Formed in 2017 Inraza is a band that impresses from the get-go. Stephany Nusch (vocals), Robin Gaia (bass), Gabriel Colonna (guitar), Bruno Ascêncio (guitar), and Kelvin Aguiar (drums) deliver high-quality metal that is really hard to define. Inraza’s unique style speaks of their eclectic influences, which range from Fear Factory to Michael Jackson never failing to sound as heavy as a brick to the head. Stephanie Nusch’s vocal range is also amazing: she is able to jump from harsh to beautiful, almost angelic-sounding clear vocals, which pair very well with the band’s instrumental soundscape filled with stunning guitars and mind-blowing grooves, a combination irresistible for all headbangers out there.
Chaoszine had the opportunity to chat with Gabriel Colonna and Kelvin Aguiar about the band’s origins, influences and future releases as well as how the pandemic has affected artists.
Hello and thank you for talking to Chaoszine. How have you guys been during this pandemic?
Colonna: Hello, thank you for this opportunity. It was really difficult, we needed to take an obligatory hiatus but it was necessary. Something that really helped us is that before the pandemic hit I had moved to another city so we had started to work from a distance, writing music at home, and sending everything via internet to the other band members. And I went to the state capital to rehearse once a month. Of course, we had to cut the rehearsals in person once the pandemic started.
Aguiar: I usually say that Inraza has an adaptive capacity, like a chameleon. Once the pandemic first hit, we were writing new songs, and it really impacted us. We had to figure out a way to keep working, because we couldn’t go out anymore so we adapted gradually to the situation, we released a couple songs during this period. When the social distancing rules became more flexible we even managed to make and release a music video, but the whole situation was a test of our adaptive skills.
How was the beginning of Inraza as a band?
Aguiar: Since I was very young I’ve been interested in the underground scene. A long time ago a friend of mine had a band called Safira. One day they played in a club where another band was performing, and I started chatting with their bass player – it was Robin – and Santiago (a former Inraza band member) was also there so we became Facebook and Instagram friends. They saw the videos I posted of me playing drums, commented on them, and one day Robin invited me to rehearse with them. When I got there Gabriel was also there, it was the first time we met. And Robin, I think, met Gabriel in a Facebook group?
Colonna: Yes, it was in the early 2017 that I met Robin. I had never been in any band, I used to play at home, in my garage. We scheduled to rehearse, and I remember we played Sepultura songs: every band out here kind of does that in the beginning, right?
Aguiar: Yeah, we only played Sepultura that day!
Colonna: Anyway, my guitar wasn’t good, my pedal wasn’t good either, I didn’t sound fantastic that day, but the energy was right so we decided to move forward together.
Aguiar: And at the end of that rehearsal Robin made the invitation for us both to join the band officially.
Colonna: So for a while it was the four of us: Robin, Kelvin, Santiago and me. We had no singer at the time. We had couple singers that didn’t work out but then, after about six months in, Stephany came along. We found her through the internet.
Aguiar: We wrote the whole EP “Sociexit” without a vocalist. When Stephany arrived she wrote the lyrics, which is all that was missing, and we hit the studio. We had a great connection with her, we all work well together.
Stephany Nusch has great technique, her sudden changes from harsh to clear vocals seem to be effortless, she is truly amazing. By the way, all of you have great musicianship.
Aguiar: In our band we always try to evolve as musicians, we’re always studying. I really admire Gabriel, Bruno, and Robin for having the patience to make things happen.
Colonna: Robin is like a father to the band!
Aguiar: Gabriel and Bruno have wonderful ideas, especially for riffs. And Stephany puts melodies to the songs with ease. So I can tell everyone that I am blessed as a musician for being in a band with these guys who are so incredible. We have this responsibility to ourselves and to the band to evolve, always. With every release we want to be different, we want to sound as a new band, always heavier and better.
Your sound is really new, fresh, product of a mixture of many influences that probably lead to that. What are your main influences?
Aguiar: Oh, well, labelling Inraza is difficult, and it comes to these different influences.
Colonna: I listen to a lot of reggae. Fear Factory is Robin’s major influence, also Lamb of God, Stephany likes Avenged Sevenfold, I like Slayer, Kelvin likes Havok…
Aguiar: I love Havok! Bruno likes Gojira. Stephany is influenced by K-Pop and I listen to a lot of Michael Jackson.
