Fernando Ribeiro is not only one of the most charismatic frontman on the metal scene, but he also takes a role of the strongest protector of gothic philosophy and his Moonspell are practically Portuguese national treasure. The band went through significant progress, during its quarter of a century existence, but upcoming list of Fernando’s most favorite albums perfectly shows his inspirational sources. On top of that we included some classic questions for this series and few latest news.
Bathory – Blood Fire Death (1988)
Even though it wasn’t the first album I heard from Quorthon, it was the album that influenced me the most from Bathory. It was already showing signs of what was to come, but still it had the undeniable black mark on it.
Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses (1993)
This record, when it came out, literally changed my life, my musical taste, my ambitions as a singer and my notions of romantic dark love. A one of a kind album!
Celtic Frost – Into the Pandemonium (1987)
This is a brilliant album and in my opinion the originator of avant-garde metal. Big influence for us especially the oriental, experimental touch.
Paradise Lost – Gothic (1991)
I have been following PL since their demo days and interviewed them for our fanzine back in 1989 (!). This album was everything when it came out and maybe it’s the one of the few true Gothic Metal albums ever done. Dark, deep, heavy – no happy camper bullshit!
Root – Hell Symphony (1991)
This virtually unknown band from Brno, Czech Republic is one our biggest inspirations and maybe the best Underground band ever. Very talented songwriting. If we recorded an album with songs from other band, it would be this album for sure.
Fields of the Nephilim – Earth Inferno (1991)
Nothing and no one can beat the atmosphere of this live album and a lesson in dark, spiritual, shamanic dark rock. We played it many times on the tape recorded of our van while touring in the early days.
The Sisters of Mercy – First and Last and Always (1985)
Impossible not to love this band if you love dark music, well-done, well written. The personality is amazing and everlasting. Best band from the nineties!
King Diamond – Abigail (1987)
It’s like listening to a movie, follow the script, get scared, and get hopeful. The whole album is an experience if you are into scary, intelligent movies.
Katatonia – Viva Emptiness (2003)
So mature, so artistic, quite a breakthrough for me and a sign that Underground Metal bands can still be very creative and walk their own way with such quality and depth.
Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar (2017)
Just come out this year and saved my life! Ulver started being impossible to categorize many moons ago yet, this album is pure Art and such a welcome breath of fresh air on an otherwise boring scene with blonde females singing and poor song structures. This is an album for people who know what to listen.
More from Fernando Ribeiro
What is the first album you bought?
With my own money it was Under The Sign Of The Black Mark from Bathory.
When did you decide to devote your life to a music career?
I didn’t. It really happened by chance. I was studying philosophy to be a teacher, yet I started touring and things started happening with the band.
How are you trying to grow as a singer and an author?
The best I can. Improving my diction, vocals skills and ranges with every album and of course taking care of my vocals properly. I am singing for over 20 years now.
Be yourself at all times!
Could you please mention the brand(s) of microphones you prefer?
I really don’t care my techs do 😉 I sang most of the times with Shure of course, but now I am sponsored by a brand called Sontronics, I use the model STC-80 which has a cool range for my deep quieter vocals and screaming/shouting. On studio I use what the producer prefers. I am not a diva. 😉
What is inspiring you the most in the past few years within music, literature, poetry?
A bit of that, a bit of life, a bit of reflection about the world. Writing music is like painting headlights to a dark place, you discover, things change shape. All that dynamics fit our music.
Your music underwent relatively significant development throughout the decades. What contributed to this evolution?
The feeling we can do better and some creative independent spirit which brings us never to repeat concepts or ideas. That’s what matters the most.
What is the biggest lesson, music industry gave you?
Be yourself at all times!
What is fascinating you on the gothic world?
The understanding of darkness, the elegance, the beautiful people.
How do you judge an “interpretation” of this philosophy in today’s society? I am a classic fan of The Gathering and I am a huge fan of Ava Inferi. However both music and movie industry have contributed to the fact, number of values are just used for money…
Numbers are everything for everyone. At any level. We can’t be naive. You can only stay pure if you know that and still you write from the heart and spend your time doing musicians things which is not only to share stories on Instagram and wave to the fans: “Hey I’m with Slayer backstage!” 😉
I had the honor to be present at your concerts 12/11/2016 at Caen France. It was relatively a small venue. Do you prefer bigger festival show or intimate club show?
I don’t care. I prefer a stage, an altar where I can be with the other wolves playing music and spreading our message. Live music is an energy that can work anywhere.
During the Caen show, you played the spectrum of new, but mainly older songs. Is it becoming a bigger challenge these days to create an adequate setlist? I do remember a Masters of Rock show, where you concentrated only on the very early material.
Yes, it’s a big challenge. All around this summer all we were playing “vintage sets” to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary, yet we like to play more diverse sets and that will start happening after festivals.
What motivated you to make album in Portuguese? Was it your long term dream to write about the Great Lisbon Earthquake, of 1755?
Indeed it was. I am fascinated about the subject since 30 years ago. Portuguese became obvious for me when I wrote the lyrics and they were a story about Lisbon, Portugal, the Portuguese mainly so I decided to keep it in Portuguese. I hope people will enjoy this new adventure.