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 or

Mike GasparHow 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 between us.



Tell me about the new album Darkness And Hope (producer, time to record, etc.).
The 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 thing.




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 from?
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.

Moonspell Reviews
Darkness and Hope
The Butterfly Effect

Moonspell (Oct./Nov. 1999) Vocalist Fernando Ribeiro

2001 Metal Rules!!

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Saturday, November 17, 2001