Moonshade is one of my Portuguese favorite bands, since I first heard them and got the EP back in 2014. They play an excellent Melodic Death Metal, that could be among the best in Europe. With the first album coming the 26th October (reviewed here), let's see what the band has to say. Here is the interview with Ricardo Pereira, the vocalist and lyricist.

Hello Ricardo, thanks a lot for this opportunity.
What are the band's major influences?

Greetings, and you’re welcome, it’s my pleasure! Currently, the band’s major influences are very difficult to pinpoint. Our musical tastes and major influences range from old-school commercial artists such as Megadeth, Metallica and Maiden, to lesser known bands such as Primordial, Swallow The Sun, and, obviously, melodic death metal bands like Insomnium and Amon Amarth. There are also many of artists outside metal that do wonders for our inspiration, such as Wardruna, Lana Del Rey, Dead Can Dance… Eminem’s “Kamikaze” has been ardently discussed a few times, revealing considerable differences of opinion between some bandmembers. We just might break up the band because of it!

Why did it take so long to release the first album "Sun Dethroned", four years after "Dream | Oblivion"?
Recording an album when is hard enough when making music is your day-job. When you have a career and a family, a 3-hour rehearsal a week is hard enough, let alone the hundreds of hours needed to record a decent album. Also, we’re perfectionists. I’m not saying the album is perfect – I wouldn’t be a proper perfectionist if I said so – but it’s the best we can do at the moment.

Congratulations for the album, it's awesome. What are the band's expectations?
Thank you. To be honest, I don’t think there were many expectations to begin with. We’re just glad the album will be out soon!

For the first time you got a record company. Why was Art Gate Records, from Spain, chosen? Did you have other offers?
We did get some offers, albeit not many. The ones we got were fair and came from people who actually believed in us, to whom we thank deeply. They know who they are.

Including your former bass player Afonso Aguiar (also on Dark Oath), that co-recorded, mixed and mastered the album, everything was made in-house. Daniel Laureano (guitar) took care of cover artwork and photos. This reveals an additional care and work team in controlling everything concerning the album, am I right?
Pedro, our guitarist, also participated in the mixing process and took care of editing, but Afonso was at the helm of the production department and did an amazing job at it. Daniel and I were responsible for conceptualizing the artwork, and together with Afonso we took the photos for the album artwork. However, Daniel truly made the image what it is through a metric ton of photoshop, which is actually his specialty, besides kickass guitar riffs!
Joël, also from Titanforged Productions (and Dark Oath) took care of the artwork’s design part, we just gave him ten edited photos and let him do what he does best… besides kickass guitar riffs. But to address the question, yes, we like to have our hands on everything, it’s kind of inevitable when you actually care about all art forms related with your brand, and not just the music.

In live shows is Nuno Barbosa moving from keyboards to bass? Will you have a keyboard player or just use recorded tracks?
Logistics-wise it’s much easier to operate a five-piece band, for one simple reason: “normal” cars usually don’t carry more than that! However, musically it’s always cooler to have someone actually play the orchestrations live. Getting another keyboard player is definitely on the debate table, just not on the near-future.

Congratulations for your care in writing. Where do you get inspiration for such dense lyrics?
Thank you! My inspiration comes mostly from poetry. I prefer to read in English because it’s great training for writing lyrics, and books in English are about half the price of books in Portuguese, so it’s kind of a win-win situation. Writers that influence my style are the likes of Edgar Alan Poe, John Keats, Oscar Wilde, and, of course, Shakespeare. In terms of lyricists, I have a great admiration for Dani Filth, Anders Friden from In Flames, Jonas Renkse from Katatonia and Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity, to name a few.

Are you preparing some album release parties? In Porto and Lisbon? Can you advance any details or dates?
Indeed we are! The shows will be announced soon, but for now I can confirm they will be held in Porto and Lisbon, both in December. More promotional events and surprises will appear along the way!

After lyric video The Flames that Forged Us, are you planning a video? Live or with a story?
Well, we already have a live video for Lenore and the lyric video you mentioned, so the next ones will be something different. One of our goals is to have a proper music video with great visuals and a compelling story, but that, if it comes to fruition, will be only for after the album’s release. Meanwhile, we have two more singles which will be out before October 26th, both in different formats!

Did you receive or do you expect to receive offers to play abroad? Would you like to play in a big Spanish festival? Can your professional occupations allow for an European tour, let's say, opening for Insomnium?
We do expect some offers to play abroad, that was one of the main points of signing with Art Gates Records, since they have many bands playing outside of Spain, some in big festivals and tours. If it comes down to touring with bands like Insomnium, that’s not the kind of offer you turn down if you really want to go pro, so I guess we would just have to make it happen!

How do you see the Portuguese Metal scene? Bands, shows, press, fans, sells?
Well, that’s always a tricky question, albeit a very pertinent one. We have spectacular bands in our scene, I could name more than a few off the top of my head, like Analepsy, The Voynich Code, Sinistro, Dark Oath, Gaerea, etc. We also have a few great promoters, press and overall people who get involved and work purely for love. However, at times this doesn’t look like much of a meritocracy. If you analyze portuguese bands purely on their originality and sheer musicianship, you find that the best of the best are often on the small print of gig posters, and some even have difficulties booking gigs.
However, it’s the audience who makes or breaks artistic events. So, to the audience: if you believe a band is good, show it! Share their stuff on social media and/or with your friends, buy their merch, show up at their shows and contact your local promoters, they will book your favorite bands if enough people vouch for them. Nobody likes an empty house!

What would be your dream, as a Metal band member?
I’m kind of living it right now. I love being a scientist and I love being a musician. To be able to do both without sacrificing one for the other is all that I need to by happy. However, if Moonshade had the chance of going mainstream and tour the world, I would probably take it. Who doesn’t want to be a rockstar, besides sane people?

And the last question, a message to the Sounds from Apocalypse readers?
Moonshade can be heard and read about on major streaming services and social media platforms. Pre-orders for Sun Dethroned merch and album are open and can be made at https://moonshade.bigcartel.com and www.artgatesrecords.com. Last but not least, a sincere thank you for taking an interest in both our work and my semi-coherent ramblings.

Thanks Brothers, looking forward to assist on the first row to your success. See you soon!

   Moonshade Facebook
   Moonshade - The Flames that Forged Us (Lyric Video)
   Moonshade - "Eventide"

	
    
    
    
    
   Back to Sounds from Apocalypse main page