Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with MOONSPELL vocalist Fernando Ribeiro. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On new MOONSPELL DVD “Lisboa Under The Spell”:
“It’s a big project, and it seems like people are really getting into it. To be honest, DVDs and live recordings are sometimes something that bands just put out there, and I’ve never been a huge fan of live recordings myself. Obviously, I really like ‘Live After Death’ by IRON MAIDEN  and ‘Earth Inferno’ by FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM , but it’s rare. However, I do understand that especially for the fans, they really like alternative releases, and not only music. A lot of people saw us live, and they want to have kind of a document. When we set up to do ‘Lisboa Under The Spell’, I told Napalm that it would have to be really different from what’s out there. With all due respect to the ‘Live At Wacken’ DVDs that bands tend to release, I said, ‘We have a history, so let’s try to tie it together and really show.’ That’s why we played the three albums as a whole. The feeling and the attitude going into the DVD was definitely to give people something a little bit different; something more entertaining, and more representative of what MOONSPELL is. At the end of the day, I think we definitely came up with a very different idea for the DVD, with all of the big show and also the documentary — the fact that we are also showing more private parts of our lives. I think that was really the deal breaker for us, that the DVD definitely had to be something that could get the fans’ attention, and not something that was just put on the shelf. So, definitely. We worked hard to make something… It’s not like MOONSPELL is a spectacular band every time onstage. It’s not what we mean with the DVD, but we mean that MOONSPELL is a different band, and that we definitely want people to know about that.”
On the decision to play the albums “Wolfheart” , “Irreligious”  and “Extinct” :
“The idea behind that was quite obvious. I think hands down, ‘Wolfheart’ and ‘Irreligious’ are the foundations of our fanbase. There was no discussion about that, but we also have a big musical thread that holds up after ‘Irreligious’, of course. Many people would have probably split up after making two such amazing albums, but that was never the plan. We never wanted to be defined by just two albums. I think that music is a process, and definitely a longer path than just getting lucky with the first couple of albums. We kept that in mind, rather than the band crumbling, so that people didn’t lose track. We definitely wanted to play ‘Extinct’ onstage, which is an album that we really love. It was our latest album, released before ‘1755’  — ‘1755’ is musically about the Portuguese / Lisbon earthquake. On the other hand though, ‘Extinct’ is also the album where musically and also probably concept-wise we’re gonna pick when we set ourselves next year to make a new album. So, there’s a lot more from MOONSPELL. I think that there’s formidable playing though, and these three are integral sing-along albums. It’s great. We could have done it with a lot of other albums, but I think this fit ‘Lisboa Under The Spell’, which is more of a travel through time type of concert. We definitely wanted to show the time, as it unveils, for us, which isn’t always being caught up in our glorious past. There’s also the fact that every day, on the scene, with all of the bands and all of the competition, we are still trying to make great music.”
On founding Alma Mater Books & Records:
“It’s just a small project. I wanted the old repertoire from MOONSPELL to be well taken care of. Sometimes I saw editions that I weren’t happy with and that the fans weren’t happy with as well. I definitely wanted to change that, so I founded Alma Mater Books & Records. The first thing we did was to get in touch with Century Media — and they’ve been an incredibly supportive partner — and re-release stuff that’s already sold out, like ‘Irreligious’ on vinyl. Also, for the first time ever, our single ‘Opium’ – probably our most famous song — is on vinyl as well. It was sold out. We decided to not put the money in our pockets, but to invest more in the label, and that’s what we did. Right now, we are re-releasing the old repertoire of MOONSPELL. They’re very collector oriented with amazing editions and releases, but also we extended it a little bit. There used to be big companies like Universal and Sony in Portugal but I wasn’t happy with them, so we decided to take it in our own hands. From that moment on, we started thinking of signing bands with just a click. We have a concept of signing only Portuguese bands, so far. I think many bands — whether they be English, French, Swiss — get signed, but the Portuguese bands don’t get signed, and I don’t know why. So, I decided to sign them myself with Alma Mater Books & Records, and also to try to make a good job with them – trying to use MOONSPELL‘s contacts, etcetera. We signed a death metal band called OKKULTIST, and that’s going to be out next year. I worked on getting my own book translated into English; there’s a poetry book called ‘Purgatorial’, which you can buy from Alma Mater. Also, we’ve released the second poetry book by Till Lindemann [‘On Quiet Nights’], the singer of RAMMSTEIN. For the first time though, there’s going to be a Portuguese version. All in all, it’s a lot like MOONSPELL. It came out of something I love, and now it’s becoming a little bit serious because we are doing stuff right. Also, I’ve been in business with Century Media, Napalm Records, Steamhammer, Nuclear Blast, etcetera, so we have a little bit of all that knowledge put together as well, and hopefully we can use it for our own bands. For now and up until we change this, we’ll just be signing Portuguese bands and not bands from any other country.”
On writing sessions for the forthcoming MOONSPELL album:
“I’ve already written a lot of lyrics for what’s going to be the forthcoming album of MOONSPELL, and the other guys are working on some music that I know of. I think that people can expect us to go into the studio in 2019, and probably release an album in 2019, 2020. We want to take our time. We want to make a big album, so absolutely. I think it’s a constant process. That’s what we love to do the most, is write new stuff and discover new stuff, and not to go to the old repertoire and put something together. I think it’s interesting if you like what I like, but our guitar player and our keyboard player may have a different opinion, so that’s why we write music. I think we’re going to write new music, definitely. We’re always doing it, sort of, and I think next year we will be able to release an album. If not next year, then maybe 2020. We’re not in any rush.”
Read the entire interview at Metal Forces.