Interview with bassist Aires Pereira @ Audio, Glasgow
28th March 2016
Interviewed by Oliver M.
The last time we interviewed Moonspell was in Nuremberg in November 2015 during the second part of their Road to Extinction Tour. We had a very interesting conversation with charismatic vocalist Fernando Ribeiro. Since then, the Lusitanian werewolves supported Epica for their North American tour in the beginning of this year.
They’re currently touring throughout Europe to promote their last gothic monument “Extinct” for the third time. At their fantastic concert in Glasgow we had the opportunity to chat with the excellent bassist Aires Pereira. I personally would like to thank him deeply for his time and great enthusiasm.
Hi Aires! Yesterday, you played in Manchester for the first time ever. How was this concert? Was it different than the previous gigs you did in London?
It was OK. The crowd was very good, the ambiance was nice. It was the first time we played in Manchester. Compared to London, I would say the crowd is bigger than there but the reaction and enthusiasm are the same between both cities. The reaction was great. You know, there are Portuguese people living in Manchester too and they were there to support us like the English. There were fans from different nationalities. I even met a Moonspell fan from Iran! We really enjoyed playing in Manchester.
Last year, you renewed your contract with Napalm Records for two albums. At that time, did you try to look for other labels or was it really what you wanted to do?
Well, since we signed with Napalm for the first time, we have always felt well with them. They’ve done a good job so far. So, we decided to sign again with them for two additional albums and also a DVD and EP that should come soon.
As you’ve just said, your next releases will be a DVD and an EP. Regarding the DVD, did you choose a concert in particular or will it be a compilation of different shows?
Basically, we’ve recorded one full concert we did recently in Portugal for this DVD but it will also contain some songs taken from other shows. Concerning the EP, it will contain three songs entirely written in Portuguese.
Great! Is it going to be a concept EP?
Yes, in a way. It will be mainly based on the Great Lisbon earthquake that occurred in 1755. We also wrote about the ruins of the Carmo Convent in Lisbon.
That’s very interesting. Does the idea come from Fernando or also from other members of the band?
This idea comes from Fernando only. Then, the other members and I take care of the musical parts and aspect of these concepts.
Musically speaking, this EP will be in the same vein as “Extinct” or not?
Well, let me think a bit… I would say the main musical direction will be a bit similar to “Extinct” but the songs will sound more vigorous and heavier in my opinion. It will be different for sure. As you know, we don’t like to repeat ourselves.
You’re currently doing a mini tour in the UK and then, you will give a couple of shows in Ireland and the Netherlands. After that, you will play at many summer festivals?
But before the summer festivals, we will do some shows in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. There will be five gigs in Eastern Europe in total for this third part of our Road to Extinction tour.
After the summer festivals, what have you planned to do? Are you going to go on tour again in October and November or will you have a break?
Well, during the middle of summer, we’re also going to record the musical parts for our upcoming EP. Then, we will focus on the making of the DVD. Maybe it will be released on the 31st of October for Halloween. That’s a good idea. After the festivals, we have also other plans but nothing has been prepared or confirmed yet.
Now, I would like to talk about a very important subject that has recently affected Moonspell in Portugal. You are aware of this problem of course. Firstly, I’m going to summarize briefly the situation for those who may have missed this information: On the 12th of March, one of the major Portuguese newspapers wrote a very positive article about Buraka Som Sistema and hailed them as the most popular and successful Portuguese band in the international musical scene. As you know, it is absolutely unfair and ridiculous as Moonspell is definitely the most well-known Portuguese band abroad. Following the release of this article, Fernando posted a message on his Facebook page, saying this was musical racism. The article even didn’t mention Moonspell and he considered it as racism against metal music. As a consequence, it sparked huge controversy in Portugal with Internet wars between fans of both bands. Fernando has been criticized by some people due to his comment. What’s your opinion about it? In my opinion, I fully agree with Fernando’s point of view and concept of “musical racism”…
I would even say “musical fascism” to describe that and do you know why? Because there are some journalists from the mass media in Portugal who think they’re always right. They have this idea that the band they consider as the best one must be the best band for everyone, and so their opinion mustn’t be questioned and discussed. That’s the problem. It has nothing to do with Buraka Som Sistema. The members of this band even talked to Fernando and understood his indignation. Those journalists absolutely don’t know what they’re talking about. They don’t know a lot about music and don’t do their job properly. Their behaviour is not professional. Musical journalism is a bit tendentious in Portugal. Fortunately, there have been other journalists, fans and friends who criticised the journalist who wrote that article. Anyway, each person has its own opinion.
Personally, I wasn’t surprised at all by this polemic because we’ve got the same problem of musical racism in France as well. There are loads of snobs who are mocking and criticizing harshly metal music there…
Exactly! Snobs! Those snobs are the ones who are managing most of the mass media in Portugal. They state what is good for them and what is bad. What can you do against that? I think that people have to decide for themselves. Fortunately, in the rock & metal scene and in the alternative world, people think and decide for themselves. Anyway, we at Moonspell have all supported Fernando during this polemic and I would like to say clearly that this had nothing to do with the Buraka guys. I mean, the Buraka guys have also their own career and fans like us. The problem was that journalist who wrote the article.
By the way, did that journalist apologize to you in the end?
No! Not at all! He even responded to us, saying that he was right about his article and so on… It’s like that!
And do you think this polemic is going to have a negative impact on Moonspell’s career in Portugal?
No, because after the release of this article, Fernando wrote a clear and detailed statement (with all arguments) about his point of view of the issue in his blog to close the polemic. His message was very explicit. People have understood it. The situation is clear for everyone, there won’t be any problem.
Thank you very much Aires for your time, kindness and great music. I wish you and Moonspell all the best! Muito obrigado! Do you have anything special to add to conclude this interview?
Yes! First, I would like to thank deeply all the Moonspell fans who have supported us throughout our career. I also would like to say that every time we do a show, the magic that can be felt doesn’t come from us only. You guys also contribute to create this magic we all feel at every show and I thank you all for that!
Special thanks to Napalm Records for this interview.