Interview with Yasmina Ketita
Conducted by Robert Williams
Formed from the ashes of crossover thrashers A.C.O.A. comes the London, Ontario based Nothing Left For Tomorrow, a band which prominently features the diverse vocal talents of Yasmina Ketita. With two EP releases already to their credit, as well as the self-released debut full length album "Nightbreed" Nothing Left For Tomorrow are currently making a name for themselves in underground circles and look forward to bringing their metal to the masses in the new year. Metal-Rules.com recently caught up with NLFT vocalist Yasmina for an update on the exciting young band’s plans for the future…
How are you doing today Yasmina?
I’m doing pretty good, thank you. Just laying down on my couch from having surgery on my foot a few days ago.
Nothing Left For Tomorrow recently released your debut full length album "Nightbreed" following up the self released "Of What Once Was" EP from 2006. Please give our readers a bit of background on how the band initially formed and fill us in on creating and releasing the new record…
It was the summer of 2003, Justin and ex-N.L.F.T. members were in a band at the time called A.C.O.A., a crossover punk/metal band, when I got a call to come down to be the new singer. We decided to change the name of the band because of the more metal approach that we were going for with also recycling a few A.C.O.A. songs. We released 2 EP’s, one in 2004 and in 2006 but since then we’ve gotten heavier and better at our craft of song writing with new members and hundreds of live shows over the years. Our most recent recording was our full length album "Nightbreed" which we began tracking drums at Icehouse Studios in February.
Now I know that Nothing Left For Tomorrow was formed from the ashes of another band named A.C.O.A. At one time there were three additional members from A.C.O.A. and now all that remains from that initial lineup is guitarist Justin Holmes. Tell me about the shifts in the band’s lineup and how your current lineup came to be…
We’ve had a few shifts in the band’s lineup over the years. Rob Moore, the original drummer left at an early stage of N.L.F.T. and then was replaced by Rob Singer who was our drummer from 2004-2007 who was replaced by Sean Westerman in 2008. Our original lead guitarist Dave Roberts left in 2006 and was replaced by Nick Fetchison and our original bass player Kristoph Dietz was let go after the recording of Nightbreed thus making Justin Holmes the last member of A.C.O.A. in N.L.F.T. We had Xach Guest come in on bass but however he is no longer with the band at the moment and we are now looking for a solid bass player who will complete us as we continue on with the future of the band.
What were the inherit benefits if any, of self-releasing your debut full length "Nightbreed"? Are you actively scouting a label home for your next release?
Yes the point of us making "Nightbreed" was to spread the word about our newer, heavier songs since our EP’s in hopes of getting picked up by a label so we can tour and get our songs heard by more metal fans. Unfortunately, it isnt much of a financial benefit with the costs of recording, packaging and mailing out copies to labels and review divisions but in the end I believe that it will be worth us paying for it ourselves. The best benefit is the feeling you get when you listen to the end results and blast that shit in your home or car and knowing that the next recording will be even better.
In your opinion, what proved to be the most challenging aspect of creating the music that eventually became the new album "Nightbreed"?
Justin Holmes created most of the music on "Nightbreed" and I swear, that guy just shits out sweet riffs and we all get together at practice and include our inputs and the rest is easy once you’ve got those songs stuck in your head, all you wanna do is keep jamming them. It was a bit of a challenge when we lost our band room and were temporarily forced to practice out of town and also driving in the winter to the studio that was also not in town, but I guess that’s part of the struggle and sacrifices we make for metal.
Are there any songs in particular from "Nightbreed" that stand out from the other tracks as holding a special meaning for you as an artist"?
Its almost impossible to pick one song above the rest because they all have their own individual meanings to me but when I think about all the years that we’ve gone through as a band, when times we’re rough for us at a certain point I wrote the lyrics to "Depraved Desolation" and that song stands out when I’m thinking about the importance of this band to me and the dedication that we put forth in hopes of achieving success and being able to do this for a living. It reminds me to stay strong and never give up even when things get shitty.
