Blistering.com: What can you tell us about the special edition of Alpha Noir, Omega White?
Ribeiro: It is a full album that is going to be released with Alpha Noir on a special edition. This idea was everything we wanted so that people have the chance to travel in between the two worlds we tried to portray. It might be crazy or hard to get it in the age of buying just one song on I tunes, or flip through pages nonstop, but we wanted to maintain the artistic integrity from this big picture we took where finally we could get together all elements, all parts of Moonspell. I hope it works, one never knows, so itís better to stick to your original idea, to what you really want to represent instead of trying and second guess what goes in the mind of people and write to an agenda of festivals and touring opportunities.
Blistering.com: The band has made several trips over to the United States, so how do think the band fits in? Do you think having better label support will help in America?
Ribeiro: We have a very small, but loyal following. You can see that in the cities mostly and I also feel we have a strong support from all the Hispanic immigrants as we have many fans all around North America. We are thankful to all of these chosen few but in truth, we are a virtually unknown in most of North America, outside those I mentioned above. Our fans are fragmented between people who were into European metal for long, some still follow us, others lost touch. Then we have people who saw us touring with In Flames back in 1999 and started showing up in the gigs and tours we did since then, which were, I believe, ten so far. All of this has been a very slow, time and resources consuming so far. All in all I guess we did great tours, with established names like Danzig, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Opeth, Type O Negative but I feel they were all false starts. I hope this new album and this new label will be the glue to tie all the pieces and that we can give the next step in North America and play more, to more people.
Blistering.com: Any regrets in regards to the Sin/Pecado album? It has always been the most controversial album in your discography, but 15 or so years later, it holds up pretty well.
Ribeiro: I just regret some of the production aspects of it, and the time we took to finish the songs in the studio when they could have sounded more powerful like the demos. But thatís it and that can be said from almost any album. If you settle or are happy with something and donít question, then you are dead as an artist, your restlessness is gone. I am sure that in a couple of years I will question some of our choices for the new record, but the time is still new to enjoy. But in fact music is not perfect, the human factor is there and I have realized thatís one of our best things to offer as a band, thatís why we get so involved in every process and detail and for sure that does not create any profound or irreconcilable regrets. The Sin album was destined to open our waters and we became a better band afterwards. We need no one to tell us how our own story goes as we are writing it ourselves. Holding pretty well, indeed.
Blistering.com: Youíve managed to survive in the underground for over two decades, in Portugal, no less. Whatís the secret?
Ribeiro: The capacity of learning with experience and observation through all these years. The capacity we worked on, for years and years, to separate whatís essential from whatís peripheral, concentrating on our music because thatís the only thing we can really excel at and make it under our own terms. To come from Portugal means a lot for us and not all is good. Weíre a forgotten country; nobody expects nothing from, least at all, a heavy metal band. Just to travel to the shows from here is a nightmare; weíre far from where things are happening. All we have was conquered inch by inch and weíre always able to keep our expectations real. There is always more than meets the eye of the crowd, the story they tell about you is not really what youíre living. And to know that is what keeps your head above the waters.
Blistering.com: How did it make you feel having your own postage stamp in Portugal for the Wolfheart album?
Ribeiro: It was a moment of poetic justice. I do not know about the other Portuguese bands that were immortalized on a stamp, but Moonspell were heavy into tape trading and knew inside out how the Postal Service worked and how to get around their abusive postage prices. I have to say I was really proud of that after so many years using the Post. I would never believe if someone told me at the time that I could ship my tapes using my own stamp.
Blistering.com: Clearly, you are one of Portugalís biggest metal exports. How much pride and/or responsibility do you feel knowing that when people think of Portuguese metal, they think of Moonspell?
Ribeiro: I really donít know. Our crowd in Portugal is strong, but the scene kind of hates us for what we are. Portugal has this twisted way of dealing with success. Our best values never really have a fair treatment in our own country. Our only Literature Nobel Prize winner (Josť Saramago, 1998) moved to Spain after his book was taken of the list for a European Prize title by our government. I feel happy if we can break the ice on a festival where Portuguese metallers meet with foreign ones, but I fear that they are not always saying nice things. Itís a strange feeling most of the times but not strong enough for us to leave our country in search of greener pastures like many musicians here do. There is a lot more than haters in our country, our very own inspiration lives and breeds here, on our legends, myths and Southern culture.
Blistering.com: Finally, whatís on the agenda for the rest of 2012?
Ribeiro: We start touring in May, Summer Metal Festival season that goes up to the end of August. Weíll be all around, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Austria, Holland, etc. We also have the album release party in Lisbon, on a hometown gig. Itís our biggest headline show so far, for a 4,000 thousand capacity, letís hope we donít take a huge dive, cross my fingers! Then more festivals, headliner shows and a tour in November. In December we will join the Barge to Hell Metal cruise, weíve been on the 70.000 Tons of Metal, so we look forward to it. So weíll take the chance and try to book things around overseas and take Alpha Noir right into your town!