A few weeks ago, I received in my page mailbox, a message from the lead singer of this band, who told me that she knew Hands off Gretel and love the interview I made of them, I was very thankful and immediately ask her if she would be interested by an interview…That’s really a wonderful feeling to be appreciated for your work…
If you don’t know it by now, I am super fan of girl fronted bands, especially when they let their voices express themselves, and I’m even more in love with grunge music, so trust me when I tell you they are A-W-E-S-O-M-E !
So here is the interview of this polish band !
Why is your band called Nira Nise ?
Actually, it was Bart’s (the bassist) idea. He said I should be the one who writes music and the band should be named like me. Also my boyfriend, who is a musician as well had tried to convince me to start a band “Nira” for like a year, so I finally did. Nira is my name, Nira Nise is my nickname and the band’s name as well.
How would you define your type of music ?
I’d said grunge, but we do not close in a certain pattern. It’s definitely expressive with dirty sound and raw, strong vocals but we like dark stuff as well, so sometimes you can hear slightly psychedelic atmosphere, as in “House on a tree”.
How did you form the band ?
Well, it started one winter day, on the beginning of 2016. I was going to meet a band called Violet Splat. They were looking for a vocalist and even though it was not entirely my music style (really psychedelic rock) I decided to try. They had invited me to a rehearsal and a few days later I was wading through the snow, trying to find the right address. It was fucking FREEZING, this one thing I remember clearly. The rehearsal took place in the garage, where I met Bart (the guitarist) and the rest of the band. The rehearsal went just fine, there was a few more of them, but finally I got a replay from Bart: “Nira, we think your voice doesn’t really suit our music, but you’re freaking good and I’ve always wanted to play grunge. Let’s start a band!”
Previously, I was in several bands but I haven’t play the guitar yet. It was going to be different now. I only knew like a few chords but when I grabbed the guitar I felt I finally had control over the band and my music. I started to write my own songs, Bart was a drummer back then.
Over the next two years the band’s members were changing. Funny thing is that Bart was a drummer at the beginning, then a solo guitarist and finally ended as a bassist. We kinda started over at the beginning of this 2018 year, wrote new songs and started to look for a new drummer. We wanted to find someone who would feel this kind of music we make, would be good technically and fit in our sense of humor (which is not very sophisticated I must say). And we found him! Now there are three of us: me on vocals/guitar, Bart on bass and Konrad on drums, who turned out to be an awesome band member.
To you, to have a female frontsinger is a advantage or an inconvenient ? Why ?
I’d say an advantage – most of the time at least. I think there are still too few girls playing that kind of music. But here is the fun story: some time ago I came across some shitstorm on Facebook. Some girl asked if there were any female-fronted grunge bands from Poland that are worth checking out. Then some guy wrote something like “Women who play rock suck, it sounds like shit anyway”. I started to argue with him and another dude joined the discussion and supported the first guy. ”. I was kinda shocked. Really? Like, really? I thought that the days, when Joan Jett had to prove girls can play rock and roll and they fucking KILL IT are gone. I am personally even more motivated to do my thing, I’m gonna scream louder than they talk shit anyway.
Is it difficult to stand out in your local scene ? Why ? Why not ?
I don’t think so. The main reason is, there are really a few female-fronted bands playing that kind of music in Poland. I spent hours looking for screaming and kicking bad ass girls on front (and playing guitar while singing), but I’ve found very few of them. I think I’d find more screaming girls playing metal if I looked for. When it comes to grunge there are some bands, indeed, but only with guys as members. And well, many bands claim to play “grunge” but they have nothing to do with this music in my opinion. What’s more, I feel there is some kind of an idealistic picture of a girl who is sensitive, who’s been singing since she was a child, who is simply made for music. I’m not that kind of girl. Let’s see if it works.
Do you find that he process to find a place to perform is difficult ? Why ? Why not ?
I think it may be kinda hard, especially on the beginning. We just got out of the garage with our music and sometimes it takes a lot of asking, spamming, joining other bands to book a gig. You’ve got to fight for your name. But I meet nice people who are willing to help as well.
If you could do the opening act of any band on Earth ? ( still existing or not ) who would it be and why ?
I’d say Pearl Jam. I’ve seen them twice (last time this year in Krakow, Poland) and It was very emotional event in my life. I’d be would be really awesome to meet the band and talk about music and stuff.
What are your influences (other bands, artists,performers,…) ?
