Moonspell - Out of the Darkness
Goth/Metal Quintet Return with a New Offering
Interviewed by Keith McDonald
Moonspell, the Portugese quintet, quickly developed from an unknown
act into one of the leaders in the growing gothic-metal scene. Touring
with the likes of In Flames, Amorphis and Kreator allowed the band to
develop and mature as their songwriting and live shows grew more intense….and
metal fans started to take notice. Now Moonspell, featuring Fernando
Ribeiro (vocals), Ricardo Amorim (guitar), Pedro Paixao (samples),
Sergio Crestana (bass) and Mike Gaspar (drums), release their offering Darkness
And Hope. With the blistering tracks Devilred, Firewalking and
Nocturna, Moonspell are once again prepared to conquer the goth/metal
scene. I had the opportunity to speak with Mike Gaspar who filled me in
on what's been going on. You can check out their website at www.moonspell.com
did the band start? How is the Portuguese metal scene?
Well the band started under the name Moonspell officially only in 93.
But before that there was a band called Morbid God that had only
released a Promo song called "Serpent Angel" (92). I came into
the picture in between it had all started by Fernando and our former
bass player. Then I had to substitute the old drummer, I had to go
through a test, so I played a track with my former band (DECAYED),WE
PLAYED COUNTESS BATHORY FROM VENOM, and Fernando liked my double bass
playing, so I got in and decided to change the name. The Portuguese
metal scene is growing very slowly, but I think there is a big change
towards music nowadays, so I think it will be only a short time until
there are more bands coming out of my country and of course we will help
in any way possible.
How did you sign with Century Media? How has
their support been?
We signed to Century in 95 after the release of "Under The
Moonspell" for a 6 album contract. It's been a very long journey
with lots of ups and downs, but Century gave us a great opportunity to
take our music to the listeners. Everything in between has been worked
out some how. The most important thing Have been the good relations
Tell me about the new album Darkness And Hope
(producer, time to record, etc.).
new album is something that we our very proud of, it was done with a
great sense of unity and passion toward us the band and the music were
all elements were very important in the making, from the gloomy days, of
rehearsing and composing where we were locked inside while the weather
out side was one of the worst we've seen in many years to the coming of
hilli our producer to get to know us better and to really get into our
world, which was beneficial in the studio where we felt very comfortable
and at ease, due to the amazing hospitality from Finnvox studios and all
our friends in Finland.
How did you land the Tattoo The Planet tour?
What future tour plans do you have?
These shows were arranged due to the cancellation of some bands because
of September 11th. So promoters were looking for some bands to fill in,
we were more than happy to do them. On the agenda so far is some more
tattoo shows, our big Halloween night in Lisbon and than some major
touring, starting hopefully in the states than Europe in the beginning
of the next year and than back to the states.
What single will go to radio? How hard is it to
get radio support?
We have "Nocturna" playing at the moment here in Portugal. It
is playing a lot, especially our video of "Nocturna" on TV.
but all of this has been possible only now after many years of hard
work. I must admit it is very difficult to get air play, but on the
other hand when we started we would of never imagined that any one would
give us a chance. There are other ways of promoting yourself, it just
takes lots of hard work. I know a lot about that!
How important is it for bands in your genre to
tour? Is it difficult these days?
In my opinion it's the most important aspect of a band, it's one of the
best moment to show your music with all its purity, without any
distortion (media) where you can prove what it's really all about. It's
always difficult, but when the love for the music is there you'll do any
How would you compare the European metal scene to
that of the U.S?
I think nowadays the differences are a lot smaller because of the better
and faster communication, (TV, net, mags, etc.) the things we note the
most is the different types of people, where in America the audience is
diverse and in Europe mostly Goths and metalheads come to the shows. In
the end, it's all the same but we always love going to the states
because you can find some rock n roll anywhere. And your night liners
are amazing (tour bus).
Who are your influences?
Many, but in the beginning we listened to a lot of old black and death
Metal over the years we've learned to enjoy all types of quality sounds
but our major influence lately has been our elves and every thing around
us, all that we have learned on the road with other bands, especially
all the great people we've met around the world and of course our dear
friends and fans.
Who handles the songwriting? Where does it come
Fernando has always written the lyrics. The funny thing is the way his
lyrics fit with the songs we write, but it's from the many years of
working together and the long talks we have. We're always discussing
every little detail.
How do you feel about the gothic metal scene? Do
you think it will ever
get to the mainstream and have some amount of popularity?
I think it's all a matter of time. Here in Europe, you can see some
bands selling a lot, maybe it has to do with our culture. But I think if
the band is good, it breaks most barriers.
What's the future for Moonspell?
To continue with all this hard work for many years to come without
loosing our control and the ever so lasting flames that are in side us
and keep us going, now that's a difficult task.
(Oct./Nov. 1999) Vocalist Fernando Ribeiro
©2001 Metal Rules!!