Sunday, 6 December 2009

Interview with Mike Gaspar

The Portugese metal band Moonspell is revisiting their early days. The band formed back in 1992 and released their debut EPUnder The Moonspell in 1994. In 2007 they re-recorded all the songs from that EP along with several other early tracks and are calling it Under Satanae. Drummer Miguel “Mike” Gaspar tells about the decision to re-record this material, their next album of new material, the metal scene in Portugal and more.


What inspired you to want to re-record earlier songs for Under Satanae?
I think it was more the opportunity to finally record these classic songs with the production and sound they always deserved. The playing is also better. We were (crap) musicians with very poor instruments, but we had a lot of passion. We tried to keep the feeling on the album. But does it rock a hell of a lot better? It sure does! I think the end result is that it has inspired us.

In addition to the Under The Moonspell tracks, what is the origin of the other songs?
“Serpent Angel” is the first promo track. Moonspell was called Morbid God at the time. This was in 1991. We changed the name and did a demo in ‘92. These are the remaining songs. They are the most simple and basic songs we ever did, but the inspiration of the time was the best: Bathory, Celtic Frost, Samael, Tiamat, Morbid Angel and all the underground. We were part of the new black metal, and it is still going on today. Never in our dreams would we have thought it would be so popular.

What kind of changes did you make to the songs?
We wanted to keep them as faithful as much as we could. What makes the difference is the playing and proper structuring. We have learned a lot these past years. It felt like we were doctors analyzing what we had done. We started from zero and built it all together again. It was fun. We discovered a lot of ourselves in these tracks.

How was it working with Tue Madsen?
Great! He is very easy going and has much confidence in the sound he gets and how he records. But he always is willing to listen to others’ opinions and sometimes he also learns from that. It really felt like we were bringing the best of both sides into the project. He also made sure we were very comfortable in Denmark. That always makes it sweeter to do albums. We worked hard and were always on schedule. We both liked that way of working. All night studio sessions are just stupid.

Any chance of a U.S. tour any time soon?
We are trying hard to get our name out there. We have already done some cool tours but we know we can do better. Next album we will tour for sure.

Where haven't you played live that you would still like to get to?
Japan and Australia. We get many fans on MySpace so I know they are out there. Also we saw many at Wacken. So sooner or later it will happen.

How did you get started in music?
I’ve always loved music since I can remember. I was 6 and used chopsticks to drum. When I was 14 I had my first band, and at 16 Moonspell. So I don´t know much else than this life. Why do anything else if you can rock?

Was there an artist or album that inspired you?
Bathory and Quarthon. They were biggest influence on the band and Fernando. If not for him we would not be chatting for sure.

What are your all time favorite artists and albums?
Morbid Angel –
Blessed are the Sick, Bathory –Hammerheart, Death- Leprosy, Sepultura –Beneath The Remains, Tool – Aenima, Dead Can Dance – Into the Labyrinth, Field Of The Nephilim – Earth Inferno and many many more.

What is the metal scene like these days in Portugal?
(Crap) as always. We don´t have much of a metal culture. We wish for the day we could be compared to Finland or Sweden for our metal. But we are years in the past in terms of mentality. We do have many more shows, but only the bigger acts. Not much of a solid circuit and not many venues for shows either. It ain´t easy being into metal or goth around here. It feels like there is no respect.

Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks a lot! Hope to see you all soon and I am proud to be part of metal. Moonspell will be around the corner sooner than you think.

1 comment:

bengo said...

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