MOONSPELL Answers Fan-Submitted Questions

Portuguese metallers MOONSPELL have answered a number of fan-submitted questions via their official Facebook page. A couple of excerpts follow below.

Q: In the last couple of years, many metal greats have passed away. How did this influence your decision to make a double album, and will there be noticeable tributes in its sound?

Fernando Ribeiro (vocals): The death toll in metal was quite high these past few years. Besides the physical death of some friends in the scene, Peter Steele [TYPE O NEGATIVE] on top of the list, what is more painful is the notion that their legacy can go unnoticed by the future generations who are drowned every day with product bands, with invented sub-styles and simply by people with no talent the labels and managers tell you to respect and kiss ass with just because they sell more than what you do in the U.S. The death of those greats, as you so nicely put it, brought a void and a certain dry winter to the music we like. MOONSPELL feels it’s is our duty, as a Nineties band, to carry the torch even if we burn our fingers. “Alpha Noir” and “Omega White” are records that also portray a certain way of being in music that involves certain characteristics fans sometimes opt not to understand. “Omega White” is especially fertile in an honest tribute to the bands that influenced us. Listen to a song called “New Tears Eve” from “Omega” and you will get my point.

Q: How did TYPE O NEGATIVE influence the band?

Miguel “Mike” Gaspar (drums): Well, first of all, I remember very early in the band’s career that we were all huge fans . We would listen to them all the time, especially “Bloody Kisses”. We identified immediately with their sound. The deep vocals, melodic guitars, thick drums and keyboards, including samples like if from a horror movie. All this with the contrast of the raw hardcore from the streets of Brooklyn made it a perfect band for us to admire. We later got to tour with them on one the biggest European tours they had done to date with the album “October Rust” in 1996. [It] goes without saying that this tour changed and taught MOONSPELL a lot. We couldn’t have had a better band to show us the ropes. Not only did we identify musically, but also personally. I think we both felt like outsiders and nothing we ever did was good enough. This developed a dark view on the world also even though our music was, didn’t mean we took our selves too seriously. We joked about everything you could think of We had similar backgrounds at different times in other continents but still so familiar. Maybe that’s why they felt like big brothers. Pete Steele watched our back and was a true gentleman at all times. Great respect and how we miss him. We will never forget the good friend you were to us. We are eternally grateful and will keep your memory alive. TYPE O NEGATIVE was for sure the best of their time. Brooklyn says it all!

Q: Would you make a tour with a track list that goes through every MOONSPELL album ever? Taking on account that every concert would last at least two hours and a half minimum.

Fernando: We always try to play a set that pleases our fans. But people have to understand that there are other factors we need to take in account and that musicians understand better than the fans, after all it’s our job! A good MOONSPELL set has to contain enthusiasm, nostalgia, romance, power and atmosphere. Also the band has to be motivated live, so choosing the songs ourselves, it’s essential for that feeling to occur. The sets have to flow and sometimes it’s like a jigsaw that we have to put together ourselves. We once asked the fans for an ideal set on our old forum and the result of it was… unplayable. Like I said, it’s a privilege we have and know how to make it work and fans have to trust us again. I guess we always make our best while also to be in control and be a bit more than just entertaining people, even tough that’s a noble thing to do. I guess the set would be a bit longer than that two and a half hours. We once played the Lisbon Coliseum two and a half hours and it was quite long, I’d say. A perfect set is a 90 minutes, one where you can play a lot of songs without getting into something exhausting for everyone. I believe “Alpha” and “Omega” will sound great live and also it’s a chance of finding out also the Alpha and the Omega on our old songs that will intertwine with old songs that will fit more into the metal, others more towards the dark. Rest assured, it will be fun!

Q: Fernando, how would you describe the development of your voice during the years in MOONSPELL? Also, do you take any special care of it?

Fernando: I think my voice grown and changed as I was growing and changing as a person as well, it was quite natural. Remember, I was just 18 when we recorded the “Anno Satanae” demo and 20 when we did “Wolfheart”. I was born in August 1974. So I was just coming out of my teens and my voice would have changed anyway. After I started touring, thus singing more, I also had to learn how to keep the vocal stamina up in an intense and sometimes chaotic tour schedule. I remember I did, and so did the singers on the other bands, almost 40 dates in a row, no days off, on the tour with SAMAEL and ROTTING CHRIST back in 1996. That’s why I started taking lessons with Brigit Zacher, a German singer who also features in many of our albums. She was great and I learnt almost everything with her. The rest is no big secret, really. I like to party, buy I like more to have a nice, heartfelt and professional performance on stage. People do not buy tickets to put up with my hangover’s shortcomings. So it’s all a matter of practicing a lot to keep the endurance and quality of the vocal, to open it, especially in the days before a show. Also I drink 3 to 5 Liters of water per day, maybe more in a show day. Hydration is essential to a good vocal apparatus. I checked my vocal cords in a specialist a couple of months ago and we were both amazed that they were clean, white, pristine and healthy. After so many years of abuse, it seems I am handling them the right way and it was a relief to know that everything is still solid and strong and that I can scream my lungs out for the years to come.