Portuguese dark metal band, Moonspell, followed by The Foreshadowing (Italy), Eleine (Sweden), and Phantasmagoria (Croatia) has revived the dark in Serbian audience last Wednesday.
By: Marina Petrovic Photo: Bojan Krnjajic
Several days has passed since the latest visit of Pyrenean vampires to the Balkans. Followed by friends from Italy, Sweden, and Croatia, Moonspell has made the night of the 5th of October memorable, as any previous show in Belgrade, Serbia.
Belgrade Youth Centre opened its doors to the audience around 8.30pm, and visitors who gathered at the plateau of BYC started finishing their drinks and cigarettes, so they could move in for the concert. Soon after, the first riffs strolled the Americana hall, welcoming arriving audience.
First to perform was Croatian gothic-rock band, Phantasmagoria. After two opening song, Lightness, and In the middle, they greeted the audience, and introduced themselves. A welcoming response from the audience followed: “We know. We know who you are. You haven’t been around for a while”. As a salutation to this, the band played the song Broken mirror.
After their performance, we’ve talked to the Tommy, vocal of the band, who said that they’re happy with the show…
– We’re always happy to come to the Belgrade. Only once we had a small fiasco, we’ve played on Megaton’s Halloween. Day after the Halloween, which lasted for four days in some factory… It wasn’t so crowded, and it was skimble-skamble. We first played in the Academy, there were many bands, it was great; After that, we played in SKC ( Student cultural centre ) with Mizar, that was good, as well. Then we played with Finns, Charon. That was crazy! It was crowded, and the atmosphere was fantastic. We’re here for the fifth time now, which is not much for our career, but that’s the situation, unfortunately. We’d like to be here more often, but there’s no suitable occasion so often.
And some solo show?
– We’d love that, but we’re preparing an album now which is due to be released next year. Then it will be a whole different story…
What’s in plan for the album?
– Look, we’re recording it for ten years now, so we don’t have any new stuff, but the those we already play; It’s just that we haven’t recorded them yet. Most of the song we played tonight will be on the album. We have materials for three albums, but you know how it is – always some trouble with lining of the band. When we think we have something, the lining falls apart, so we have to do it all over again. That’s our karma, I guess, and of course, there’s always trouble with money, because we don’t want to record something just so it would be recorded, we want to have everything arranged well. Slovenian producer, Petar Penko, will do everything regarding this, so everything will be very serious.
So we can definitely expect it next year?
– I hope so. Dallas Rec. should publish it, we just need to record it.
– Definitely! Here’s the plan – in December, we should enter the studio, and record three songs, and a video; We just can’t decide on the songs, but we will. That’s why we want to play live as much as we can; That’s how you can see how each song sounds, how the audience reacts, what’s good, what’s not, so we’re trying everything out.
While Tommy and I chatted, Swedish Eleine were already on stage capturing the attention of the audience with their mixture of sympho metal, oriental motifs and dance. Even though this was their first show in Serbia, the made it worthwhile and the audience reacted very well to the Northmen. They cheered the audience often, addressing them between the songs, and it seems everyone had good time.
Eleine, cover face and the vocal of the band, said that they had a great time with us…
This is your first time here. How did it go?
– I think it was awesome, the audience couldn’t have been better. It was like… It was like perfect. We were really looking forward to Serbia, because we have some friends here, so we were up and longing for this.
Not long ago, you’ve released you debut album. Tell us about that.
– We released it last year, and this year we’ll release the single. We want to release something new, and this song means a lot to us. We’ve been through a lot together, and [ the song ] Break, take, live is all about breaking loose from the life that you don’t want to live, and do what you want to do. Never regret the things you never did.
You’ve played the song Story untold. That one is still not released. When can we expect it?
– We can’t say anything yet, we’re working on it, but we’re writing new material all the time, and right now we don’t have a record label, and we’re looking for one, so we’re somewhere in between.
How did you come up with combing sympho metal with belly-dance?
– I’ve always been interested in the belly-dance, but I’ve never had the courage as a Swedish, and the last year I said, ‘you know, I want to do this’. I like the feeling of oriental elements in metal music, and I think that Moonspell has a lot of that in the last album, and I love that album, it’s really amazing.
