‘5 Minutes Alone’ with Not the Girl Next Door and Tormenta
Written by Angela Mockbee on January 28, 2019
Coming to the airwaves straight out of the UK, is the band Tormenta. A complete amalgamation of sound mixing heavy core, tribal, electronica and pure energy, Tormenta ravaged the rock scene in 2018 and is coming out like a lion with their new release “Tattooed Scars”.
Not the Girl Next Door show had a chance to speak with the band in an unadulterated, unedited interview, about their new music, the music “scene” and what the band has in store for 2019.
Tell us a little about the band, where are you from, how you met and why the name Tormenta?
We are a 6 piece made up of Joe (harsh vox) Robin (clean Vox) John (guitar) Phoenix (guitar and samples) Dec (Drums) and Donna (Bass)
JOHN- Donna and Phoenix are from Leeds, Joe and Robin Sheffield, Dec from Barnsley and myself London. We started off as an Ill Nino tribute band but felt like we NEEDED to make music of our own so after Donna and Phoenix rescued me from a sticky gangster situation (long story!) we gave our collective minds a chance to try and come up with a sound that combined all the elements of music that we love. Next we held auditions for drummers and vocalists which is how we managed to bag that voice and metronome! Oh! and given that Ill Nino have been such a huge part of our influence and lives we named the band TORMENTA which is Spanish for storm…Our little tip of the hat to them.
FEE – myself, Donna and John had a very specific idea in mind when it came to our sound, we wanted to be REALLY heavy with regards to breakdowns and riffs, but at the same time we wanted the choruses to be melodic and above all else, catchy and cause ear worms! We knew we wanted various styles of vocals across our songs so we knew we needed 2 vocalists so we could layer them together. Samples were a must too, we didn’t want to sound like anyone else but we also wanted to appeal to those audiences too. We have been told many times that our sub drops shake your teeth! After seeing a show we wanted to remember us not only with our music but with our energetic performance, there’s more than one reason we liken ourselves to a Storm!
How is the heavy rock/metal scene where you are from? Has it changed over the past ten years?
JOHN– I’m not gonna lie it’s not been a great place to be in recent years. The attitudes of bands have been very negative towards one another and a very odd (and pointless!) outlook of jealousy and bitchiness has been prominent. 10 years ago (maybe a little before that!) I remember this amazing culture that saw people working together and quite honestly harder in order to achieve their goals, none of this online bitching bullshit either! THAT is what we wanna bring back!
DONNA- This is my first band so I was a bit sad when we started gigging to see how many bands were literally standing on each other to try and ‘make it’. The sheer amount of ‘Battle of the Bands’ / ‘Vote for a band to play a festival’ type thing was actually disheartening. I just assumed it was the way it was and in the early days we participated in a few of these ‘competitions’. We came up top in a few but the ‘prizes’ were given to other bands not even part of the competitions!? It became clear that these type of posts were just a ploy to get traffic to a promoter/ festival/ venue page by making bands tag everyone they could to vote for them. It never was about the actual music which is whats so disheartening! We wanted to try change things, use the social media platforms in a positive manner. So instead of taking part in these competitions, we are encouraging bands, promoters and venues to work WITH each other. We do this in a few ways- Band appreciation posts, taking videos and pictures the other bands can use for their own promo free of charge, we share their music on Spotify/ YouTube playlists, we attend as many gigs as we physically can, offer out of town bands floor space to stay and we ALWAYS get to gigs early and stay to the end to support the others sharing the bill. The sheer amount of bands who turn up, play and disappear is actually shocking! What chance have bands got if they don’t even support each other!? It has been having a knock on effect we are pleased to see more bands taking our lead and there is a great community growing now In the UK!
Do you have any crazy live performance/fan stories that have happened to Tormenta over the past years?
JOHN- I have one that I don’t think I have even told the guys about yet….I was at a friends house for New Year and a friend of a friend asked what the name of my band was so I told him and he replied with “Oh yeah I have you guys already on my playlist!” I thought that was kinda awesome but then he kept his eyes on me all night and when I was half way up the stairs to the bathroom he asked “Can I follow you to the bathroom……I wont listen…I promise” When I came out sure enough he was there….close to the door. Upon his departure he turned to me with a smile and said “You are sound……physically and metaphorically” Needless to say I now sleep with 14″ blade under my pillow instead of the standard 10″
ROBIN- Well there was the time we supported TCIO and both me and Joe fell over trying to mosh. However the difference being that Joe elegantly flipped himself onto his feet whilst I not only fell over again but also managed to break my finger👍 Just had to suck the blood out in between vocal lines from where my ring had gone through my hand…no biggie😂
DONNA- We also had one of our fans turn up wearing an Olaf snowman costume…………. Long story!
