NeoNera confront society’s misguided Saviour complex in their latest single and video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“Saviour (is about) men who believe women need to be saved both from society and from themselves,” says singer-guitarist Dylan Gunnell of the Ottawa metal trio. “The superhero in the video is a man who wants to save, help and support women, but fails because he doesn’t understand them. Unfortunately, he’s most men.”
And he’s who Gunnell used to be. “The song is deeply personal for me. It gets to the heart of who I was and who I am now as a person. There are parts of me, and I believe many men, whose actions are captured by the lyrics of the song and the characters within the animation — specifically the monster in the forest. These are things that are hard to admit because it means exploring who you are and asking: ‘Am I good?’ Am I a good man?’
“This song was written by a different person,” he marvels. “When I wrote the lyrics 10 years ago, I thought I was one of the good ones. I used to believe women could be convinced to accept themselves outside the norms of society to be saved from society’s expectations of them. What it really amounted to, however, was trying to convince women to become who I wanted them to be. This is obviously wrong, and it’s something I’ve worked long and hard to change.
“That’s not to say there aren’t times women need support from men, but we should do this by voting to ensure their reproductive rights are upheld, and respecting a woman’s choice for how she wants to be rather than projecting our fantasies, wants and desires on them. So am I good now? The lyrics take on new meaning now as I understand exactly what I was. I mean, I knew what I was, but I wasn’t willing to accept it. This is how we grow; part of what I love so much about music and writing lyrics is the ability I have to get these feelings out there — to know where I was, and to remind myself of where I need to be.”
Gunnell and bandmates Evan McCluskey and Stephanie Leger are on a mission to dismantle the world’s toxic cocktail of conceit, artificiality, perfection and celebrity worship through a heady combination of progressive percussion, driving bass, manic riffs and prescient lyrics.
“Saviour is representative of the band as a whole, both in sound and lyrics,” Gunnell says. “We’re living in a neon era where the bigger and brighter, the better. As a band, we’re about revealing uncomfortable truths, even those deep within ourselves. We are inspired to write about injustices in our systems, but also look inside ourselves. Because of the writing process, it’s cathartic — it allows us to explore ourselves and reevaluate who we are as people. We know music can only go so far, but our hope is that people will reflect on what they hear. So if the lyrics and images from Saviour make you uncomfortable as a man, that’s a good thing — it means you’ve got a chance to be better.”
Watch Saviour above, listen to NeoNera’s self-titled EP below, and keep up with them on their website, Facebook and Instagram.