“When Tobias Forge called us his favourite new metal band, I got really emotional”: A conversation with death metal revolutionaries Crypta

Crypta in 2023
(Image credit: Estevam Romera)

If you’re a follower of modern death metal and don’t know about Crypta, you’re doing it wrong. Co-founded by former Nervosa singer/bassist Fernanda Lira in 2019, the Brazilian quartet have quickly flourished into one of the most talked-about bands in their scene. Their groovy and melodic tracks have got them endorsed by such genre stars as Morbid Angel, and, following the release of 2023 album Shades Of Sorrow, their reputation grew even further: Tobias Forge of motherfucking Ghost told Hammer that this lot were his favourite up-and-coming metal act.

With Crypta set to start a headline UK tour tomorrow (June 9), we sat down with Fernanda to talk about some of the band’s most celebrated supporters, as well as her past life as a music journalist.

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How did you react to Tobias Forge calling you his favourite young metal band last year?

“That was the coolest thing! Even cooler than that was when, a few months later, we were invited to play with Ghost in Brazil, in my hometown [São Paulo]. It was the biggest show I’ve ever played in my hometown, so it was really cool. But, when I saw [what Tobias said about Crypta], I kind of got really emotional, because we’re here hustling, doing a lot of work. It still surprises me when I get these big names saying that they know Crypta, even when I’m putting all my effort into making the band bigger and bigger.”

What was it like supporting Ghost? You’re quite different bands.

“I’m pretty sure most of the audience – it was probably around 10,000 people, and the house was already packed when we played – had no idea who we were. But I felt that they were pleased with what they saw. I think people were shocked, because there aren’t any blast beats or growls in Ghost, but shocked in a positive way. And there were so many girls at the show. I could see on their faces that they were really happy about seeing up there [onstage].”

So much of your Instagram is you hanging out with a who’s who of heavy metal. What was King Diamond like?

“That was simply the best interaction I’ve had with a metal musician, ever. He’s one of my biggest idols! I’ve been fascinated by King Diamond since I was a teenager. I have a huge-ass tattoo [of his face on Fernanda’s leg], which was the reason I got to meet him. At a festival, I got a message from someone saying they saw the tattoo and worked for Mercyful Fate, and they’d like to take a picture of it to show him. I was like, ‘OK, time to get stabbed,’ ha ha! Surprisingly enough, he was alright. He gave me a pass to watch the show and, when I was told I was about to meet King Diamond, I almost threw up. I was so nervous, but he was so kind.”

Is it true you used to be a music journalist?

“Yes! I studied journalism [at university] for three years and my ultimate goal was to become a metal journalist. I had been in bands since I was a teenager, but I never believed I’d be doing what I am now, touring and playing festivals. I did a lot of freelance stuff in the Brazilian metal scene: I started off by doing album reviews, then I did interviews for a metal TV show.”

Were you actually on camera?

“Yeah, interviewing fans and bands. I interviewed so many people: I did [Dream Theater drummer] Mike Portnoy, some of the people in Queensrÿche…”

What was the coolest interview you did?

“I think the coolest one might have been Tony Foresta from Municipal Waste: he was very chill and very funny, and it felt like a conversation between friends, although that was the first time we met. Or it was Michael Kiske from Helloween. He’s one of my main idols and the coolest person I’ve ever interviewed. He was so chill, I couldn’t believe it. We were supposed to have, I don’t know, 15 or 20 minutes, but we ended up talking for an hour.”

After being endorsed by people like Tobias Forge, who’d you like to pass that onto? What are the new metal bands you want people to check out?

“I will start in Brazil. There are two bands I really love here. One is Eskröta, they’re a feminist crossover thrash band and I fucking love them. The other one is actually my favourite band to watch live. They’re called Surra. Another crossover band, they’re fucking fast and fucking amazing! There’s another band called Nakkeknaekker from Denmark. They’re a very good band live.”

Crypta’s UK tour starts in Derby tomorrow (June 9). The band will return in August to play London, Glasgow and Bloodstock Open Air. See the full list of dates and get tickets now.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.