Crypta Vocalist-Bassist Fernanda Lira: My Top 6 Bass Heroes | Revolver

Crypta Vocalist-Bassist Fernanda Lira: My Top 6 Bass Heroes

Former Nervosa frontwoman draws four-string inspiration from Maiden, Cannibal Corpse and more
Fernanda Lira of Crypta 2021, Renan Facciolo
Crypta's Fernanda Lira
photograph by Renan Facciolo

Crypta have only been around for two years, but you wouldn't know it if you heard them. The Brazillian/Dutch quartet features former members of the Brazillian thrash titans Nervosa, vocalist/bassist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto, as well as the formidable guitarists Sonia Anubis and Tainá Bergamaschi. Their debut album, Echoes of the Soul, arrives tomorrow (June 11th) via Napalm Records, and it's a fucking beastly death metal record that's brimming with fierce personality and extra-tight musicianship. 

Every member of the quartet holds their own on the 10-song opus, but Lira's fiendish vocals and chunky basslines are at the forefront of their gnarly sound. Having held down bass/vocal duties in Nervosa before amicably departing that band last year to join Crypta, the multi-talented player has some years under her belt and her own unique style. That said, she's also learned a lot about the bass from listening to and watching her idols, who span across the entire metal spectrum — from timeless genre pioneers to current death metal luminaries. 

Below, Lira told us about her six biggest bass influences and what she's learned about the instrument from each of these uniquely amazing players. 

Steve Harris, Iron Maiden

This is my number one on the list because he was the first one I looked up to when I actually started trying to play the bass. I would listen to Iron Maiden when I started getting into metal and my dad loved the band and [Harris], so it kinda became natural that those songs were the first ones I was listening to. Paying attention to the bass and trying to "copy" that. He taught me most of the techniques I use nowadays while writing or playing my band's songs.

Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath

Geezer was definitely the next one on my list of who I look up to when I'm trying to learn a bit more about bass. Black Sabbath songs were probably some of the first ones I got to learn how to play in their entirety, since Iron Maiden could get a little too complicated for a beginner to learn. Black Sabbath and their catchy melodies made it way easier for me, so Geezer really inspired me and was the responsible for actually helping me achieve the joy of playing a complete song.

Geddy Lee, Rush

He was the one who showed me the world of playing possibilities with the bass guitar. Complex and technical parts, melodies filled with many notes, using all the strings in just a few song bars — he has everything to make me want to improve my playing. I learned a lot trying to play Rush's songs. The first one was "The Trees" and I'll never forget how difficult and challenging that was, but also how happy I got when I was finally able to play it wholly. 

Steve DiGiorgio, Testament (ex-Death, Sadus)

When I started listening to the more extreme side of metal, like thrash and death, this was the one who completely blew my mind. I didn't even know it was possible to add so much in such noisy genres, so he took my understanding to a whole new level. When I first listened to Sadus, then to Individual Thought Patterns by Death, my mind was blown. I can't even play five percent of what he does, but he's still incredibly inspiring to me, not only ability-wise but also creatively. He's among the best bassists out there, without a shadow of a doubt.

Cronos, Venom

I was around 14 or so when I started actually digging for more and more bands, then I watched that classic video of "Venom Live at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1985." My dad would be listening to the song "Black Metal" all the time so I knew Venom already, but I had never actually watched any of it, and the moment I did, I instantly decided I wanted to be that guy on stage one day. I'm a huge fan of nice stage presence and performance, and Cronos just had me mesmerized. I often hear that some of my faces on stage remind people of Cronos, and that's right on! Even nowadays, I get inspired by these old Venom live videos. Cronos really knows how to own the stage and catch your attention instantly.

Alex Webster, Cannibal Corpse

He's been my current influence/inspiration for a while now. I've always liked a more crystal clear, high-filled bass tone, and Alex helped me find the exact tone I like. My taste is  very close to the setting he's been using in Cannibal Corpse, so he has (unintentionally) been a huge help in getting  the perfect bass sound on the last albums I've recorded. I simply send to the mixer or producer some snippets of Cannibal Corpse songs where the bass is prominent,and that's it, we instantly get very close to what I want. Not only is he  such a nice guy in-person and an amazingly creative musician, be he also has a very inspiring taste for bass tones.