Moonspell. Langsuyar. 2009
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: ataegina, Century Media, Darkness And Hope, Fernando Ribeiro, Irreligious, José Luís Peixoto, Langsuyar, Metal, Moonspell, Pagan Metal, Portugal, Spv Records, The Antidote, Trebaruna, Wolfheart
Cluj-Napoca. Sports Hall
I met and spoke to Langsuyar (Fernando Ribeiro), from Moonspell, în the backstage area, before the show. Founding member, lead singer, poet.
RiCo for CZB: Tell me what the Metal Scene is like in Portugal? I understand there is not much of a Metal Scene there.
Langsuyar (Moonspell): There is a Metal Scene there.
CZB: You have developed it?
Langsuyar (Moonspell): Not inasmuch as we’d like to think we have. We’ve perfected it. I think there is definitely a before and after Moonspell in the Portuguese Scene. Being from Portugal is not a disadvantage for us. We have older bands that promote different styles, such as Gothic, Thrash, etc. but we think there is still not enough work done by the Portuguese metal bands to get to the level Moonspell has gotten to and it’s a problem and you can’t do anything about it because at the end of the day you have to help yourself and when we put the foot at the door, through promotion and touring, most of the bands were angry at us because we succeeded in doing something. They haven’t taken our example and there is a big delay between what Moonspell has done and what other Portuguese bands have done.
CZB: You started out with Pagan Metal?
Langsuyar (Moonspell): We started out on the debut album, Wolfheart, with six heads thinking and six hearts feeling and obviously we wanted to put to the matrix of our sound on the first album, every influence we had at that time. We have stuff such as Erotic alchemy which is a pure celtic song, we have stuff such as Trebaruna and Ataegina which is more Pagan Metal. We concentrated in our opinion in the style that was speaking louder to us and at the time that was a mixture between Metal and Gothic – and throughout the albums we have been doing a lot of experiments, hopefully without losing the root sound from the early albums, so I would say we have a lot of influences. On Wolfheart you can see everything Moonspell likes, it’s moods.
CZB: You started out under the name Morbid God. Did the name change take place before the debut album?
Langsuyar (Moonspell): Yes. Morbid God was just around for a couple of years, not a very productive band. Things only got more serious after we changed our name to Moonspell, which was even before the debut album, around the time of our first demo in 1992.
CZB: In 1992 the guitarist, the drummer and singer had to serve in the Army.
Langsuyar (Moonspell): Not the singer. I am the singer.
CZB: Of course... did you think at that time that the music dream was going to end?
Langsuyar (Moonspell): That was never an issue for us. We liked the band and the band was important for us, not because we had any realistic goal of signing but just because we like to make music, get together, think about it, you know, just like all bands start out. We needed people that were up to it. Obviously, in Portugal, at the time, the military service was compulsive. It was one year of service for your country, then it got less and less – and now, it’s only for volunteers. The problem then of course was not about the time spent in the Army but about time spent outside the Army because they did not want to close themselves up in the rehearsal room for those few free days, to practice hard; they wanted to go out with the girls and drink beer. There was not a lot of commitment. We did what we had to do to make the band stronger.
CZB: For the Irreligious album you did the release concert at a Convent. Didn’t you have problems with the Church?
Langsuyar (Moonspell): It was an old convent, not owned by the Church. It was our very first sold-out show and it was perfect. We wanted to go back there but the private company that owns the Monastery asked too much for rent. People that saw us there said that it was an unforgettable experience and that we fit very well there with that kind of Architecture. We will try to do this again.
CZB: You recorded cover songs on the Darkness and Hope album.
Langsuyar (Moonspell): We made a few songs: Mr. Crowley from Ozzy Osbourne for our North American release, Os Senhores Da Guerra from a Portuguese band called Madredeus for our European release and Joy Division’s Love Will Never Tear Us Apart for our South American release. We were just fooling around in the studio and those were songs that we jammed on often in concerts, especially Ozzy’s song. The special editions were coming up so we needed stuff for South America and Japan and we all these covers at the time to accomodate people from different parts of the world with Bonus Tracks.
CZB: The Antidote was released together with an eponymous Book writen by Portuguese writer José Luís Peixoto. Was the purpose for this a sign of mutual respect or just the means of getting media impact.
Langsuyar (Moonspell): It was about mutual respect. Our record Company and the Publisher were asking us: “what are you doing?” because it was not very usual for a Metal band and a writer to do something together. We admire each others works. Jose is a good writer and a good friend and he loves Metal music and in particular he has written many times to the sound of Moonspell. We found this to be the best time to have a writer working with us directly on a book about the songs. It had a lot of media impact afterwards but this was not our original intent. We just wanted to do something special and different for the fans. People appreciated this very much because it was no longer a form of music but a form of culture.
CZB: I understand you are also a poet, besides writing the lyrics for Moonspell.
Langsuyar (Moonspell): I have already published three books – they are all written in Portuguese, so you cannot find them distributed out of Portugal and Brazil. I might translate them into English in given time. They were released in 2001, 2004, 2007. Right now I’m not writing anything else but it’s something different something I enjoy and people like it so I will keep doing this, definitely.
CZB: You were MTV’s Best Portuguese Act in 2006. Do you consider this a good or a bad thing for your image?
Langsuyar (Moonspell): It was a curious thing to be honest. People were very excited about it because we were running against the hip hop bands and the pop bands. For the Metal public in Portugal it was a kind of statement as well. It was enjoyable at the time but if you ask me if it brought some kind of long-term recognition, I don’t think so because MTV rating in Portugal is really low. 90% of programming now is not music anymore on MTV. It was very curious. It’s better to win than not to win. For us it is just a statue we have in our studio. It did not change the way we dream, the way we think, the way we do music. When the Award was announced, we were touring in The States, playing a very big show to 200 people in Cleveland, Ohio. That’s the story behind it.
CZB: So you’ve crossed the Atlantic as well?
Langsuyar (Moonspell): Yes, well, we’re trying to. We’re going step by step there.
CZB: You’ve been with Century Media from the start.
Langsuyar (Moonspell): Our actual record label for three years now is SPV Records but we feel attached to Century Media because we’ve been there for ten years and obviously there were a lot of problems but a lot of good things happening as well so when you ask me which label I prefer it’s like having me choose between a new friend and an old friend. I think the relationship with Century Media was intense, for the good and for the bad things. It’s always a label we would like to go back to. I’m very cool with them, I like them a lot and it’s possible someday we might go back.
- Fernando Ribeiro (Langsuyar) – vocals (1989-).
- Miguel Gaspar (Mike/Nisroth) – drums (1992-)
- Ricardo Amorim (Morning Blade) – guitar (1995-)
- Pedro Paixão (Passionis/Neophytus) – keyboard/guitar (1994-)
- Aires Pereira (Ahriman) – bass (2003-)
STUDIO ALBUMS (up to 2008)
- Wolfheart (1995)
- Irreligious (1996)
- Sin/Pecado (1998)
- The Butterfly Effect (1999)
- Darkness and Hope (2001)
- The Antidote (2003)
- Memorial (2006)
- Under Satanæ (2007)
- Night Eternal (2008)
- Alpha Noir / Omega White (2012)
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