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Moonspell Answers Fan Questions About New Album "Alpha Noir"

Portuguese gothic metal band Moonspell will be releasing the new album "Alpha Noir" on April 27th, 2012 through Napalm Records. The band has now issued the following statement about answering fan questions about the album:

"Dear all. Thanks for your questions. Here are our answers. Hope you enjoy them. We’re sorry about the delay. Busy times. Before we get to them, there were many questions asked about our live dates. They are very appreciated as we can’t wait to visit your countries and give you a taste of what we mean by Alpha and Omega while recreating our more vintage sets which the crowds have been responding so well.

"So far it’s the album coming with all its great and delicate foreplay. As for live dates besides the release show in Lisbon, Wacken and Brutal Assault, and the RTN Metalfests; our agents are working their hardest to book more around Europe and we will have those news for you soon enough. We have in the meanwhile confirmed new dates like Getaway Rock in Sweden, Dokken’ Open Air in Holland and MetalItalia in...Italia ;) near Milano. We will also confirmed the club shows in Greece and look forward for a quick confirmation of headliner shows in Turkey and Bulgária, around those dates. A European tour confirmation will be announced next Friday the 13th of April.

"As for South America, we are surprised about how many people from Brazil are writing us and for sure we will follow the deal and hope to do a more extensive tour in the country, rather than just one off date. Mexico and Colombia are in the plans but I guess Latin and North America will have to wait for after the Summer to see Moonspell live. But it will be worthy it. On top of that, Napalm Records is dealing with licensing deals over there and we will make our best to have our new album available in all territories. In the meanwhile, open some red and sit back, enjoying this album’s first fan interview."

Danial Honarbakhsh To Ricardo: What is the story of everything invaded solo? Did you write it or just hit record button and play? I ask because it's the most amazing piece of music that I heard.

Ricardo: Thank you for the warm comments on that solo. It means a lot to me. Well, for me a solo is like a small song inside the main song. Usually, it means that I get around 40 seconds of music where I must fit the right "small song". Sometimes I get lucky and it takes me 10 minutes to find the right sequence of notes that I'll use to play a solo that fits the music and empowers it's meaning. But it also can be very frustrating sometimes... For instance, it took me around 3 months to find the solo for scorpion flower! It's not about the amount of notes you can play but the way you display them, and sometimes the right display simply doesn't appear as fast as I wish it would. But for the song "everything invaded" I guess I was lucky. There's no big story around it, it was just the right inspiration at the right time. Just like a perfect alignment of planets.

Moonspell Street Team Romania Got three questions: one for Ricardo Amorim - What kind of amplifiers do you use?

Ricardo: The ones that can scream, distort and sound as loud as Hell but still can keep a tone that is warm and clear as a vintage guitar going through a vintage amp. These ones are usually known as ... Mesa Boogie Dual rectifier Road King.

Omrry Efrath: Hello Moonspell, in the last couple of years many metal greats have passed away. How did this influence your decision to make a double album, and will there be noticeable tributes in its sound?

Fernando: The death toll in Metal was quite high these past few years. Besides the physical death of some friends in the scene, Peter Steele on top of the list, what is more painful is the notion that their legacy can go unnoticed by the future generations who are drowned everyday with product bands, with invented sub-styles and simply by people with no talent the labels and managers tell you to respect and kiss ass with just because they sell more than what you do in the US. The death of those greats, as you so nicely put it, brought a void and a certain dry winter to the music we like. Moonspell feels its is our duty, as a nineties band, to carry the torch even if we burn our fingers. Alpha Noir and Omega White are records that also portray a certain way of being in music that involves certain characteristics fans sometimes opt not to understand. Omega White is especially fertile in an honest tribute to the bands that influenced us. Listen to a song called New Tears Eve from Omega and you will get my point.

Question to Fernando: Which are the first words that comes on your mind when you think about Alpha Noir?

Fernando: Into the Arena!

Constantin de Vries: How did Type O Negative influence the band?

Mike: Well first of all i remember very early in the bands career that we were all huge fans. We would listen to them all the time especially "Bloody Kisses” We identified immediately with there sound. The deep vocals, melodic guitars, thick drums and keyboards including samples like if from a horror movie. All this with the contrast of the raw hardcore from the streets of Brooklyn made it a perfect band for us to admire. We later got to tour with them on one the biggest European tours they had done to date with the album October Rust in 1996. Goes without saying that this tour changed and taut Moonspell a lot. We couldn't of had a better band to show us the ropes. Not only did we identify musically but also personally. I think we both felt like outsiders and nothing we ever did was good enough. This developed a dark view on the world also even though our music was, didn’t mean we took our selves too seriously. We joked about everything you could think of. We had similar backgrounds at different times in other continents but still so familiar. Maybe that’s why they felt like big brothers. Pete Steele watched our back and was a true gentleman at all times. Great respect and how we miss him. We will never forget the good friend you were to us. We are eternally grateful and will keep your memory alive. TYPE O NEGATIVE was for sure the best of their time. Brooklyn says it all!

Andrea Casanova: After so many releases and the years on the road, do you still feel you have ground to keep on learning? Does any record, concert or tour still bring you new and different things you can feed from? How has your view of the music industry changed along the years? And also, do you still feel the challenge at everything you do, still have some things you wish to do but haven't quite got there? :) (Waiting eagerly for your album... and more concerts after seeing you in Valencia!!)

Fernando: Actually we’d be no one if it weren’t for our capacity of learning. When one asks me what are the differences between Moonspell and the other metal bands in Portugal I always ask that question with our capacity of learning. This is something rare in Portugal, people in bands tell otherwise but the fact is that daily I have examples that tell me, I am not completely wrong. People in Portugal rush things, never listen to advice, etc. but moving on I think that capacity of learning, of still being amazed by things that what you do, recognizing the fact that what you did, influenced people across the world. There is always a positive outtake that guides through the years and you must never loose eye and mind contact with it. It helps you to find flowers amidst the mud and takes you to the endless and bone breaking touring, dealing with the industry etc. There is much to when you know how to shed your skin or put a red tone over your darkened heart.

Rui Gouveia Question for the whole band: Given the growth that the band had with the Memorial and Night Eternal albums, made nearly 200 concerts in promoting Night Eternal I think. Why switch to Rock the Nation as a partner, what the expectations for the future now with Moonspell Napalm and touring with Rock the Nation?

Fernando: Sometimes change is needed. You do not have to change because things were at a dead end or just downright bad, you can change to search for the spark of enthusiasm that is somewhat lacking in your old business acquaintances. What you must keep focus is that regardless who are your partners you always have to understand that they revolve around your needs and not otherwise and you should never be an instrument on their hands, packed to shitty places to make them a buck or two. Moonspell is always my priority and I have made my enemies and shouted on the telephone or wrote angry e-mails whenever I found fit and absolutely necessary. Having that in mind, I have to say most of our working relationships are good if not great. We are a focused, professional, hard-working band and we deliver the goods with quality and commitment. Our reputation is impeccable! We like to work with people who keep it simple, who work everyday, who make plans that involve you and that can come to terms to our realistic expectations while making their share in the growth of our band. I strongly believe that Napalm and RTN epitomize all that I mentioned before and they were chosen among other offers after careful consideration and I believe in the success of our collaboration as everyone is working really, really hard to get there and in the end of the day that is what counts!

Adbeel Neria Sales: Moonspell members, would you make a tour with a track list that goes thru every Moonspell album ever? Taking on account that every concert would last at least 2hrs and a half minimum. Regards from Mexico!

Fernando: We always try to play a set that pleases our fans. But people have to understand that there are other factors we need to take in account and that musicians understand better than the fans, after all it’s our job! A good Moonspell set has to contain enthusiasm, nostalgia, romance, power and atmosphere. Also the band has to be motivated live so choosing the songs ourselves it’s essential for that feeling to occur. The sets have to flow and sometimes it’s like a jigsaw that we have to put together ourselves. We once asked the fans for an ideal set on our old Moonspell.com forum and the result of it was… unplayable. Like I said it’s a privilege we have and know how to make it work and fans have to trust us again. I guess we always make our best while also to be in control and be a bit more than just entertaining people, even tough that’s a noble thing to do. I guess the set would be a bit longer than that 2 and a half hours. We once played the Lisbon Coliseum 2 and a half hours and it was quite long I’d say. A perfect set is a 90 minutes one where you can play a lot of songs without getting into something exhausting for everyone. I believe Alpha and Omega will sound great live and also it’s a chance of finding out also the Alpha and the Omega on our old songs that will intertwine with old songs that will fit more into the Metal, others more towards the Dark. Rest assured, it will be fun!

Andrea Casanova: Fernando how would you describe the development of your voice during the years in Moonspell? (Also, do you take any special care of it?) :)

I think my voice grown and changed as I was growing and changing as a person as well, it was quite natural. Remember I was just 18 when we recorded the Anno Satanae demo and 20 when we did Wolfheart. I was born in August, 1974. So I was just coming out of my teens and my voice would have changed anyway. After I started touring thus singing more I also had to learn how to keep the vocal stamina up in an intense and sometimes chaotic tour schedule. I remember I did, and so did the singers on the other bands, almost 40 dates in a row, no days-off, on the tour with Samael and Rotting Christ back in 1996. That’s why I started taking lessons with Brigit Zacher, a German singer who also features in many of our albums. She was great and I learnt almost everything with her. The rest is no big secret, really. I like to party buy I like more to have a nice, heartfelt and professional performance on stage. People do not buy tickets to put up with my hangover ‘s shortcomings. So it’s all a matter of practicing a lot to keep the endurance and quality of the vocal, to open it, especially in the days before a show. Also I drink 3 to 5 Liters of water per day, maybe more in a show day. Hydration is essential to a good vocal apparatus. I checked my vocal cords in a specialist a couple of months ago and we were both amazed that they were clean, white, pristine and healthy. After so many years of abuse it seems I am handling them the right way and it was a relief to know that everything is still solid and strong and that I can scream my lungs out for the years to come.

Greg MacLean: Every Moonspell album tracklist is sequenced with great care and attention to detail. Every transition is timed just right, the energy of the record flows in certain ways, and the whole work is one collective whole. what influences this? do you write the material with these song-to-song relationships in mind? how do you feel now about more long-form pieces that contain many sections linked together, like "Wolfshade" and the "Tenebrarum Oratorium" tracks? specifically about The Antidote: with the album having a sort of 'theme melody' that appears in tracks like "From Lowering Skies" and "A Walk on the Darkside," it has even more cohesion as a whole entity than other albums — was this just in keeping with its ties to the source text the album is based in, or was it an experimental idea you'd simply not tried before?

Pedro: In fact we do look at the whole creation process with great care and always submitted to a concept, song or album. Some of our albums follow a concept behind it that allows different styles of approach and therefor different kinds of songs. I think night eternal is a good example, on which Night Eternal song is followed by shadow sun and scorpion flower, three completely different approaches within one whole concept. To tacklist it is definitely a harder work compared to memorial, irreligious or alpha noir on which the songs are a lot more near musically. To be honest I really prefer this kind of albums when the message and atmosphere are really clear, but I can always say wolfheart is one of my favorites and it has really different songwritting, both on structure and style.

The flow of the tracklist is a matter of taste and believe on how it comes across best for the listener. Nowadays, if you notice, all albums must have the hit single as one of the first three songs, but back in the day, it could be easily the last one (alma mater). So there are issues to be considered after the artistic perception. My favorite albums, from other bands or artists, usually have no stops between songs (Elisium - Fields of the Nephilin; October rust - typeOnegative), but I also think that at the end of the day, the songs on it do the album and not it's transitions!

Regarding songs like Wolfshade, where structures are more undefined, where the song follows spontaneity and gets back to it self again, I don't think we do it as often as we did on wolfheart and Under the Moonspell. One of the factors involved is the fact that we had a really different line up back then and most of the songwriting was leaded by guys that left the band before irreligious. I think I can say that from this point on most of our songs are more simple and defined in what concerns to structure. Here and there there were some exceptions (Let the children cum, Tired, Lunar still) which we love, but the majority of our songs since then are as I said.

About Antidote... this is maybe my favorite album after every new one, though I think it has kind of two parts - before lunar still and after. Until the end of this song the feeling is darker, and proud full, and after Lunar Still it gets more mellow, fragile and sweeter some how. And although there's brilliant songs, like Capricorn, our next album - Memorial - followed the first half. I always liked to to an album where the same part would show up in different shapes on different songs. And antidote does have this soundtrack kind of feeling, I agree!

To end I would like to say that this all happens very spontaneously and only the time can explain it. Things I realize now were just happenings at the time. When we face a new work, the songs born out of something we don't understand then. Then they take you to different places and we got to find the element that links them together and with the time, we start to get nearer and nearer of what originated the whole songwriting. So with new emotions, knowledge and experiences, comes new music!

To Fernando: How do you see Friedrich Nietzsche and Aleister Crowley from the distance of our time, and how do you think that their ideas will continue to pass in next generations? Are you aware that you have contributed the spread of their ideology throughout the world and will you continue on with that in some way? I think that it is much easier to get into the atmosphere of Nietzsche by listening to your music, than by listening a lecture course on him, the same with Aleister Crowley. It's like their spirit has lived through the music of bands like you, Tiamat, Celtic Frost and so on, not through the academic or ceremonial magick traditions, do you feel the same in some way? Oops. That was supposed to be one question.

Fernando: All I have to say is that both Crowley, and especially Nietzsche knew the power of music as a vehicle and they had a go, I wouldn’t say at a musical career, but they definitely experimented with music themselves. I have some piano recordings of music composed by Nietzsche and own a CD with spoken word and chants of Crowley which were recorded at the time with a wax cylinder, one of the very first recordings techniques. Sometimes, academics forget about that context and they focus on other details and that’s why Nietzsche has been put to use in many wrong ways with questionable intents. It started with his sister and her national socialist ties. I believe what you’re saying is but a great compliment to all of us and I strongly believe that both of them will be at least flattered by the impact they had on musicians, from Led Zeppelin to Tiamat or Absu. A small tip, read the Magician by Somerset Maugham, it’s a great novel and there is an unbelievable character shaped out of Crowley. Also read Irvin D.Yalow And Nietzsche wept a remarkable fiction, human to the core.

Hertz Kankarok: The question is especially for Fernando, but not just for him. I was always fascinated by the web of artistical and literary references with which Moonspell worped each one of their albums. If for instance I think about Irreligious, “through smoke I forsee” European decadentism and the experience of drugs in literature and arts by the example of Pessoa; Aleister Crowley’s voice and poems that also make me think of Fields of the Nephilim’s Elizium album; the soundtrack of David Lynch’s The Elephant Man; the excerpt taken from Süskind’s novel Das Parfum; the mythology of Faust in Marlowe, Goethe and many other authors, etc. Your music and lyrics, that of course are the main content, also become a sort of link to many cultural and aestethical worlds – and by them they are strengthened. From this point of view what can you tell me about the new Alpha Noir/Omega White? Which are its principal coordinates or references? A big hug from Italy!

Fernando: I think of it as a big virtuous cycle that other started and we continued. I remember finding Tristesses de La Luna from Baudelaire through Celtic Frost’s Into the Pandemonium song. I remember finding out about Coleridge through Iron Maiden’s Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner and the list is endless and updated with other artists who dare to belong and to expose their literary influences to the fans. I can’t help feeling really proud when people notice that and want to initiate their own links with their friends. As for the new album(s) I would advise you to look up a Swedish underground author and performer Linus Raudsepp who kindly gave me his work on Wave Gottik Treffen in Germany a couple of years ago. It was very influential for Alpha Noir. Then I added some readings about Ancient Rome, gladiators, watched the great Blood and Sand series and there is a lot of epic lines being sung under that do or die spirit. Nietzsche was an influence for Grandstand among many authors and books which already fragmented into my memory and therefore in the album. Omega White is a quite personal album in what it comes to lyrics. It is a depository of the broken hearted, people who left our lives, our undisclosed erotic wishes, our fantasies and our yearning for a healing room. Poetry was essential for this one, the usual suspects Justo Jorge Pardon, the Spanish Poet, Herberto Helder, a great Portuguese poet, and countless others.

Moonspell Street Team Romania: The second for Pedro Paixao - Are you the one that is doing the musical arrangement for Moonspell (Sombra etc .) as people say 'the man behind Moonspell?" Is Aires going to play on this album? Horns up and rock on from all Romanian fans !!! \m/

Pedro: Yes Aires recorded the new album (s) and he has done a brilliant job! On Alpha Noir, I can say it's the best sounding instrument on it! Be prepared for the mighty Don Aires! And back to the first question, I always thought in order to be the man behind there must be something with value in the front! Furthermore it's always a question of perspective: If you look from the other side I turn up to be the man in front! All this to explain how we're all part of the same! Different organs of the same body. No brain survives without a heart and no muscle works without the bone.

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