Me and my band are mostly inspired by the Seattle scene. I love main Seattle bands like Nirvana (I love the dirty sound and intense expression), Alice in Chains (slightly psychedelic atmosphere and Layne’s voice give me chills) or Pearl Jam (Konrad is a huge fan too). It’s kinda funny, cause I’m mostly emotionally connected to Pearl Jam, but I don’t feel inspired by them as much. I’ve heard things like “Oh, you scream like Cobain” or “That part reminds me of Alice in Chains” from people, but I’ve never heard our music gives Pearl Jam vibes. Among other grunge/punk bands I’d mention Hands off Gretel or Distillers.
Well, grunge is not our only inspiration, Bart loves The Cure, I listen to Type of Negative from time to time. We kinda like dark stuff, hahah. And I must mention Joan Jett of course. I don’t listen to her music that much (mostly to her very first band, The Runaways), but I just love this woman. She was one of the first girls that proved we can play rock’n’roll too and be freaking awesome at it. I often watch interviews with her and I feel empowered by her strong personality, authenticity and always standing for herself as a woman who plays rock. I dream about meeting her one day.
Would you have enjoyed to perform on Woodstock ? ( sorry if that’s kind of cliché,I’m not an expert on psychedelic music)
Sure! I’d love to play anywhere people are. We have our polish version of Woodstock (Poland’rock) and it’s quite a big honor to play a gig on the big stage at it.
If you could perform in any place on Earth where would it be and why ?
I’d love to see big cities like New York or Tokio! I often imagine myself in a hotel room on 52nd floor, watching the city lights from above and waiting for the gig to play. I’ve been dreaming about visiting Japan and USA for years, so I would definitely pick that places. Also, I’ve been to London when I was 15 and I loved that town, so it’s on my list as well. I even set a goal to play a gig in the music venue Camden Underworld, where artists like Alice in Chains, Silverchair or Foo Fighters did perform. I sometimes use Google Map to see this exact place and imagine me and my band walking through the Camden streets, drinking beer and buying cool stuff before our gig. I believe our thoughts and emotions attract things so I’m looking forward to it!
How each member of the band is involved in the process of creating a new song ? How many time does it take ?
I write all the lyrics, guitar parts and melodies. I start writing new song when I’m completely alone, I just can’t compose when somebody’s around. I usually start with some guitar riff which is the most difficult part, cause when I play some random chords I always feel there’s already been that kind of progression or I’ve already written similar thing. But after choosing some catchy riff, the lyrics and melody create themselves. Then I play it to the band and if we decided it’s good (it always is haha) the bassist and drummer do their thing. Bart writes bass parts and sometimes even suggests some guitar ones. Konrad makes drum parts of course and the song starts to sound as it should.
There are exceptions of course. That’s how it was with “Not some fucking metal”. One evening after a few hours of rehearsal me and Bart wanted to drink one more beer and go home, but Konrad said “Hey, let’s make some new stuff”. I had some grungy riff in the back of my head but I didn’t really had an idea what to do with it. We just started to play and after 10 minutes the song was completely finished (when it comes to instruments). Bart had brought the memory card and we recorded live what we just had created. There was an almost palpable atmosphere of excitement in the air – we decided that we would not be able to repeat it that way, so this exact record ended up being the third track of our EP “House on a tree”.
Do you try to convey a message through your music ? If so, what is it ?
The songs I’ve written so far talk mostly about fighting. Fighting with people and mainly myself. I am not the easiest person to get along with, I always express myself clearly and some people don’t like it and try to change me. Our recently released EP “House on a tree” is some kind of a methapore of me, sitting in my treehouse that I’ve always wanted to have but never had, and singing about that kind of stuff. “House on a tree” is about people that tried to tell me I shouldn’t do this or that. “Hey, stop trying to scream, it’s not you, BE YOURSELF and sing normally”. I started screaming even louder. “Ugly places” is about being a bitch to a beloved person, but not meaning to. The last one from our EP “Not some fucking metal”, well… I was really angry. If I had to define what the main message is, I would say “do your own thing, you’re the one to decide who you want to be and don’t care about people talking shit, cause they will always be talking shit. Be you and piss them off”.
What are your projects for the end of 2018 and 2019 ?
Write new stuff! Seriously, after few months of having some HUGE artblock I am ready to make new songs. We want to play as many gigs as possible now to make our brand and gain an audience. I plan to design awesome merch. I am an illustrator as well, so I’d love to use my graphic skills (I’ve made a “House on a tree” cover animation for example) and make stuff people would actually buy because it just looks amazing. The next months are gonna be full of creating things (cause I hate the word “work”)!
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