WildSpiritz caught up with the fabulous Donna Sayce
Tormenta are a band who pack a punch. Their approach towards giving us a brutal onslaught of epic music is their passion and I was honoured to be able to get some time with the formidable Donna Sayce, bass player and all-round rock goddess. First order of the day was to find out a bit about the band.
“TORMENTA are from Yorkshire, UK We set out to combine the heaviness and the huge breakdowns of Hardcore Metal with thunderous tribal percussion and an arsenal of Electronic/Trance samples. Along with our dual vocal attack consisting of screams, rap and cleans with our big anthemic, singalong choruses, we have created a sound that we believe the scene is screaming for at the moment in a world where everything sounds very samey. We take our main influences from Emmure, Dead By April and Ill Niño.”
“We released our debut single 'Crimson' live on The Tuesday Night Rock Show on Fylde Coast Radio back in April and we broke the record for the most amount of individual devices listening to the show in the entire history of the station, we were informed that the servers nearly crashed!”
“Since we formed in December 2017 we have racked up over 2600 likes on our Facebook page, 90,000 Spotify streams within 6 months, all of our music and videos have been self-recorded and produced at home! We have been described as 'different' 'refreshing' 'talented’ ’musically crazy and totally unpredictable' 'with an amazing, energetic and raw live show' We are on the verge of going into the studio to record our full-length album - Chapter 2, The Storm is here!”
So now that we have set the scene, it's fair to say that Chapter 1 has been progressing along very well and in recent months has gained some serious momentum so with Chapter 2 in the works are we looking at an imminent new release.
“Thank you! We are rather proud of our demo, we can’t wait to see how the full-length album turns out! We have literally just booked our first dates in the studio to get the first single recorded, we will then be ploughing on with the album so all being well we will be releasing at the end of 2018/ early 2019!”
Tormenta go for a brutal approach with absolute searing vocals and very punchy harmonies, so I asked Donna if we could expect more of the same or if they would be taking a different approach on the new album.
“Absolutely! When we first decided to start Tormenta, we had some key things we wanted to bring through in the music- Contrasting duel vocals, bringing across brutal screams, raps, offset with catchy singalong choruses, heavy riffs, samples and of course EPIC breakdowns! We have captured all these elements in our new material and have even got an acoustic ballad in there that had my parents seal of approval- we literally have something for everyone!!”
“We have recently had a change on our line-up, with harsh vocalist, Phoenix moving on to second guitar, so he has brought an 8 string Djenty vibe to the riffs, and we welcomed our new vocalist Joe who has an incredible power to his screams and has brought some really interesting and exciting stuff into the mix. All this combined together will bring through the original Tormenta, only bigger and better!!”
At the time of writing, ‘Crimson’ is the bands only official video on social media but has had great viewing figures so what were the plans for another release as with the current wave of interest the band must be looking to maintain the momentum.
“We will be releasing our next single within the next month, we will be doing a video for this as soon as time allows, until then it will be released on a lyric video. It was rather difficult choosing which song to have as the next single, as at the risk of sounding modest, the whole album is an absolute banger! We definitely think it is the right time to be getting more of our material out there, our 3 track EP has done incredibly well, and people are chomping at the bit for more! We are quietly confident that our fans will love the songs as much as we do :-)”
As a fan that is something I am very much looking forward to however during the course of my research in advance of this interview, it was very interesting to see that the band have done everything with a zero budget so firstly I wanted to know how on earth they were going to manage their next project and what they thought about the DIY music scene as a whole.
“Yeah, we have literally done absolutely everything on no money- our EP was recorded by us at home in our spare room, our crimson video we filmed 50 yards from our house with the help of some incredible friends and a shop bought camera, all of our merch is screen printed at home by myself, all of our promos have been achieved through hard graft and hours and hours online, dropping links, chatting, networking and of course relentless gigging! We have been paid for 4 of the 30 odd gigs we have played since April... however it is reaping rewards! We are just shy of 100,000 streams on our Spotify alone and our position and reputation amongst the underground music scene is very strong.”
“To date have been offered 3 record contracts, however, the deals just haven't sat right with us which is why we decided to crowdfund for the album, it was a risk but one that has paid off as we reached target within 6 days which was an incredible feat!!”
“My advice for those bands who want to give the DIY route a try- it’s more than achievable however it’s incredibly hard work! Everyone in the band needs to be on the ball, and you need to have the drive and the passion to keep going as you need to put in some seriously hard work in order to achieve results! We are always happy to share knowledge, in fact pretty much on a daily basis we get inbox messages asking for advice. I even put up a tutorial on our Facebook page showing bands how to screen print their own merch. We have been learning as we go, if our knowledge can help others, we are more than happy to pass it on!”
And there, in a nutshell, is what it is all about. This is a band that knows where they are headed and are very down to earth in doing so. I asked Donna if they had found it hard getting the music out there and getting the recognition. Felt that I’d just been scolded with the answer!!