What about your creative process? How does it happen?
Colonna: From the beginning it’s always been collective. I would have a riff, then Robin would add to that riff with his bass, then Kelvin would add a groove, then Santiago, our former keyboard player, would add some sampling. As far as lyrics go Stephany writes them based on some general idea we have for the song.
Aguiar: Sometimes we give her a bit of lyrics, or a chorus and she builds on that. She also creates the vocal melodies. This collective process is the best way for the band to be completely into the songs, like 100%. And we also give each other opinions on their instrumental parts, it’s really a back and forth among us all.
Colonna: It’s like a well-oiled machine.
And are you working on a new album?
Colonna: We have a single to be released still this year. And for 2022 we are thinking of doing a live session and release it as music content. We have a lot of music, enough for an album, but let’s see how things go, we don’t know if it will be viable. Like, before the pandemic, we could build our projects because of all the merch we sold in the concerts. But now, without live concerts, it’s not the same.
Aguiar: We managed to release a few new things during the pandemic, and that helped us out a lot in terms of sales, but it’s not the same as Gabriel said. And we need the merch sales to be able to invest in the band, and new releases, and all that.
What inspires you as artists besides music?
Aguiar: What inspires me to make music is knowing that the art we make has an impact on someone else’s life. It started to make sense to me when I took Kiko Loureiro’s course, and he said that people have tattoos inspired by his work. I thought to myself, man, no one’s ever going to do that now, you’ve got to have at least 20 years’ career… but, no, it’s already happened! I think it speaks of how we make our music, with a lot of truth, it’s really from our hearts: we have a message with our lyrics, we try to convey emotions through our instrumental parts. When one of our fans did a tattoo inspired by us I was amazed. We reached our goal, someone did relate to what we do as artists. So this really motivates me: being able to convey a positive message through our music.
Colonna: Yes, totally. From then on it was something else for me. When we started out I was really happy when we read comments from people in Angola, in Germany, in Russia… It was cool to see the reach of our music.
Aguiar: Another really cool thing was when we released the video of “Ruined Before Creation” Galaticriminal, a very famous YouTuber, did a react video of it, and I got messages from everyone I knew talking about how cool it was. It was like “I can’t believe it, our music is getting to other countries”, it was really motivating.
How has the audience responded to your music?
Colonna: People relate, because we are all very different in the band, we have different backgrounds. Kelvin and I come from a humble place, from the favela communities, Stephany for being a woman, Robin because he is in the autism spectrum so lots of people relate, because they feel represented as a minority.
Aguiar: But what’s important is that even with all the differences we are united, we’re really a tight bunch gathered around the same goal, which is to convey our message through our songs.
What about the rock and metal club scene nowadays, and moving forward into the future?
Aguiar: During the pandemic everyone in the scene moved to digital platforms: online festivals, releasing music videos, singles, and now, here in São Paulo, live concerts are returning little by little.
Colonna: Some clubs are being used as space for live performances that get streamed on the internet.
Aguiar: Yeah, and I think that in the beginning, when it all returns to normal, there will be a peak before it returns to a level of audience and number of concerts like before the pandemic.
What about governmental aide for artists and related professionals who suffered economic blow because of the pandemic? Do you think it could happen?
Aguiar: I honestly think not, unfortunately. I think the government doesn’t care about our class. Maybe agencies that are connected to fomenting culture will do something.
Colonna: Maybe some artists will get some aide, but I think those will be the big guys, the ones that are already established. And the truth is that the ones that suffered the most are the underground bands and the roadies, the sound techs, and everyone in the backstage that surrounds the artists in the entertainment industry. We know we can’t afford to stop working outside of the music we make, it’s not feasible to live exclusively from making music; it was already like that even before the pandemic.
Any suggestions of Brazilian bands for our readers?
Colonna: Oh, many. Laboratori, Hatefulmurder, Corja!, Jarakillers…
Aguiar: Surra, Eskröta, Lasting Maze, Escombro, Balsâmik, DAGA, man, there are many good bands out here…
Thank you again for taking the time to talk to us!
Aguiar: It was our pleasure. Thank you for this opportunity for allowing us to showcase our sound in other parts of the world. So keep an eye out for us, there is new stuff coming out. And this time we dedicated to talk to you was truly from the heart.
Colonna: Yes, thank you so much.
Check Inraza out on social media: