MOONSPELL Drummer Says His Band Helped Create Goth Metal With 1996's 'Irreligious' Album

January 2, 2020

Charlene from Austria's Metal Underground conducted an interview with drummer Miguel Gaspar of Portuguese metallers MOONSPELL prior to the band's November 21 show at SimmCity in Vienna, Austria. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On MOONSPELL's ever-changing style and thirst for experimentation:

Miguel: "Our first demo, 'Anno Satanae', still had a very big black metal influence. Under the name MOONSPELL we had the [symbols] and we also used corpse paint, but then with 'Wolfheart', things changed a little bit. We still had this big underground influence, but we tried to experiment a lot more with melodies, keyboards, classical instruments, female vocals. This all has to do with the genre of the '90s. Bands like PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE, ANATHEMA, SAMAEL, TIAMAT, was a huge influence on us — also TYPE O NEGATIVE, of course. Coming from Portugal, it was always hard. There were no metal bands who had done what we did before us. It's not like we had an example to follow — like in Germany, you had the big thrash scene with bands like KREATOR, SODOM, DESTRUCTION. The English had everything from THE BEATLES to CRADLE OF FILTH; they had all these different influences. Having so many influences and having a different outlook on the world coming from South America, from Portugal, all the influence we had from Africa, from Brazil, from India, Macau, China, used to belong also to Portugal. There's a lot we can put our interest in. It always made it hard to just stay stuck to black metal, especially with our early years, we were so young and things were happening so quick. By the second album, we had 'Irreligious', which is considered to be a gothic album, a goth metal album, which is also a new genre we helped create. Today, you see many bands doing that, especially coming from Finland. It's a country that we love. The audience, we connect so well and there's a reason for that. They're both extremes. They're the extreme north and we're the extreme south. We're always trying to find our place in the world. I think that's one of the reasons it's hard for us to always stay the same."

On the re-release of 1998's "Sin/Pecado":

Miguel: "It's been over 20 years, and there are a lot of fans that have been looking for the material. Unfortunately, we've been through different record companies. It has to do with the rights and licensing. Somehow, some of our albums aren't being produced, so the consumer can't find them. We've had people complain they can't find them in the shops, they can't find them online. Fernando [Ribeiro, vocals] created Alma Mater Records, which gives us the opportunity, first, to release stuff from us, but also, he's been releasing Portuguese bands, giving them an opportunity to see what else is going on musically in Portugal. That is a way to come closer to the fans and we can be more on top of the quality of the releases and the packaging, the designs. That's always been very important for MOONSPELL. We're fans of that era where you'd get a digipak where a poster would come inside or a sticker or a patch you can put on your jacket. We really want to keep that spirit alive. With some of the albums, we have 13, 14 albums, we've been through maybe four, five record labels, I don't know. Adipocere, Century Media, SPV and now we're on Napalm. We're very happy so far with Napalm."

"Sin/Pecado" was recently re-released by Napalm Records and includes the "2econd Skin" EP and additional bonus tracks.

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.

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