|"There are times when 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 splendid colors 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 influences. The former jazz guitar student wrote most of the new songs on guitar, piano, as well as on the computer. Singer Manda added the lyrics, which go beyond the usual gothic rock lingo and rehashed fairytales:
"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 is a tight-knit unit comprising HJ, Manda, 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", while 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 the bonus track "Allein", which features German singer Heli Reissenweber of the Rammstein cover band Stahlzeit. "This song turned out to have a Rammstein feel, so we decided to push it as far as we could with some German lyrics," explains HJ.
Joost van den Broek, former keyboardist of After Forever, co-produced, mixed, and mastered The Quiet Resistance. The band forged a friendship with him when they toured with After Forever in the early stages of their career. According to HJ, his influence was pivotal: "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 won over many fans and was the first band worldwide to collect $ 50,000, 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 sound engineer Ronald Prent (Rammstein, HIM, Within Temptation). Nemesea was also the first band worldwide to give two special shows in OMNI-surround.
Although Sellaband regrettably no longer operates, the experience proved to be of great value to Nemesea. "Our time with Sellaband taught us that we have great fans all over the world. However, you need good distribution and promotion, as well, if you want to expose your music to as many people as possible."
Despite the setbacks suffered, the band is more determined than ever to keep going. Opening track "Caught in the Middle" makes that perfectly clear, as Manda explains:
"I wrote the lyrics when the future didn't look very bright for us. When the Sellaband house of cards crumbled, we wondered about Nemesea's future. But our message now is: whatever happens, we will carry on."
(source: Napalm Records, November 2011.