Moonspell

– Hi Fernando, this is Sanyi, editor of the hungarian Fémforgács webzine. How are you these days? Do you still live in Lisboa? How many free time you have next to the band?

– Well this is Mike Gaspar and Fernando asked me kindly to do this interview which is always a pleasure for me. Fernando still lives in Lisbon and I live on the coast near Cascais/Estoril. It is a bit like California but with out so many tattoos and fake breasts though I see it also becoming popular over here!! he he
Free time is something that is rare these days, but I think that is good that we are so busy. It´s been more than a year now that we have some weeks to reorganize our selves and look what is ahead for the future. I think we don´t even know what to do with free time! I like to sleep!! he he

– Do you still do translations? I read it somewhere, you translated „I am legend” to portuguese. Did you like the movie?

– Yes it is true Fernando did translate the book even sometimes in between rehearsals at the studio he would always be working on it. He always has something in mind he really loves to write and give his expression in translations from abroad since sometimes they are so poorly done. I also saw the movie and enjoyed it a lot. Anything with vampire we want to be part of it!

– Moonspell exists since 1992, but it has older history too. Please talk about the beginnings of the story!

– Well this was the time that Morbid God prevailed . It was founded by Ares our former bass player that left the band in 96 and of course Fernando. 89 was the year! They were big Bathory fans and had an opportunity to meet Quorthon in one of his visits to Lisbon. After that day they were so impressed by him that they had to start a band. His words to the young crowd of Portuguese underground metal heads was Stay Conquistadores!
But this was just an idea on paper let´s say. Until they got a band together with instruments, rehearsal room and the ability to play took a while! Only finally in 91 the first rehearsal tape came out with just one song! Serpent Angel. It came out in the first vinyl compilation album called Birth of a Tragedy. That´s the time I came in to the picture. The rest is history and Moonspell has done as Quorthon said! Conquering all and never looking back!!

– You had several lineup changes, which is not surprising in case of such an old band like yours. Were there any personal changes which set back the band?

Well until Under the Moonspell it took time to find a great line up. But there it finally was and took the same people into do Wolfheart. Our first and still amazing album! We recorded it in 95 and that same year we lost our 2 guitar players and had Ricardo come in that did not record Wolfheart and substitute 2 guitar players and do our very first European Tour!
We were very good brothers to those two and yes it was a bit personal because we are latin and everything is a big deal. We have hot blood and boils quickly! But finally we are again good friends and hope to see them as much as we can for the future!
Later our Ares the original bass player departed and that was even more complicated and what I can say about that is that it´s behind us!
We like to look forward!!! he he he


– What about the method of work evolved in Moonspell? I think about composing songs, but also other art and promotional tasks to do.

– Yes Moonspell has become one lethal battle machine! We are involved with everything! Fernando as we like to see it is our artistic inspiration and guide. Many things and problems go through him. But we try to divide the tasks as much as possible and the best way to everyone’s ability. But for sure we always have a big control of everything that go´s out to the public .
It´s the way we started touring we all helped what it was.
Pedro for example these days has been working hard on our new projections and all it´s programming. There’s merch designs to choose and files to send out to print I´ll do it. If not some one else will! We all fight for the same cause!

– Your lately released DVD is a real completion work. Why did you release it only at end of 2008 and not earlier, as it contains material til 2005 „only”?

– That has to do with some of the complications I spoke earlier about ex members. It was difficult at first to get Ares to accept the release of some very important images from our first tours that we really wanted to include on the DVD. Century Media also was in a difficult situation and really didn´t know what to do. There was a lot of pressure from all sides and Fernando also lost nights of sleep working on this. It was all dragging for ever and all we could hear for a while was when is the DVD out! !!
Finally things came to a conclusion and it´s out!!! Fuck yeah!!
In a way I think it´s good because there’s more stuff on it and even a documentary recorded just last summer in a beautiful Lisbon Cemetery!
We talk a bit about the past and our individual experiences with in the band! Pretty cool!! Time does bring good fortune in some dark stories! he he


– As I mentioned above, Lusitanian Metal shows a comprehensive view about Moonspell. How did you compile the contents? It must have taken a long time…

