FULL NAME: Nisa Venerosa
NICKNAME: my name is too short for a nickname to have ever caught on.
HOMETOWN: Sydney, Leichhardt
LIVES IN: Melbourne
CURRENT BANDS: Fabulous Diamonds, and occasionally various other things.
PREVIOUS BANDS: Downtown
DAY JOB: Social Researcher
-Interview by Samuel Miers
When Nisa Venerosa met composer Jarrod Zlatic in 2005 Fabulous Diamonds began shaping music suited both to bedtime listening and, when at full volume, a trance party. Nisa’s subtle drum variations wandering beneath Jarrod’s minimal organ scales is an aesthetic that is starting to seep through the sounds of many Melbourne bands.
At 17, Nisa moved from Sydney to Melbourne and into a house sheltering Oh! Belgiums’ (Jarrod’s old band) practice space. One day Jarrod asked Nisa if she wanted to jam.
“I hadn’t played any instruments before. I was like ‘OK I’ll play the drums,’ and then I hit around, like kept bashing around. I was really bad for the most part.”
Just three weeks later they played their first show at 161 with three of Australia’s most inventive bands; My Disco, Kiosk, and Lakes.
While a large part of Fabulous Diamond’s music is instrumental, Nisa also takes on most of the bands vocal duties.
“I learned to play drums while I was singing, so I think that’s why my drumming has so much space in it. Also the way I sing the melodies is because I learned both at the same time, so they just have to compensate for each other.”
She quickly developed her own sound – while appearing so vulnerable on stage – she seems to be able to find patterns that no one has played before; surely some task these days.
“I just played a floor tom and a snare and I tried to play the kick but it took me a while to get the kick thing working. I have always used a cowbell, but I didn’t use any cymbals or anything at first.”
“My major problem is that I have a really bad memory, so Ill be playing a beat and then we will be jamming and it will be sounding really good and then we will stop for a second and be like lets do that again and Ill completely forget. Cause I don’t think ‘tom, now snare…’ I have actually started recording it on my phone if there is a beat that I like, so I can remember and play it back to myself.”
Nisa and Jarrod have just put out their second album Fabulous Diamonds II on Siltbreeze. Upon hearing the record you will meet, amongst a few pop moments, repetitive dreamy grooves of gentle progression. Producer Mikey Young has described it as sounding like it’s recorded under water.
“It sounds really live in comparison to our last album. Live but clearer if that makes any sense. Usually those two things don’t go hand in hand, really live and bright.”
After knocking back a few offers to tour the states with Holy Fuck this year Fabulous Diamonds will make the trip across the Pacific in late October for a band of dates throughout America.