Where were you on the 4th of February 2017? I’m not Columbo but I’m guessing that you probably can’t remember what you were doing on that day, unless you were at the Campo Pequeno in Lisbon. If that’s the case, give yourself a big pat on the back as you were one of the lucky 4000 fans who watched Moonspell put on a rather unique show.
For those of us who were not able to attend the event, Napalm has just released a special DVD/Blu-ray/3CD live album that captured this exceptional performance. On that particular night, Moonspell performed 3 albums in their entirety, namely: Wolfheart, Irreligious and Extinct.
I caught up with frontman Fernando Ribeiro and we discussed a few aspects of the very special live edition that is Lisboa Under The Spell. “10 years after our last live DVD, we decided to put out together an epic collection of shows recorded in our hometown. We could make something quite remarkable for the fans. So far, the response has been amazing. People who have purchased the DVD think it’s very complete, very different from what the other bands are putting out there.”
I asked Fernando if the 3 albums they played on that night were choices driven by the fans as well as the band. ”It was our choice. Anything on the DVD is something that we pursued with Victor Castro, the director who did an amazing job. This DVD is a big jigsaw. It took some years to get everything together, the right night and venue, and then Napalm just tagged along which was awesome. Everything came together, sometimes by chance, sometimes by inspiration, to make it look like a film. And it came out well.”
On the challenges of playing whole albums as opposed to traditional set lists, Fernando said: “It’s not quite the same. There are for example some songs from Wolfheart and Irreligious that we rediscovered, in a way, like Love Crimes or Poisoned Gift, which were songs that we never actually played that much live. When Wolfheart and Irreligious got out, we were supporting other bands, so our setlists were short. I think that it wasn’t hard, as in a challenge but it was more of a case of replaying those songs with the way our musicianship has evolved. After all, it was more than 20 years that we hadn’t played those songs but they still sounded legit.”
This special edition also comprises of a very honest “making of” documentary, where we follow members of the band in their day to day lives, getting ready for the show. A rather striking moment was a chat about euthanasia that Fernando and Victor had whilst driving the tour van. “I think that Victor really wanted to show the rockumentary as a free for all. It’s very random, it’s our lives.”…“ When you look at musicians on social network, they really do not present themselves like this. It seems like everything is set up, put together even if the room is clumsy. But that’s not what we wanted to do.”… ”Sometimes we discuss euthanasia, sometimes we step on shit. We were very brave with the cameras following us, we just gave Victor raw material which he probably can use and blackmail us with for life.”
We ended the chat talking about Fernando’s love for debating and Philosophy, which he studied at Lisbon University. “I’ve always liked the Art of debating. We studied a lot things, including rethoric and techniques of debating. I don’t think that online, people have the appetite for debate. They have an opinion and they want to prove it right, no matter what. And that’s hard for me, because that’s not how the philosophical spirit works.”
He ended up the interview with this sentence which I think sums up beautifully the state of debate in the online world and it’s certainly food for thoughts. “There is a big gap between what people really know and what people show they know. When you go up to a fight or a battle, you always prepare yourself with the best training or weapons, and I don’t think that happens. That’s why there is nothing really constructive coming up online.”