Edward Burnett chats to indie-rock band NERiMA, based in Canada, in February's edition of about their upcoming single, spare time and how each member became intwined with a musical career.
RnRR: Hi guys, first of all, would you like to introduce the band to our readers and what genre of music you play?
NERiMA: Hi, we’re a band called NERiMA made up of our singer and rhythm guitarist Alexi Orial, our lead guitarist Matt Bondoc, our drummer Alex Nicole and our bassist Connor Sheahan. Our genre is a mix of modern rock, punk, and alternative-indie.
RnRR: Great to meet you! So tell us where you’re from and what’s special about living there?
NERiMA: It’s great to meet you too! Our band typically considers the GTA, or the General Toronto Area to be our homebase. We really do love it here because Toronto has got that classic downtown citylife feel, and they’ve got all the venues, institutions, music stores, and everything there where we can really feel like a part of the music scene. But then, of course, at the end of the day, we can all come back to our little suburban towns we consider our hometowns (Oshawa, Ajax, and Whitby) with their own charm of even more local, intimate shows and our closest friends/family.
RnRR: It’s good to have a balance between the two. So, talking about the band itself, what encouraged you to form a band? Any musical inspirations while growing up which you would argue have shaped your career?
NERiMA: We think so, too! About our origins, Alexi invited her cousin Alex to form the band with her after a life-long desire for one. Our dream was inspired by our childhood spent singing, exploring instruments, and playing Rock Band with cousins, but also by seeing our favourite bands do what they love and not being able to see ourselves happy doing anything else. The main bands we’d like to thank for this are Paramore and Twenty One Pilots.
RnRR: What were the other members’ inspirations and origins when starting the band?
NERiMA: Well, Alexi had been playing guitar since age twelve and singing/songwriting since long before, so the wait for her lasted forever. Alex learned drums for the band, quickly growing to love how easily she could express herself with them. It took us a while to find two others genuine enough to help follow our dream, but we found Connor and Matt and believed in these dedicated musicians and awesome friends to take the journey with us. Matt had a long history playing guitar, piano, and more, but Connor had just started bass, originally being taught by us. Their inspirations were bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day.
RnRR: That’s a great origin story! Also great bands to have as inspirations to what is becoming a blossoming music career. So let’s talk songs. What song of yours would you recommend to new listeners and crucially, why?
NERiMA: We’ve actually got our lead single set for release on the 29th that we‘d say is our best recommendation — it’s called All Afraid to Fall, and we’re really excited for people to hear it.
RnRR: How would you describe your songs as usually being to people considering giving your tunes a play?
NERiMA: Our songs are usually a mix of upbeat sounds with mellow lyrics or vice versa, but this song, we really just wanted to have fun with. We always like to explore different genres, themes, and even feelings in our music, but for the very beginning of people’s journeys with our sound, we think one of the most important things for listeners to know is that they’re here for a good time. Sure, our discography delves into heavy topics/sounds that are hard to just have fun with, but at the end of the day, we want to leave people dancing, thinking, and overall happy they gave our band a chance, and All Afraid to Fall does just that.
RnRR: That sounds like a very developed and well thought out song and we are definitely looking forward to hearing it. Aside from the music, what else does the band get up to in spare time?
NERiMA: We’re so grateful, and we’re excited for you guys to hear it, too! But yes, when we aren’t rehearsing or writing new material, we really just like to hang out — sometimes at home, having sleepovers, debates about drug use in western culture or the classification of “food”. Or if it’s nice out, we’ll usually take our convertible for a drive (or get in the back since only Matt drives), maybe have a night out on the town with just the four of us. We like going to the mall or guitar shops or nearby record stores and overall just chilling, being ridiculous in our breaks from being serious. Music connects us of course, but our friendship goes far past it. We just genuinely love hanging out with each other, making each other laugh or yell or snort water out of our noses, and, practicing or not, we’re always down for a good time.
RnRR: That’s great to know that there’s more than just the music to it for the band. When there is more, that usually benefits the music anyway. So next, where do you see yourselves in five years? Where would you like to be?
NERiMA: I think at this point in our lives, five years seems so far away, and it’s hard to look at sometimes. But with the band, that fear/anxiety tends to fade into an exciting uncertainty over everything else. In five years, we see ourselves so much further with NERiMA. We’d definitely like to have a couple more albums and a lot more shows under our belt — a tour, if our biggest dream isn’t too crazy. What’s most important to us though is interacting a lot more with the audience we’re doing this with, since even though we’re just getting started and don’t have a lot of content to offer right now, they’re the ones who have been supportive and awesome enough for us to look that optimistically at our world in five years.
RnRR: It’s very refreshing to hear that among all the big aspirations, the fans still come first. So finally, what have you got planned for the rest of 2020? New music alongside “All Afraid to Fall”? Upcoming gigs?
NERiMA: Definitely, they always come first! As for 2020, we’ve got a lot planned and a lot more we’re hoping for. We’re planning a couple more singles after All Afraid to Fall off our debut album that we hope to release this year as well! It’ll be our very first appearance in the music scene, and we’re so excited to see what’ll come along with it — hopefully writing for another album, opening for some of the awesome bands we’ve met lately, headlining shows of our own, or maybe even playing a local festival. Of course we don’t know all of what’s to come, but we definitely hope that live music is a huge part of it, because that’s got to be the best thing about this band.
RnRR: That sounds like a fun and unpredictable coming year for the band and we’re very excited to see what comes next. We’ll be sure to update our page with any news from NERiMA’s camp.
If you'd like to find out more about NERiMA and their future releases, check them out on Instagram: @nerimaofficial or via their website at nerimaband.weebly.com