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Interview von: Janick Schlee mit Fernando Ribeiro, am: 23.09.2003 ]

MOONSPELL waren schon immer eine herausragende Band und dabei folgten sie immer ihrem Weg der eigenen Kreativität. Dies führte dann schließlich zu den beiden experimentellen Alben "Sin/Pecado" und "The Butterfly Effect". Bereits mit ihrem letzten Album "Darkness And Hope" stellten die Portugiesen unter Beweis, daß sie immer noch starke düster metallische Songs schreiben können. Doch mit ihrem aktuellen Release "The Antidote" haben sie ein Hammerabum veröffentlicht, mit dem ich in dieser Art nicht gerechnet hätte. Besonders hervorzuheben bleibt zudem, daß auf Basis der Musik, Texte und des Geistes der neuen Songs der portugiesische Jungstar José Luis Peixoto eine Sammlung von Kurzgeschichten schrieb, die zusammen eine Novelle formen. Genügend interessante Gründe bei einem der charismatischsten Sänger im Metalbereich Fernando Ribeiro genauer nachzuhaken.


Musicscan: Please introduce yourself and then the rest of the band please.

Moonspell: Hello, I am Fernando the singer from Moonspell and the rest of the band is as follows: Mike Gaspar on tribal drums, Pedro on wall guitars and tantalizing sound keyboardscapes and Ricardo on dreamy guitars.

Musicscan: How were the reactions on "The Antidote" so far?

Moonspell: We have very few reactions so far since the album is just out to the press but the few people I talked to, they enjoyed it. The single broke the charts in Portugal and is 3rd after Eminem, so we will have to wait and see, I think it is an album worth of recognition but that is my opinion, of course.

Musicscan: Why do you choose " The Antidote" as the title of the upcoming album and for or against what do we need an antidote - what is the story behind the title?

Moonspell: The Antidote stands for the ambiguity of human powers of choosing his own fate, that of the poison or that of the cure. I think this tension is an unbelievable and endless source of inspiration. It is not we are suggesting our album as a saviour for broken hearts or minds, as an antidote to a given poison. Actually it can backfire on you, everything is possible.

Musicscan: You hired your longtime producer Waldemar Sorychta for the pre-production. Was it important to you that he´s around in this phase?

Moonspell: It ended up to be very important, really since Waldemar brought a lot of good ideas and arrangements to him and the whole album just jumped off into a higher class when it came to composition. Which is something that Waldemar is perfect for.

Musicscan: Why didn´t you produced the album with Waldemar and choose Hiili Hiilesmaa again? Or is it just something like building a bridge from your past to your present and future?

Moonspell: Maybe it is that but we took the chance of working this album with all the weapons we had in order to make it stronger and stronger. We loved working with Hiili for Darkness but we both felt something was not complete and that there was space for improvement and for better collaboration and so it happened. He did a great job on this record, better intimacy between him and the band and he did pulled the best out of our personalities.

Musicscan: On the basis of the lyrics, music and spirit of the new songs the author José Luís Peixoto wrote short stories that form a novel. Who got this really cool idea?

Moonspell: The writer himself. He is a big Metal fan and Moonspell was one of his influences for his novels. So we just put our worlds together and waited to see what it came from there. We both think the result is original and beautiful.

Musicscan: Was José always present in the writing process of the album - or how do you managed that or do you just send him the finished product?

Moonspell: He was mostly present on the key moments of the album, a lot of times during its composition, in our reh.place in Lisbon, and on the final mixes in Helsinki, Finland. It ended up him influencing us as well and it ended up he saw how an album is born and all that it goes through to arrive into communication.

Musicscan: How you get in contact with José or did maybe someone of you worked with him before?

Moonspell: I met him when I released my poetry book on a bookstore in Lisbon. He gave me all his books and I was amazed and seduced for what I read. He knew Moonspell from before and he said we were an influence to his novels, something I am very proud of, naturally. Then he invited us to play on his book release but it did not happen, so we made the book idea instead.

