Tinnitus Metal Radio conducted an interview with frontman Fernando Ribeiro of Portuguese metallers MOONSPELL at this year's Headbanger's Ball Fest in Izegem, Belgium. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band's 2018 "Lisboa Under The Spell" live CD/DVD release:
Fernando: "'Lisboa Under The Spell' was a very big project for MOONSPELL. We didn't have very many live albums in our career, just a few things in bonus. We had the 'Lusitanian Metal' [DVD] many years ago that we recorded in Poland, so it was time to do something that will document the essence of MOONSPELL, which is being a live band. Being on tour made all the difference in the world for us when we released 'Wolfheart' back in '95. We wanted to record in our capital, Lisbon, because we have, obviously, a great history together with Lisbon. When you come from the suburbs like MOONSPELL, you feel like you'll never make it to your capital. It was quite good that we had this packed show and everybody was there, many people from Portugal, but also a lot of people came from many countries, a couple of Belgium people, at least. Yeah, it was a cool release. People really liked it. It was very complete. Obviously, it was hard to choose [a setlist] for us as well, but we tried to not only celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band with that album by presenting the music that laid our foundations as a band, which is hands down 'Wolfheart' and 'Irreligious', but also the 'Extinct' record, which was the last album beside '1755' that also represents a more modern phase of MOONSPELL many years after. I think it was quite complete, I think it was hard for the band to do this little-over-three-hour show. It takes a lot of preparation. I think it's a very cool release. It feels like it's old-school. People get a lot of music. I don't know anyone who sat down and listened through the whole thing, but it's a nice experience because it's three of our most important albums."
On re-releasing the song "Scorpion Flower" earlier this year as a standalone single:
Fernando: "The thing that sometimes people don't understand is that being a musician, metal musician, is great, but there are all these behind-the-scenes things with the industry that sometimes you just get the short stick. That was a bit of the case with albums like 'Night Eternal' and 'Memorial'. SPV went bankrupt and the fans couldn't get the albums. The albums were sold out, they couldn't get them on CD, they couldn't get them on LP, they couldn't get them on digital. I find this very bizarre and very funny because everybody complains to me that records don't sell. I say, 'Well, but people want to buy it.' You add two plus two, and you make the record available. One of our ex-labels, SPV, who released 'Memorial' and 'Night Eternal', was very cool. They passed us the rights so we could do a band edition. MOONSPELL is quite special for us, and it's great that someone involved with the band can pick up these releases because we have access to many things: bonus songs, etcetera, that other people don't have. It's going great. People really liked it. We released a really beautiful vinyl as well, totally special edition with all the songs we recorded. We're not the kind of label that wants to make, three, four, five editions with one different song. It came out well. We have more plans. 'Scorpion Flower' has never been released on vinyl. People loved it."
On the status of the band's next studio album and which label will release it:
Fernando: "It will be on Napalm [Records]. We're still a Napalm band. [The band's] Alma Mater Records is something we do for the old repertoire of MOONSPELL, and also to distribute our music in Portugal because we work with multi-nationals in Portugal. We were not enjoying it. They were talking about problems for a metal band…we don't like to waste time, so that's one of the reasons we formed our own label, but not to release MOONSPELL so far. Maybe there will be a time sometimes, but not real soon. Our new album is going to be very different. It's picking up from 'Extinct', not from '1755'. We're writing down the album already. We have six songs ready. We love what we are doing. It's very melancholic, it's very existential. It's very different from what we did. Different is always something people will always expect from MOONSPELL. We're having lots of fun doing it because we love songwriting. I think the album will be coming out, we're going to record it in 2020. We're in no rush. For sure it's coming out in 2020. We will definitely like to spend a lot of work on this album. We start the summer festival season here. We still have a few shows, but in between all the shows, etcetera, we are going to always be at the studio recording and constructing the new album."
MOONSPELL's "Lisboa Under The Spell" live DVD/CD was released in August 2018 via Napalm Records. The live DVD/Blu-ray/3CD package captures the band's performance before 4,000 fans at the sold-out Campo Pequeno arena in their hometown of Lisbon, Portugal on February 4, 2017.