Hi there, how are you? –back in the hard life of metal. Congratulations to your great new album. It´s like BACK TO THE ROOTS and a mix of your great work in the few last years of simple gothic style. Please describe your personal opinion about the statements in the press and fans so far.
Hi there this and thanks for the nice words. Memorial has taken us to a new level, not so much while we were composing but yes now after all the reactions from the press and fans, to tell you the truth we worked hard as always and never really know the result, but this one for sure surprised us. The reactions are the best we have ever had from an album, even the better than the old albums. Those albums became popular after a while, a took time for people to get into it. This one people jumped on it immediately, the reviews are awesome: album of the month, high score everywhere, and even a nr. 1 in our home country. We couldn’t be more happy!
How do you like the album and the new hard way of Moonspell? Do you like the statements like “back to the roots”?
I love the harder edge coming from us. I find that we have a great knowledge of black, death and even thrash metal, many years listening to the stuff, being able to put all those influences finally in an album is for sure exciting. These days music is very twisted and odd for us, so we must produce songs that represent our generation and taste. In this way of coarse its back to the roots, but also Memorial has one of the best compositions of keyboards and guitars , bringing us to a dimension that not even us were accustomed to. Vocals and drums were down like always as brutal as possible!! The combination is for sure deadly!
Could you outline the concept behind “Memorial”?
I find difficult to find a concept, but the album does represent an era that we fell in love with, witch was the 90s , bands that experimented with so many different styles, creating a time to be excited about music, and all the art around it, the live shows, the art work, the hole image around a band and also the fans that identify with that. Our main passion also come from our origins, the Portuguese culture and history, giving us an epic and also romantic side to the music, as Moonspell should be!
What are the (big sound) differences between "The Antidote" and "Memorial” and may “Wolfheart” in your opinion?
Antidote is an album that live from a more dark rock orientated sound, with some heavy parts, an album that you can feel breathing on you, scary even and also still very gothic , left overs from Darkness and Hope. Memorial has a big production behind it, not so much in the studio but yes in the preparation. The album was very well prepared and detailed to find the right balance between all the heavy parts with the more melodic phrases letting everything breath freely without getting on top of each other, like some albums. A sound that even Waldemar has admitted to be one of the best he has done, we are honoured. Wolfheart is our first album and does show our true soul, that will be an album that will inspire us for a lifetime, giving us strength for future albums, our firs born!
My favourite song/track is "Luna” and “Best forgotten”. Can you tell us something about this songs and it's history? Who is singing on “Luna” with you?
Luna is for sure our ballad on this album he he, we found it to be important to have a song that represented tracks like Nocturna. Everything invaded, bigger rock songs so that the album wouldn´t be 100% black, if you know what I mean, a more sensitive touch that we always enjoy to show from us. The song was sung by Birgit Zacher, that has worked with us on Wolfheart and Irreligious. We wanted to bring that female vocals back, it had been a while since we had done it, we missed it even. Best forgotten is a song that was inspired by a more theatrical and orchestral type thing, were the movement come in to play in a more intense and weird way, kind like if things are not properly right but are!? Still giving power on the choruses, we have done nothing like this for sure, a much superior song for Moonspell.
Which one is YOUR favourite song from the album and why?
I love Once it was ours for the reason of the song being one the first to be done and inspiring the rest of the album, giving us a direction of the album, but most of all passion in a poetic way. Fight for who we are and what we ant, the most intense roots that we ever put to tape, even reminding me of our demo tape times. The raw sound done with some inexperience, wow I even get emotional thinking of this!!! And music is made to touch and change our lives!
How and why did you choose the album cover? Is there a further meaning behind it?
The album cover gave us a lot of hard work, we were not willing to compromise, we wanted to go as far as possible to find what represented us as a band and music culture. We tried all finds of things, until we started to have the sad image of our forests here in Portugal burning, that red and hot feeling that is so impressive. The power of nature, not leaving anything in it´s way but sadness, death, pain, blood, sorrow and in some cases a hope to overcome such misery. The cover has all this, all the elements that Moonspell believe in love, origin, poetry, nature, roots, and an intense flame for art!
What about the recording process of your new album, again with Waldemar? Any stories or curiosities to report?
It had been a while since we worked with him, and the distance between us gave us a sense of regret from not staying with him, but we know that is the reason for a great album, the joy and natural feeling it was to work together again. After all the uncertainties from the past this one was an easy ride, doing what was intended for us. Stories well there was a night were it started to snow for the first time that winter in Germany and all chaos broke loose, lots of snow, electricity going down, no public transportation (that we depended on) and no way to get out of the studio!? We just found it to be weird coming from Portugal kinda like what do we do now. Of course for Germans it was just another winter, we enjoyed taking pictures and even playing in the snow, a great time to think of it!
What do you think about the past project DAEMONARCH? Is there any hope to see and hear more from that project? Or maybe other projects of Moonspell?
I find that to be a waste of time, I love that album and wish it had been done as a Moonspell album at a certain time in our career, but it didn´t happen. We have found to go in a direction that includes all passions coming from us, and Daemonarch is for sure one of those direction. I think fans from that album will enjoy Memorial and also future releases, not having a need for D. Moonspell will be a Monster that will overcome all that!! He he.
Please name some lately released CDs that you like to listen to at home.
Katatonia The great cold distance, Tool 10,000 years, Iron sword ( Portuguese band), Filli nigratum infernalium ( Portuguese band), The new Venom and Celtic Frost.
We'd like to know something about the underground in your hometown. Are you still in touch? And if so: Where do you hang out? Are there some yet unknown bands that you like?
Of course we have been in touch. We still have many good friends that have bands, not as many as we wished, we try to go to there shows as much as possible and hang out and talk of the old days. We also have some friend journalists that have come to be a major help in the Portuguese scene. We try to help them and keep them aware of what is going on in the international scene. We must all help to get the underground here stronger. In the past we would go to the beach at night with some beers and a radio and listen to metal. Sometimes record stores and check out all the zines, but those time have faded away!
Still three questions to go. What do you think of Metal web magazines?
I think they get a message out and contact many different people that if not through web pages we probably would never get to. It has become the fanzines of the future. I even had one and helped out whenever I could and Fernando was intensely involved in it too. Also the tape trading, anything to get involved, these days the information is so fast that I admire it. I´m just sorry to see people take it for granted and not realize how much work is involved in this and not much money, no money for most just the desire to be involved in something important and not senseless like most jobs people do to make a living!
Is there something that you have never been asked but always have been eager to say?
At the moment its difficult to think after so many questions, but I guess??? What has music contributed to you as a Person? Well I believe to of had a personality and desire from the moment. I was born thus making me do what I do. But the contact with the music has touched me in ways that not many have felt for sure. So many accomplishments but also sadness from hard times. All has made me the man I am. Sometimes even admiring myself for the person I have become kinda like being a kid and thinking of how one should like to be. The dream of being a superman and in a way don´t get me wrong. I don´t fly, he he. I became that superman a Man with the job of a child!
We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best whishes to you all. Thanks for your time!
Thank you, hope you enjoyed the interview. Mike Gaspar.