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For The Love Of Music With N & V From SYM FERA

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“We were like, I don’t want to go into this with the preconceived notions of what people expect us to make if we’re planning on throwing a total curveball.”


More often than not, the music industry is dictated to more by who and/or what you know, rather than the quality of your musical output. It is something that has been a staple part of the industry for as long as most of us can remember, and is accepted more as a given across the board.

So, then, it is refreshing when a band comes along whose members have the pedigree and personal contacts to guarantee success before a note is even committed to recording but instead shun that privilege in favour of earning their stripes on their own terms.

It is a unique and refreshing approach and one very rarely taken, but it is a testament to the confidence, ability, and respect of the two members of alternative rock outfit Sym Fera who decided from the outset to let their music dictate their fate.

Unlike other bands who have shunned the spotlight in favour of anonymity, Sym Fera are not using it as a gimmick or point of attention. It is purely for creative reasons and one which has so far borne fruit.

Their first EP was released under State of The Art Records, helmed by Ian McEvily, Marc Jordan, and Mike Clemenza, who themselves did not know the real names of the band members before they made an offer to sign them. They have since had their music feature on television, including the hit Netflix show Ozark, and they continue to release cryptic, cinematic music videos and shadowy live performances that showcase a unique and dramatic artist project, drawing comparisons to Pink Floyd, James Blake, and Bon Iver.

Both members – let’s call them V and N for now – sat down with HEAVY to delve deeper into the talented musical enigma that is Sym Fera.

“We are two guys in LA who have always been jamming with each other,” N began. “LA’s a – despite the reputation – still a music town, so my partner and I have been jamming in clubs and jam sessions and speak ezy’s and all sorts of crap all around town for quite a while. By the time we started to make music and record it and actually put it out, we had already been playing with each other in various things for years. As way of intro to us, it’s just two long-time friends who… I guess the pandemic inspired us to actually put the shit out for a change instead of just do it for fun. We wanted to do it the old way where you lead with the stuff and the artwork and finding out what people look like and what they’re like in their personal lives was kind of an afterthought. It came way later, if it ever came at all. It only really applied to actual famous people, getting into people’s personal lives, otherwise it was check out this band or don’t. That appealed to us a lot, so we decided to not tell people and see if we would get some progress made from the stuff itself and that alone. So far it’s been small but very gratifying and satisfying.”

Sym Fera are described as an atmospheric rock outfit, but that tag merely scratches the sonic surface.

“I guess so,” N measured when asked if that is a fair description. “The word rock got expanded quite a bit since the 70s and 60s. I think people forget – even in the 70s – it also applied to artists like Pink Floyd. There’s a huge Earth of difference sonically between Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin or AC/DC, so I think if you use rock in that very, very big umbrella term then sure, we’re atmospheric. It’s funny. Whenever anyone asks us what genre it’s like we can’t really commit because we love artists like Beck and Pink Floyd’s a great example too and Radiohead and all these artists that won’t pick a team and stick with it. They just keep adding instruments and changing things and taking risks. I think in terms of those types of rock bands, that makes sense to me.”

In the full interview, N & V talk about their latest single Beg and how it has been received, the four singles they have released to date and how each represents Sym Fera, future releases and how they will be structured, the main reasons behind keeping their identities under wraps for now and the pride at having your music respected based on merit alone, keeping their anonymity when playing live, how far they plan to take Sym Fera and more.

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