MOONSPELL Under the Moonspell

I haven’t a chance to have one interview with Moonspell since their latest album 1755 so  finally I took a chance and meet with their guitar-player Ricardo Amorim (46) at their tour with Rotting Christ at 22nd November in Budapest. If I count well it was my 9th time since 1997 that I’ve seen Moonspell performing live. Moonspell were the head-liner of the concert and tour and it was a perfect evening with lots of magic, atmosphere and nostalgia. I’ve grown up with Moonspell’s music and after more than 25 years here we are both Ricardo and me, I guess in 1996 when I was just 15, he was 22, but now we are older, both established in our own ways…

First of all I would like to ask you are you satisfied with your tour with Rotting Christ? I have to say this is a very special tour because both bands are coming from Century Media at the time so, how do you feel after all that time?Yeah, I guess you’re right, we have a long history together. We are bands with almost same generations of musicians and we basically started at the same time. This is basically a repetition of a tour we had 22, 23 years ago. Times were hard at the time but we always stick together like brothers. It’s like touring with family somehow. And yeah, we are really satisfied. We already have 16 shows that are sold out on this tour. It means that there are a lot of people that want to come and see us which shows a lot of appreciation. We couldn’t be happier with that.

You already sold out 16 shows and both bands have a really strong fanbase after so many years. How do you feel about it?I think that most of the people who come to see Moonspell and Rotting Christ have appreciation for both bands. Like I said, it might be a generation thing, I don’t know. But it’s good to see that there is still room for this kind of music and for bands from Southern Europe like Greece and Portugal. What can I say, it’s great. It keeps us moving and it keeps us still being a band, writing music and playing for the people.

There are many bands from Western Europe, UK and Scandinavia, but there are not many bands from the Southern Europe. So when it comes to this tour, you are basically representing the South European spirit.
I don’t think we do any of this to prove that we are better than anyone. It’s true that most of the bands are from Central Europe and Scandinavia, but it’s rooted in their tradition to have a rock scene way longer than it is in the South. Portugal had a dictatorship until the 70s and any sort of rock and roll or rebellious music is forbidden. Something similar also happened to Greece if I’m correct. Access to this kind of music and access to the equipment in order to make music and learn this process was way harder than, perhaps, Scandinavia or Germany. What really makes me happy is that there are bands from Southern Europe that can be there and show their stuff. But it’s also not a war to hold a flag and be here to win. It’s not war, it’s just music.

It’s been 2 years since your latest album 1775 was released. Can you tell us something about it from your own point of view?
It was our first record completely sang in Portuguese. It was a bit risky and very challenging. It brought us a lot of enthusiasm to do so. Again, to our scepticism, it worked very well in non Portuguese countries. We did a tour last year with Cradle of Filth and we could see that the results were really nice and people really enjoyed it. Sometimes, if it’s well done, it doesn’t matter in which language you sing. It’s a very strong record and it talks about the very important moment in Portuguese history, like the earthquake in 1755 which devastated Lisabon and changed completely the perspective of society back then. It opened a way for science and that’s when the hurricane started to be studied. Sometimes you need a disaster to rebuild something better again.

Have you started preparing a new album? Could you reveal us anything?
There not much to reveal. We are still in a songwriting process, doing some arrangements here and there, checking out what works. We do have something but I think it’s too early to speak whatsoever. We intend to go to studio next year. When? We’ll figure it out. But we’re still exited.

When it comes to your Extinct album which is actually really popular and went really well, many people recalled it as it represents this old spirit when it comes Moonspell. Many people also, including me, stated that it’s one of the best Moonspell albums. How do you feel about it?
Extinct has a great production on it. It’s very dark. We tried to maintain the heaviness of the records before, but we needed to go more melodic and atmospheric because Moonspell has always been known for this mix of heaviness and atmosphere. I’m glad people liked it.

Also, you have a rerelease of Sin/Pecado for Napalm Records. Can you recall the time when you first released the record? It was definitely something different that we did not expect, but it was a great record. What Sin/Pecado means to you today after 20 years?
Sin/Pecado was an album where we experimented more. We were going through hard time back then. We fired a bass player who was one of the founding members. We started to shoot on a little bit more directions, and we ended up, perhaps, doing it a little bit too much but, we needed to do that for some reason. The reactions were not that enthusiastic as they were on Irreligious, but strangely enough, years after, people started saying that this was a really unique album. It was perhaps, out of it’s time. I don’t know. It’s not an album that you can consume immediately. It takes some time. And I think it was a great idea to put this rerelease now, because people now understand the album better than they did, and the people that didn’t like it back then but do like it now can enjoy it.

And now after 25-30 years of touring, how do you recall all these past moments from the beginning, from your own personal point of view? The band is definitely much more popular today. Many people look at Moonspell as a really big band. And also, can you tell us something about your live DVD recorded in Portugal?
Well, we never quit. That’s the whole point. There were many bands that collapsed during that time, for many reasons. But we maintained focus somehow. We made mistakes of course, everyone does. But we learned from them and make it better. I think it was the right time to release the dvd since we didn’t have much official video footage, besides the show in Poland. The record label also wanted it. And it’s a great way to pay tribute to our country by doing this.

Could you compare this show where you recorded a DVD in Portugal and the old one from 1996. when the band was starting to get bigger?
I don’t compare these things, but if you ask me, the latest one is a big celebration, like: „Here we are, this is us and this is what we’ve been through these past 30 years of career!“ And that one from 1996. was a very new thing. We were putting out record and we had a media coverage. And it was successful. The place was full, people were completely crazy. I was 22 at the time and I was impressed with everything. Things don’t become more or less important. You just feel them differently. I had a certain enthusiasm back then, and I have another kind of enthusiasm here. That’s pretty much it.

  • Answers by Ricardo Amorim
  • Interview by Marko Miranovic (22.November)
  • Typed by Darko Petrovic

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