– I mentioned before Fernando went deep into a lot of old recording from the year. From professional stuff to friends that had filmed us just for them selves and us to view. Our early rehearsals was actually filmed by a friend so we could see what we looked like performing on a stage. We wanted to improve before we ever did a show. That first show is also on there and you can see the preperation and care we went to do that show. It had to be theatrical and impressive if not we wouldn’t do it.
It´s just a pity we couldn’t get some other material from 96 in the Lisbon Convent (Convento do Beato) we did a release part there and it was for sure one of our best. Fernando tried hard but he found no one to have it!

– Were there any records which made even you surprised?

– Well Wolfheart was a big surprise because we were not the best musicians and had a hard time at the studio. Maybe that´s why it´s so great!!
Sin was a negative surprise. I think it´s a great album but maybe not right for the time. We put a lot of time in the studio for this album and the reaction from media and fans was not the best. But still it sold a lot. I guess people liked it but didn´t want to admit it!!!

– During a long career like this its obvious you could gather many recordings. Can we except any more older stuffs to be released or you wont touch them anymore?

Anno Satanae was for sure the last old material we could ever release really! We rerecorded the Morbid God song our very first demo and Under the Moonspell. This was amazing for us because finally all our material that we ever wrote is in professional quality. This satisfies us a lot and gives a chance for younger crowds to hear what we did back then. For the older they can compare. I really can´t think of any other material that we could do!


– Cover graphics are nice as well. Who is the author and could he/she satisfy all your conceptions?

– I think we have never been so happy and content with all the designs lately! Seth Siro and also bass player for Septic Flesh is a fellow brother from the begining. He is from our generation and also from South Europe. We couldn´t be more alike!!! He thinks like us and demands a lot from him self. The cover of Night Eternal is brilliant. We had many versions to pick from and almost anyone of them could of been the cover! Thats a lot of talent sometimes you hunt done just one good cover and this time we had plenty to choose from!!
For the DVD we asked once more and the result of our faces and all it´s mystery was a true grace for us! We owe him deeply!! AH OOO Private joke!

– In 2007, you released a compilation, and also Under Satanae which contains early materials. Whats are the results/feedbacks about them and about this latter one, did you release it to feed your own urge or the label wanted you to it? As far as i know, SPV doesnt really chip in activity of bands…

– Well the compilation was done by Century Media . So we are actually releasing stuff from 2 labels at the same time. Even for us this is confusing and worrying . Are we releasing too much stuff? So far it´s seams people want more and more. I guess as long as it´s properly done and with a lot of effort it´s excepted . We even did an amazing halloween party for Under Satanae in 2007 with +projections, back up+ singers, dancers and huge stage setting. You can check it on Youtube! If not for the impulse to rerecord these classics it would never of happened and many good fans in Lisbon would of lost a hell of a show!!! It´s all good!



– Lets talk about the future! Have you got new songs? Whats are your plans about the next full-length?

– Well we are only now starting to think about that. Fernando says he already has half of it written. That´s how it usually starts. It´s always been a big deal to know what direction the album is going to speak about. Even if sometimes we come together naturally. Like if we were mentally connected and feeling the same thing. But not always! he he Let´s see.

– How fruitful you are in composing?

– We all have ideas but Ricardo and Pedro write a lot of stuff and combine very well with all the riffs and keyboard arrangements. Ricardo has a very tuned ear so we always ask him to confirm tuning. Every band should have one! Pedro is insane with programming and arrangements a true wizard at his art.
I like always to give a good feel to all parts and be very well informed around the composition so i can deliver the best touch to there ideas. Some songs have even come from some drum patterns and progressed from there. Like also vocal parts or just the written words. Inspiration is everywhere just depends on how you look at it!

– Which do you prefer, headlining a tour or being a guest? Or you like the festival appaerances the most?