Fee – we once played a charity gig in aid of Cancer Research and the place was packed out! We went to set up to go onstage and I realised that I had not packed the charger for the laptop…. Long story short we played our set without ANY samples or backing tracks. The best thing about it was that we have a song on Spotify called ‘Black Hole’ and it starts with a sample from the film ‘Bronson’ where he shouts ‘shut the f**k up you c**t’, we didn’t have that sample so I asked the crowd to help me… there isn’t many feelings that beat about 100 people shouting ‘shut the f**k up you c**t’ at you!
Let’s talk about the new music, which is out on January 26. Can you tell us a little about what the song is about? How does the collaborative process work with Tormenta, as far as composing/creating music?
ROBIN- Tattooed Scars Is our new single out on the 26th January . It was originally written about a girl I knew a few years ago who would do anything to get attention, including scarring her own body and flaunting it to the world.
It infuriated me as I had a close friend who was dealing with some really awful stuff and she hid it from everyone, including me. I felt powerless but also angry that other girls unlike her had diluted the seriousness of self harm to a point where she felt she would be accused of attention-seeking behaviour for speaking out.
Since originally writing the lyrics I decided I didn’t want to spread such a negative message when there’s people out there suffering In the same silence as she was. And so the song became about expressing the consequences of self-harm if we are to neglect it
JOHN- As far as creating the music its a bit of an odd one given our distances from one another. Usually I will come up with a basic outline for a song with excess riffage, basic drum idea and more often than not a fairly confusing structure! Then I send it across to Donna and Fee who kinda un-fuck the structure to make more sense then add samples and bass. This gets sent across to Dec to put his personality and life into the drums and then Robin and Joe to get noisy with it. It then goes back and forth with us all discussing the intricacies of the track and once we are all happy its in to the practice room with it!
DONNA- The music videos have been my forte. I have an interest in filmography, and have been a supporting actress in a few films and tv shows. Because of this, we have taken it upon ourselves to do all of the music videos ourselves and with zero budget! It’s a challenge but I absolutely love it, we hope to inspire other bands to give it a go themselves too!
Social media plays a huge part of many bands lives today. How do you feel about social media as far as it playing a role to help promote or is it a tool which can sometimes become too intrusive and infringing upon your own personal lives?
DONNA- Social media is mostly looked after by myself and Phoenix. It is an invaluable tool for a band to be able to reach potential fans worldwide. As I explained earlier it can often be used in a detrimental manner, as a way of using bands and their fans to drive traffic to other pages through competitions etc. However it can be used in a really positive manner. I think we are different to a lot of bands because we do try and have that ‘personal touch’ we want the fans to have an emotional and personal connection to us, to feel more involved with the music. I want to know about people who enjoy listening to us the same way they want to know about us. I get a zillion friend requests every day and do try limit accepting them as it would be very easy to lose your personal life- that saying my life is pretty much Tormenta anyway!! What we did instead was set up a fan group on Facebook called ‘Tormenta Stormriders’ Anyone can join, and it’s a bit more personal. We chat in there constantly, and its us personally rather than people talking to ‘Tormenta’. Its great getting to know people, we can pass on personal advice and have a great community of ‘Stormriders’ who come from all over the world!
Fun weird facts. Tell us some fun weird facts fans may not know about the band.
DONNA- I have only been playing bass since 27th March 2017….. this is my first ever band!
JOHN- I mean I nearly lost my fingers when I put my fretting hand in a lawnmower once…..its cool they stuck me back together 🙂 Also I don’t really mind the feeling of going to the loo after touching chilies……
FEE – for about 3 years in my late teens/early 20s I was a semi professional cage fighter, my styles included Muay Thai. Aikido and Wrestling to name a few. In those 3 years I had 78 fights, 78 wins, 57 knockouts and my fastest knock out was 8 seconds. Nowadays I prefer sitting in my lounge pants, eating bacon and watching TV
DEC- It may surprise folk to hear I’m not really a metal head! Tormenta is the first metal band I’ve ever been in, I joined as I wanted a challenge and to develop my drumming style… Its certainly done that! My favourite bands are Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Primus, Nickleback and Volbeat. My absolute favourite though is Jethro Tull!
What does 2019 have in store for Tormenta?
Obviously you know about the new single and music video TATTOOED SCARS coming out Sat 26th Jan, the debut album to follow in March with a big fun album launch party, plenty of gigs to show people our new stuff, some festivals, certainly another music video and then few little secrets that aren’t quite fit for public consumption just yet 😉