Musicscan: The finished album will also include the complete novel "The Antidote" by José Luís Peixoto. Really every cd or only the "special edition" version maybe in a limited edition?

Moonspell: All the CD-s will have an enhanced multimedia book, with a superb English translation, and animated menus. It is very interesting and everybody can access to it on a computer. Then we will have a special digibook for Portugal only and the book will be available in bookstores, its Portuguese original version,of course. In the long run if it goes well there might exist then a print run in English as well.

Musicscan: Were the songs completely finished when you entered the Finnvox Studios in Helsinki?

Moonspell: We have arrived very early to quite final versions of the songs this time so we had tons of time to concentrate in arranging them and make them brighter and stronger as well. So when we reached the stage of going to Finland to record the songs and considering we had only three weeks to do so, we were very well prepared and just focused in playing them technically well and with a lot of heart. Nothing relevant was changed in the studio this time, just maximized to its full potential.

Musicscan: How long did you work on the new album overall?

Moonspell: The first Antidote demo dates from December 2001, that is a mere 4 months after Darkness release. Accounting all we did work around two years on this one, composing, pre-producing and finally recording. All the production stage took altogether but a month, all the rest of time we were on our own,really.

Musicscan: Are you totally satisfied with the result of "The Antidote" or is there still something you should have done better or in an other way?

Moonspell: You always have to see things in context. We had just three weeks on studio for 11 songs full production and that is not a great deal of time. But in the end all this downsizing worked in our favour since we grew to be a band that could not fail and had to give it all in a short period of time. Instead of looking at it as an excuse for a less achieved sound, I think all those challenges allowed us to have a strong album with a matching strong sonic expression. I think it is one of our best sounding albums ever, with a lot of power, spirituality and attitude.

Musicscan: If we take a look back in your history how important are the experimental phase of the "Sin/Pecado" and "The Butterfly Effect" album for your development as a band?

Moonspell: Everything is important for us, because Antidote was an album that I felt was shaping inside us and maybe it took all the routes and detours we took so far to get there. Sin and Butterfly were albums we did with pleasure and conviction, aware of the risks we were taking but one can not avoid the stream running from inside you by simply shutting it down. We are far too honest to ignore the voice of our creativity and to overlook the need to communicate it. Those albums have a life of their own, so has the Antidote, like it or not, it is what we can do as a band, is reaching out for both progression and tradition, balancing them the best way we can.

Musicscan: Were the reactions of the fans on your experimental phase decisive so that you decided to sound more back to the roots again or is it just like that you finished or completed the experimental phase with the making of "The Butterfly Effect" album?

Moonspell: Butterfly effect has completely satiated our thirst for experiment, if you listen to it, it comes across easily this conclusion. Then we felt a void, homeless, and the only way we could regain territory and feel again as a band, with a recognizable style, has to embrace the fusion between Gothic and Metal we helped to create back in the mid 90's. It is more complex than just getting back to the roots. If people stop living and debating in our past, they will realize we embrace this style with a progressive mind and heart, always. If it gets people back to our side, the better, we both have only to profit from it.

Musicscan: In the info sheet i read that after the "Darkness And Hope" album was released the fans embraced you with open arms. Does that mean that they welcome you like you´re lost sons who finally found their way back home, or what?

Moonspell: Biographies are always wordy even though there is some truth to it, since it is understandable that people who have followed up Moonspell might feel more at ease with the co-ordinates of albums such as Darkness or Antidote. But we never ran away from people, it was more of a fantastic detour we took, we paid the price, we took the advantages as well, and now people are paying us back in respect and admiration of how we could go so far and still we speak so loud in their hearts.

Musicscan: Are there any plans for an upcoming european tour?

Moonspell: As we speak a tour is being booked for whole of Europe. We will team up with our dear friends from Lacuna Coil, and also three other Century Media bands: Extol, Poisonblack and Passenger. I guess the dates will be available soon and we are obviously looking forward to get back to Germany and to show everyone the strong taste of the Antidote.

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