Who writes the majority of the lyrics in Nothing Left For Tomorrow? Would that be you? Where would you say you draw your lyrical inspirations from?
Yes. I write all my lyrics. They are words that describe who I am, who I was, the whole spectrum of human emotion, my interest for gore, the macabre and death. I draw my inspiration from horror movies, metal bands that I admire and events that occur in life.
Let’s talk about what’s currently going on with Nothing Left For Tomorrow, is there some new music in the works? If so, how would describe the new material and when can metal fans expect to hear some of it?
Well, as of right now we’re taking a break from playing shows as I recover from foot surgery and the boys are writing some new material that’s gonna be a challenge, as these songs are faster and have a more complex structure. We figured its the perfect timing for some down time as we had a plethora of shows in 2010 with the release of "Nightbreed" and as I’m off work I can do more networking to turn some people’s heads while they search for new upcoming metal bands in the new year. We’ll be tearing it up on stage again in the summer of 2011 with some new songs to bang your head to.
How would you describe the metal scene in London, Ontario Canada? Is there a pretty receptive response to your music in your hometown? Are there a lot of club’s supportive of metal music overe there? Any notable bands from your area?
London is more of a conservative town, but still holds a metal scene within it and we have our fans that have followed us over the years. There are new bands popping out of everywhere but over the past couple years there has been a significant decline in venues. Many got burned down and closed for business, but there are still a couple of good places to play so shows can still go on. We get support from the still standing clubs but the thing about being a band for over seven years is that everyone in your home town already knows you and we are ready to expand our musical horizons to the masses of metal fans in new cities and countries that havent heard or seen it yet. Kittie is the most notable band out of London and we’ve played with them a lot and we are good friends, however we’ve been getting more opening slots in Toronto lately for bigger shows like Shadows Fall and Darkest Hour thanks to Inertia Entertainment.
Are there any current plans to hit the road for some dates outside of Canada? Maybe some plans to work the North American festival circuit in 2011?
That plan is planted in our heads, but in order for that to happen we would need a label to help us out. We’re looking for a label that can offer us the chance to tour outside of Canada as it is quite expensive for work visas and we are still saving up for a van, but we’ve got a trailer.
Who would be some bands that you feel would be ideal for you to tour with?
Any bands that would be willing to take us out.
There are quite a few different elements of various metal genres making up the sound of Nothing Left For Tomorrow. Who would you say make up your primary influences as a metal vocalist?
John Tardy, Chuck Schuldiner, Jeff Walker and Corpsegrinder.
From the viewpoint of being a female vocalist in a metal band, what advice could you offer to aspiring ladies of leather out there that have always wanted to do what you are currently doing?
Stop at nothing to achieve your goal.
I’d be interested in hearing how you originally became interested in metal music. Take me back to the first time you heard the bands that changed your life and made you want to stand up and shout? Who were those bands and what was it about their sound that initially pulled you in?
Well I when I was a kid Nirvana was so popular to where the media would shove it in your face pretty much right after the end of thrash with the "Clash of the Titans" tour is when I began paying attention to music so i missed out on thrash cause I was too young. But the first metal I ever heard was Metallica "…And Justice For All " and Pantera "Cowboys From Hell" when I was about eleven years old and I used to have a lot of rage built up inside from my younger years and listening to these bands made me feel safe like it was OK to let it out and be who you are.
Then when I was about thirteen I started discovering bands like Napalm Death, Fear Factory and Cannibal Corpse and that was just the beginning of a small flame that kept growing inside me to find more heavier, faster and brutal metal bands that lead me deeper into this genre and I’ve been hooked since.
What’s next for Nothing Left For Tomorrow?
Hopefully the way we see it is we will be signed to a distinguished label and touring the world and making records till we die.
I’d like to thank you Yasmina for taking the time to talk metal, before we wrap this up do you have any last words for your fans reading at home?
No problem man, thanks for having me! And to any fans reading this, thanks for being our fans and sticking with us over the years and if you keep listening to our songs we’ll keep writing them and spread the word so hopefully we can play your cities soon!