– I like every thing but all are different and takes time to get use to!
When we headline we sometimes get bored waiting so long to play. Unless it´s like single headline shows we do with maybe just one support band. Those are usually true Moonspell shows. Lots of energy. We feel the crowd is really there just for us!
Festivals are always fun but sometimes a bit crazy!! With so many bands and tight time schedules. It becomes hard to give your very best. But festivals like Wacken that deliver the best conditions with also one of the best crowds in the world it´s hard not to give a fabulous show!
Supporting on a tour I think is what we usually do the best and a very common to. We feel the drive to do better than we can no matter what the position. Kinda like we still have to prove our selves like 15 years ago. These shows are usually burning! But too short for some fans since we only play 40 to 50 min. In the states we only played 25 to 30 on the last tour! Crazy!!

– Which is the territory, country where the strongest Moonspell fanbase lives?

– To start of course Portugal we are very well known here and appear on TV a lot. Not so normal since we came from the underground.
We played at Rock ‘n Rio for 50.000 fans like if we were the headlines (It was Metallica that night) They really respect us and hold Moonspell strong to there hearts. We have a lot of pride for what is good in this country and also spreads a light about or culture in other lands. Hard to compare to others.
But I have to say places like Poland, Germany at a time better but till strong, Mexico, some states in the US are awesome for us lately like New York, Chicago, L:A,Texas and many others. Just not so much in Japan or Australia we have never been there!

– Are there any untouched territories for Moonspell?

– Yes Japan, Australia wouldn´t mind playing, China and even Africa would be cool!


– You recently played in Hungary again. Do you know how many times exactly? I can remember at least 5 gigs… what are your imperssions about the hungarian concerts?

– Well i can remember almost 10 he he.
The Hungarian audience really knows what they like and are no in betweens! I like that about you cause i am that way myself!
We have always had great shows and played festivals like the Pepsi fest with all the madness. Many stories come to mind when i think of Budapest . Like always wanting to be up early in the morning on the bus to see the entrance of the city and all it´s history. But once I also counted 7 Burger Kings and not sure how many McDonalds and that was weird! he he

– I am corious if you had already time to sightsee Budapest (or other parts of the country) after or before the gigs?

– Like I was saying we have been around quite enough but still could have a bit more time to actually go to museums and see closer all the arts around the city, But I know i´ve seen more than any typical tourist. We always hang out with the locals and we don´t mind walking around and getting lost time to time!!

– Do you return as tourist to any countries or cities which you have no time to check while touring?

– I wish i could visit more often than i do. I travel so much that sataying home sounds pretty good!
But with so many friends I´ve made I think I will go back to places like Helsinki that I love and feel so welcomed. London I have gone many time but will repeat for sure. I love going to New York these days also since my girlfriend is from there so it´s always a must to visit her friends and family .

– What about the portugalian metal scene? What changes can you see in its past 20 years? Can you mention a few talentful young bands?

– Yes Firstborn is a band that started around 97 and had many extreme black metal influences. They changed there sound and attitude wisely and evolved to something pretty original. They are very spiritual and have Buda as a big influence. I like there last album a lot and they even went to Scotland I think to get it done. This is a great example for other Portuguese acts. You have to look for what is right for you. Portugal is sometimes not the right place unfortunately.

– Do any of you like Depeche Mode? If so, which is the favourite album?

– We all love Depeche Mode! Sin is very inluenced you can hear that! We did a cover also once! Sacred
I like Ultra a lot also Black Celebration. I hope to see them for the first time this year!

– This question must be quite boring to you, but I am really interested in your influences which affected you from the early black metal days throu Irreligius til Sin/Pecado touched by electronics and The Butterfly Effect albums?

– Easy!
Bathory, Celtic Frost, Morbid Angel, Root, Tiamat, Samael, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Fields Of The Nephilim, Nick Cave, Marilyn Manson, NIN, Ramstein, Laibach etc….

– We already talked about the next album, would you please tell us about your long-time plans as well?

– What can I say we already have a great history and experience. Hope to continue to do great albums and make the fan base stronger each time more. great live performances with a bigger budget for more intense experiences. Always experimenting art at it´s true form spreading it to those who most need it!
I still hope to see a big metal culture in my country bringing more hope to future bands. Like many other countries with the same problem we always think of them!

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