Do you plan on coming again soon?
– Oh, yes! We have to! You are an amazing audience! I’m happy that there were so many people, even though it was the Moonspell’s concert, so it was really a compliment.
Italians, The Foreshadowing, has already taken over the stage and lowered the pall onto Americana in their lucid performance when Eleine and I finished. Gothic-doom sounded wonderful, and everyone accepted them well. Awesome combination of light and sound effects really made perfect atmosphere in Americana hall. The Italians were already familiar with Serbian audience, so everything was great, and both sides were satisfied. We talked with Alessandro Pace, guitarist of the band…
You, guys, are already musical veterans. How does it feel to play in front of someone like Moonspell?
– This is our second tour with Moonspell. We played in USA and Canada three years ago. They are really open people, really fun guys… We’ve established a really strong relation with them.
How did it go? Did you have a good time?
– Pretty cool, yea. I like it. This is the fourth show we’re doing with Moonspell, and this is the second time we were playing in Belgrade. Last time was in 2008. at the Legacy festival. It was great! I think it’s the main push to continue, the contact with people, the connection we establish with the audience. At least for us, that is the best part of playing live.
About singles, albums, videos…
– We’re about to finish this tour, and we will have another short tour in Italy, and maybe we will have some specials in Italy… I don’t know; We’re always working on new stuff, so of course we will start arranging for the new stuff, and we’re always looking for opportunities to play, because it’s the best way for the band to promote, especially in Europe. We are glad we got the chance to play with the Moonspell, because it’s hard to find suitable bands for that.
As Alessandro and I were wrapping up our conversation, Fernando was greeting the audience, which has now become numerous. It was easy to see the impatience among the audience about the return of the Pyrenean vampires, so each side had no difficulties in achieving contact with the other one. Fernando has been changing his outfit several times throughout the show, and addressed the audience often during, and between the songs. He worked on including the audience into the show, so we had a situation when he asked the audience to raise their hands and make a maloik sign, and to that, the band replied with the song Mephisto. The audience, which is used to the unique shows of the Moonspell, reacted greatly, especially to the songs Opium, Vampiria, New Religion, and the moment of disbelief followed when Fernando called for Eleine to join him on stage, and sing alongside the Scorpion Flower.
In the end of the show, as they said their farewell to the audience, an outcry from the audience followed. Few minutes later, the band returned to the stage, and performed three more songs before they said their final goodbye for this visit.
Afterwards, they greeted us in the backstage. Fernando said he was happy with the show, and announced possible visit next year…
Guys, thank you for tonight; You were great!
– Yes, it was an amazing show!
It was a while since your last visit, so… How do you feel after tonight’s show?
– Great! Sometimes it takes a while to miss a country, and find it again. I don’t know why the Moonspell’s tour hasn’t passed through Serbia last year, but it’s no use to cry over wasted time. We are glad we are here today, it was fantastic, a kick-ass tour, and I feel that today was a really great atmosphere for everyone.
About the last album, Extinct…
– The last album was released one and a half years ago, and since then we’ve been, basically, on tour. With Europe, this is the fifth time, we had a couple of tours in North America, and we were on some festivals, and I think it’s going great. We thought that it’s a quite special album that we did; I’m truly happy with this album, it’s great to do whatever comes from your heart, and be, actually, supported by so many fans.
Here, you can now feel at home…
– Hehe, yes, that that’s true. I mean, I’m happy! Sometimes you play to a lot people, sometimes not, but to what comes is about what the people takes home, and that’s why there’s never a bad day on tour; The show must always be good, even if it’s two people attending.
We’re always happy to have you here, and I hope you’ll come back soon… Maybe with new videos?
– Yes! I hope so. We have good friends here, so we should come back soon. It’s, basically, touring, but we’re working on new material for an EP, we’ve recorded some songs, and next year we’ll have a DVD out; We’re going to record one or two big shows in Portugal, and that’s our plan for now.
When we draw the line, everything was great from the beginning until the end. Downside was that there wasn’t bit more people in the audience for this show of darkness, but it was nonetheless substantial.