a band is all about their frontman or in our case, frontwoman. Of course I get a lot of attention for being the singer, that's probably the position that gets the best and the worst out of the media and fans but to me, it's all about the group, the team work. We're a real band in an era that a lot of music is just planned on the table by executives. Of course we want to sell our music, sure we want to keep playing for a lot of people every night.
But I would rather play the music I'm completely in love with for an audience of 5 people than sell out the Madison Square Garden doing something I hate. And luckily, we are managing to do very well doing exactly what we feel like: loud heavy metal, very energetic, with catchy melodies and having a lot of fun on stage.
MM-What bands would you love to tour with?
Dani: Anyone with a good attitude really. So far, we've only toured with great bands that also showed themselves as very nice people which is great. It'd be great to hit the road with Helloween again since we got along great on the first time. There are some bands that we picture it would be a lot of fun going on tour with but you never know until you really do it. But if we gotta pick a band that we never had any contact with before, just because of their music, my personal choice would be Aerosmith.
MM-What goals have you set for this band?
Dani: To keep doing what we're doing really. We're recording our music, planning a world tour and being fortunate of living the dream of thousands of people. What more could we ask for? The only thing we want is to be able to do it for many years more. Honestly, I think success is a consequence of honest hard work. You can't set the goal of being the next Metallica because if you do that and don't manage to achieve it or you achieve it and then lose it, you have no reason left to keep going. My goal is to keep playing until I have no life left in me anymore.
MM-Have you written any new material recently?
Dani: Yeah sure, as I told you we just finished recording the new album which will be released next year. But after the recordings I already started having some ideas so the songwriting process has begun very early this time. As you can see, I'm a workaholic (laughs). I'm definitely gonna write a lot during the tour supporting Theatre of Shadows and then supporting the next album, so our fans don't need to worry about having to wait long for new material, at least not for the next 3 years or so.
MM-Do you approach writing music any differently now than when this band first started?
Dani: I suppose so, yeah... when you're starting out, you waste a lot of time with things you shouldn't be really worrying about. Nowadays the songwriting process goes a lot faster than it used to, since in the early days we would all get together for starting a song from scratch. It may work for lots of bands but I found out I'm a lot more productive when writing by myself and then arranging everything with the band. Fernando also wrote some great stuff by himself for the new record and then I wrote the melodies and we wrote some guitar parts with the band. It flows well and is still team work because everyone always has an input on the songs. Also we don't worry too much now if we can't find that exact thing we want to for a song. It always comes up sooner or later, sometimes even in the recording studio, on the last minute, you know? You shouldn't really get stressed out to write music, it's supposed to be art and fun. If you enjoy the process, you won't struggle. Whenever you force something into a direction or push yourself to write a part when the idea just doesn't come, the result can never be the best possible and that's something you learn from experience.
MM-Since it's almost the end of the year I am going to ask what are some of your favorite albums of 2007?
Dani: Unfortunately that's gonna be impossible for me to say, I didn't keep track of releases this year. We were so busy with touring and recording sessions that I didn't pay attention to what was happening. I heard some great stuff though such as the new Chris Cornell stuff, the 1RKO and Sonic X albums are fantastic, but I haven't listened to enough music to voice an opinion on what were the best releases. I need to catch up, I'm ashamed (laughs).
MM-Where do you hope to be in three years?
Dani: In a different city every single night, a different country every one or two weeks, playing material from 3 Shadowside albums.
Playing some festivals won't hurt either (laughs).
MM-Is there anything else that you want to say about your band or your music?
Dani: I just wanna thank all our fans worldwide, you guys rock!
Everyday we receive so many messages on MySpace asking us when we're gonna play their city or country. We wanna play everywhere and are really looking forward to meeting all of you on the shows. Hope everyone likes the Theatre of Shadows and future materials and let's party together from December on. I'll see you guys soon!
Thanks to Dani for doing the interview.