“As I just explained, it’s incredibly hard work and time-consuming. I spend all of my 'down time' doing band jobs, we gig A LOT, sometimes travelling 3 / 4 hours to play to 5 people, however we never complain and always put on the same, energetic show we are known for, as those 5 people may well go home, drop your page a like, stream your music, buy a t-shirt etc. We are firm believers that word of mouth is the best form of advertising which is why we are so passionate not just about making and playing music, but also supporting the underground scene, sharing other bands, streaming live videos and doing that bit to help others.”
“We are all incredibly passionate about live music, so are really enjoying what we do and if we get recognition for it, it’s an added bonus!”
Working as hard as they do would they be looking to carry on touring in 2019 and more importantly what do they do to relax. Donna was very enthusiastic about her answers.
“Yes definitely! If there is any place we are happiest, it’s up on that stage! We have already talked to venues and promoters across the UK to look at booking a tour in Spring 2019. We can’t wait!”
“Our music IS our downtime ha-ha!! We all work full time, Robin is at Uni, and I also have a 5-year-old daughter so just like most other people, we lead normal lives. When we get time off the 'norm', we are doing something for the band, be it practicing, writing, playing with new samples, gigging or going to support other bands! It is our release from the norm and as I said earlier, our very happy place to be :-)”
Once again that answer just goes to show how hard you have to work in order to get somewhere. In recent months Tormenta have added to their ranks and are now a six-piece band so does everyone have input in the creative side?
“We do have a different way of writing music to most, however it works for us. A lot of bands will go into the practice room and jam out some riffs and go from there. We don't have that option down to time and distance. So how it normally works is John (Guitar) will get together some riffs and put a basic song together on Cubase, that then goes to Phoenix (guitar and samples) and myself to look at the structure, move some bits around and then layer samples over. We have found that the samples really change the entire feel of the song and often influence the lyrics and vocals so once they are all on there and everyone is happy, it gets sent to Robin and Joe (vox) to finish off and voila, we have a song! It’s a very modern and technological way of writing, which sums up Tormenta perfectly!”
It was now time to throw in one of the magazines standard questions, so I asked what the band hope to get from their feature.
“We hope to encourage people to give our music a listen of course!”
“However more so we wish to reach out to your readers and encourage them to check out the underground, local music scene. We have played alongside some seriously talented bands, who dedicate their lives to music, yet often play to very thin crowds. It’s a crying shame and is what makes a lot of bands just give in. Local gigs are cheap, if not free, you'll be giving the bands a boost but also supporting local venues which are alarmingly closing down left right and centre!”
“There are other ways you can support underground bands that don't cost money- Add their music to your Spotify playlists and 'Follow' their band, that way Spotify computer bots will pick up their music and link to the other music you listen to, this can lead to that small band getting added to big playlists and expanding their fanbase tenfold!”
“If you do go to a show, get a video of the band, pop it on you tube, this is a great thing for bands to have to show venues, promoters etc how their live show looks which can then, in turn, help them get more gigs.”
“Like, comment, share on their social media. Tell people to check out that band you enjoyed. Like I say, word of mouth is the best form of advertising!”
“Finally, tell the band how much you enjoy their music! Hearing those words is a huge boost to a band and will give them the drive to keep going in one of the hardest businesses around!”
Now that’s what I call an answer! Moving forward and looking towards Chapter 2, a bands second album is often seen as their most important as it builds on what has gone before and demonstrates if a band has progressed in terms of songwriting and vision. I had to ask if this was true for the guys or if in actual fact, getting to the point where they were able to release their debut overrides this.
“For us it’s a bit of both.”
“Our Demo EP was an incredible experience and milestone for us as it was the birth of Tormenta. When we started to write music, we were just doing so as we loved playing music! We had zero idea how our collective minds worked together and zero idea of how it would turn out. We are incredibly proud of the result, however, we know that we have a lot more in us, so for us, Chapter 2 is going to be the full storm, our way of showing how much we have developed and progressed as a band. We have been learning as we go, and we have so many awesome ideas up our sleeves! We are incredibly excited to have a professional on board to mix and master it too, it’s going to bring Tormenta into a whole new realm of awesome!!”
So, what can we expect in 2019 and had the band applied for any festivals?
“Yep, we have sent off applications to a fair few of the underground band festivals and are toying with entering Metal to the Masses for Bloodstock- although we are not 100% as we are not a fan of competitions against other bands, it kind of goes against our whole ethos of supporting each other if that makes sense, so we will look for other avenues in I think! We have been added to a really cool festival, however, can’t say what yet!!!”
And as for the fans, this is what Donna had to say.
“THANK YOU!!!!! We are humbled and appreciative to every single person that has streamed our music, left us a review, attended a show or donated to our crowd funder. We love what we do, as long as you keep enjoying the music, we will keep delivering it!!”
This lady has been an absolute pleasure to speak to and the last thing I had to as was about the future for Tormenta.
“More hard work! Our eyes are set on more bigger gigs, we are very proud to have been chosen to Support KING810 in December in Sheffield, so we would love to get the opportunity to play alongside some more of our idols! We hope the Album is a winner with our fans, that we get more streams, more sales, more gigs. We will keep doing what we do and who knows what will happen!”
“As long as people keep listening, we will keep playing. Together, Tormenta will grow, hopefully becoming a force to be reckoned with!”
Instagram @tormenta official