Dani Nolden vocalist of the Brazilian metal band Shadowside is one on the rise around the world. The band is both old school heavy metal, but can take it to the extreme with the best of them. She is beautiful and driven; talented with a vision of what she wants to achieve with the group. For a band that started out with little expectation beyond recording their music, Shadowside found an audience quickly and soon were opening for bands like Nightwish and Iron Maiden.
Their new album ‘Inner Monster Out’ shows the band has matured and taken it to the next level in their musical evolution. The first 30 seconds alone of the opening track ‘Gag Order’ will get your attention and hold it through the entire CD’s 11 tracks. This song alone has all the elements a great metal song needs; opening killer riffs, an edgy drum and bass line, and vocals that soar across the spectrum. The ending sounds like a dream sequence in a horror movie. ‘Angel with Horns’, the second track, makes you think of Shadows Fall and then changes direction with off-beat staccato riffs and Dani’s signature voice melting it all into a potent thrill of sound. Every song on the CD holds up to anything in metal alone, but together this may be the hidden gem of the genre this year. Dani can soar with the best of them and her low baritone, drawn out moments end with melodic inflections unlike anyone else that comes to mind. All delivered with power and perfect pitch.
Heavy Metal fans and the radio stations that play the genre, best go get this album and be shocked by the Inner Monster Out. The title track alone with guest vocal tracks by Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid, Niklas Isfeldt, and Mikael Stanne is worth blasting the walls. Guitar fans will be taken immediately by the masterful working of the frets by guitarist Raphael Mattos.
Dani Nolden (vocals)
Raphael Mattos (guitars)
Ricardo Piccoli (bass)
Fabio Buitvidas (drums)
Inner Monster Out
- Gag Order
- Angel with Horns *see video to the left*
- In The Name Of Love
- Inner Monster Out
- I’m Your Mind
- My Disrupted Reality
- A Smile Upon Death
- Whatever Our Fortune
- Waste of Life
Interview with Dani Nolden
Shadowside is a unique name and the band has a great sound can you talk about the bands roots?
Dani – We started in my hometown; I live in Santos. It’s an island about an hour away from Sao Paolo. We kind of started as a garage band that just wanted to go into the studio. We didn’t really want to go out and we didn’t have any aspirations really, we just wanted to record our songs. So we went and recorded an EP and sent it to people to see what they would say. To our surprise a lot of people liked it and the press started going nuts (laughs) and we don’t know why because that EP was awful (laughing). We started playing a lot of shows and we found ourselves opening for Nightwish! The crowd just went nuts, over 7,000 people going crazy; so that is when we started thinking seriously. It was also a turning point in the band because some guys started thinking they were rock stars and others couldn’t handle the pressure. That’s when we started changing the line-up and finding the ideal members for the band that you see today.
Talking about touring; where have you guys played and who have you played with?
Dani – We played with Iron Maiden most recently and been to 21 countries. We’ve done five tours in the U.S. but they were mainly in the Midwest of the country. This tour we hope to hit more, we really want to play out West and Canada, too. I’ve lost count how many shows we have played.
Let’s talk about the new album Inner Monster Out, interesting title, and song!
Dani – Thanks! I’m glad you like it! The Inner Monster Out is kind of like the hidden persona we all have that’s coming to life. We always hide something, we don’t always show our full personality right on the spot, you know? You have to dig deeper into a persons mind so you actually know what they feel and think. All those little details, the little perversions and personality disorders that we all have (laughs) When you look up close, no one is completely normal and that’s probably what normal is; so Inner Monster Out is like a journey in a persons mind. To find all those hidden things that may be considered wrong, but that we all have.
The sound is the one that we have been chasing since day one, everyone in the band is really happy with this one. We wanted a heavy sound, really massive but also melodic. We wanted a mix of both worlds with the energy and aggressiveness of extreme metal; but also the melody and musicality of power metal or traditional heavy metal.
Now what is your background that led you to become a heavy metal singer?
Dani – I started with band like Queen singing with Freddie Mercury to learn vocalizations and backing vocals. That led to heavier music like Guns & Roses and Skid Row. My cousin got me into it all and he stopped listening to it (laughs) I went on to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and it just kept getting heavier and heavier (laughing) I like guys with a lot of attitude, guys like Sebastion Bach and Rob Halford, Paul Stanley; voices that you hear and know immediately who it is you’re listening to.
You and I took similar paths musically, it kept getting heavier. What is the music scene like locally in Brazil? Is it thriving or?
Dani – In my hometown, I think ten years ago we had a more interesting scene because we had a lot more venues and space for new bands. Nowadays it just seems like there is only room for those bands that are established. New bands have a hard time finding places to play. They have to prove they have an audience. It’s a shame. It’s just the same bands that have no real aspirations; they just keep doing the same thing as a hobby really. In the rest of the country it is going well, we have a lot of new talent.
Who are your influences and what other female rock vocalists do you enjoy watching perform and listening to?
Dani – I like Doro and Lana Lane, she was probably the one female singer that got to me because she does it all so effortlessly. Doro because she has been doing it for so long in her career, she started when things were really difficult for a woman in this business and genre and she never gave up!
I think you are the third interview this week that mentioned Doro right off the bat!
Dani – (She has an infectious laugh) probably because she is such an example for all of us. I didn’t get influenced by her voice so much but she is one that has got to be respected!
What advice would you give any other aspiring rock female vocalist? What advice would you have for them as they are starting off?
Dani – The first thing is to be you. So many women come and go because they want to be this person or that one, but they have to be themselves. That is the one thing they have going for them, they have the uniqueness of themselves. Sometimes we may feel that our voices aren’t good enough; I felt that way many times myself. I had a teacher once tell me that I would never sound like I wanted to sound because females aren’t capable of that. She was an old woman and was very against females singing in metal, if I listened to her I wouldn’t be doing what I love today. So be yourself, find out what you are not good at and just get better! Believe in yourself and never give up!
Dani, thank you so much for taking the time for this today; what would you like to say to the readers and the fans?
Dani – We hope to see everyone at our show very soon; we hope to be doing a lot of touring in 2013. We want to hit Europe and North America again. We hope to be in every country that we’ve played before and add a few new places! (laughs) So I hope to see everyone at a show and thank you so much for having me!