You cannot have too many MOONSPELL interviews, so here is another one. Answers from Fernando.Anders Ekdahl ©2018
How relevant are MOONSPELL in 2018? What do you still have to bring me as a MOONSPELL fan today?
-I guess that’s a question for the fan to ask himself or herself because ultimately the choice is a personal one, to listen or to support band X or Y. We never operated in a logic of relevance at least not for the fans, that’s beyond our control and only the fact we’re still alive as a band, it’s a good omen but nothing is granted, never was, never will be. Having said that, our adult stage as a band is totally dedicated to quality releases and to do something, yes, relevant to ourselves and hope for the best. That’s what we can bring: a handful of nothing, a handful of everything and then the fan decides which hand he wants us to turn and open.
Does it get harder with age to (band age, not physical age) to come up with new songs that you haven’t already written?
-Physical age is a bigger issue than band age for us. To be in a band is to make a pact with a certain type of youth that sometimes you, ridiculously want to hold on to. Writing new material is actually what excites most bands from our generations and I think that’s everyone fight against our own “glorious” past and try people to still have us on their radar while we try and get better with songwriting because age brings that, if you try hard enough you will be a better everything, man, musician, father, that’s what midlife is, be quick or be dead.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-Believe it or not: Bathory. That would be the records I would take to a desert island and I don’t mean only the golden age of Black Metal up to Blood Fire Death but also stuff like Twilight of the Gods which is something already outside metal reaching orchestral and philosophical. Quorthon was always very open with his sound and he went on trial and error on the contrary of what many black metal kids think these days, the man even did a rock and roll record which I listened to heavily and made me respect more the Rock roots of such musicians. I’d say they are the influence that trespasses all records of moonspell, regardless of the direction.
Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands? Is it still as important for an international recognized band to have a local seen to lean back on?
-Very much so and that’s a big problem we have in Portugal. When we first signed to Century Media most of the Portuguese scene has a really bad reaction to it and backstabbed us to the limit. I now say that it was not only unfair but stupid as a different Portuguese scene could have been built around our success as an international band as it happened with so many bands before like Amorphis in Finland or Sepultura in Brasil. So we were born in a vacuum and it seems we filled it up as far as Portuguese Metal goes because after many years people are starting to change their mentalities which is the first step to get somewhere
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Being born as a band in the nineties brought us a sense of belonging to a movement of Europe’s Metal where bands like us, Tiamat, Samael, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride had also an avant-garde vibe to go on and experiment with their songs regardless of the success of previous album. Also I believe in Heavy Metal as lifestyle and a way fo being in life which is brought also by entretainment and whatever culture you can grab in between the lines. No man is as island and all bands belong to a movement, in a way.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-If the birds and the bees tell the story, I don’t see why not. There’s a lot of diversity and symbolism in animals but also elsewhere. It really depends on the context and if the cover tells a story. It can be a spot on picture or something more metaphorical that makes you wonder when you take a look, that’s for me a greta cover and it can be a naked chick, a Barbarian or something like Witkin or the Chapman brothers.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-Of course it is and we can go around it as much as we can that we will find no justification enough to steal music when you now have paid options which are vital to keep the scene alive and the bands going. The fact that we all live from textile and live gigs has a side to it that nobody thinks about: without new álbuns or releases, the cycle will be broken and there’s not enough good will to mend things. I also have a problem people are so fast putting down musicians defending their copyright but have an open admiration for the founders of Napster, Pirate Bay, megaupload that just used our and millions of others’ creativity to buy their yachts and private planes and never, ever put a dime into the music scene.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-Nothing like finding it out as we go. We are now in North América, trying our luck again here even tough it’s harder for us as we are definitely more established in Europe. On the other hand, we played more Portugal this year and it’s amazing to grow as a Metal band in our own country which doesn’t have, let’s say, it’s not the hottest spot to be in a Metal or Rock band. I don’t know, we keep on playing, we enjoy the live show a lot and basically that’s what we need to keep us going.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-I see it as a theatre play these days. It’s up for us to visualize and make people see what we are about with the albums and it all boils down to the way your perform it. I could say a lot of bullshit like it’s a party, a ritual, a routine but for me it’s really going on stage and for the time given, skin off the human shell and be an actor and a singer.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-Personally, aging gracefully, work more with books, and do quality stuff that justifies the time I steal from my son and wife. Also to spend more time in family is something I crave for, finding the balance between the band and home is something always hoped from the future. As for the world, maybe hold our breath and wait for a few years to see if that bullshit we are all involved in now, will stand the test of time or not, and then we can be a bit more human again, and less engaged with the material.