25 years meditations#1:Is it okay to like Depeche Mode now?

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Depeche Mode has just shared, a few weeks ago, the new video /directed by Anton Corbjin). The song is called “Where’s the revolution?” and Spin writer Anna Gaca was fast in putting it down as you can read yourself here and make your own mind. She didn’t find any revolution here left alone the pun intended. Is it just a political song? She might have failed to find revolution here but at least she helped me to find devolution in her written wannabe words. Thinking backwards she dismiss the song  in favor of checking her credit card balance. Sad for someone who gets paid because of music. Anyway…people, where’s that revolution then, the real one from which DM are so  tragically late to.  Is the revolution Lemonade?

https://www.google.pt/amp/www.spin.com/2017/02/depeche-mode-wheres-the-revolution-video%3Famp%3D1?client=safari

No one is or should be immune to criticism. The way critics are made is another story but too big for my writing skills. I rather tell you my story with this amazing, ground-breaking band, which kept their standards high and their style meaningful and gorgeous up to today.
My sister, Paula, she was always a big  DM fan. She went to the stadium gig, when DM made their debut live in Portugal. They played two gigs: Porto and Lisboa. It was back in 1993 and their coming coincided with my most ferrous devotion to tape trading and Underground. My sis needed company and she really, really tried to take me with her as it was easier to get away with brother instead of high-school partners in crime. I said no. And I meant it. On my radar there was everything but DM back then. I was into bands you never probably heard of: Bathym (US), Lamentation (Brazil), Sacred Crucifix (Finland), Root (Czech Republic) and of course also into bands that were breaking through and reaching greater heights like Paradise Lost, Tiamat, Samael, Master’s Hammer. That was my thing back then. Much more than girls, going out, bikes or whatever. My sister went anyway and I stayed home with my demo tapes.

In retrospect, I regret it. And next time DM came to Portugal, already  in the two-thousands (2009) I was there with my sister, appreciating and enjoying this amazing band, paying a long time due debt to Paula and filing a hole in my musical education. If we go back a mere two years to the release of Ultra (without discussion one of the strongest comeback albums for “veteran” bands) the plot thickens. We were opening and expanding our sound back then and decided to cover Sacred (Music for the Masses) for our Second Skin EP which will precede our album next year (1998) Sin/Pecado.

We all know the outcome. MOONSPELL was under fire as many others were (Paradise Lost, for example were bombarded by the Metal scene and many of their die-hard fans). In Flames also covered Everything counts for Whoracle but that had minimum impact on their career and in the opinion of their fans. Depeche Mode was anathema in the Metal scene, with magazines and fans (the majority of them, at least), rejecting and condemning  their influence in Metal band members, disregarding  bands that were formed to do a bit more than parroting their own albums ad nauseam…

Fast forward a few years, there was other bands like Lacuna Coil who covered the same band (Enjoy the Silence) and actually their fans liked and supported it. A few years more into the game,  it seems that Metal and Extreme music made their peace with DM and you can see now a lot of Metal musicians and fans sharing, complementing and loving the band’s new single, contrary to the scene they helped forming (Indie/Pop) which now despise them and deem them as invalid in the contemporary scene. Ingratitude . It’s a hard challenge for me to find a band in the same vein in the Pop scene right now but then again I must be mistaken in this Beyoncé dominated Indie scene, where only sugar or plain weird seem to make their way into the snobbish court of meaningful.

These 25 notes I will write this year, make rapport with a lot of stuff that happened to us and that turned our impeccable career  start (Wolfheart + Irreligious to the eyes of many are our only worthy efforts) into something discussable, muddy and aggressive. Even if we all are now older and wiser, each one of us, that reaction affected us until today and, who knows, might have spoiled our opportunity to be a big band instead of a cult band. After all, it’s not what you are or become along the way that interests people. Mostly, they have one idea about you, I mean a general idea shared by the many elements on the scene (promoters, bands, fellow musicians, fans) and that’s what counts when bills are settled. And it’s evident for me that so many who followed up MOONSPELL and left us behind still have that idea, a notion of selling out that chases us everywhere we go and maculates everything we do, solid or not.

I do not wish to complain here  but to merely observe. I am quite happy with what MOONSPELL became and with the fact that in the end of the battle we are still standing and won’t go down without a long, very long and hard fight. On then other hand, I want to be honest, as I always believed that speaking or writing frankly is at least important for what the band is and for what I, as a member, experienced myself on this improbable story of ours. Fighting for a band is so much more than touring, writing,  proofing yourself, traveling. It’s first and foremost a battle against the prejudice there is inside our own style which has shaped the metal scene in what is today: a parade of Disney princesses or Disney ogres which are incensed and forgiven by their fans no matter what they do, dress or behave. The end of the nineties was a hard time for people who wanted to twist the rules that were not even supposed to exist in music in the fist place. Bands like Celtic Frost or Bathory (maybe the most important bands in the birth of Underground Metal) showed us that by their varied (and yet polemic) musical span,creation and reach.

Nowadays it’s easier to deal with stuff. We are 25 years old as a band and nothing sticks to us. We are truly independent to do whatever we want, maintaining what we really are inside, Depeche Mode or Cannibal Corpse, it doesn’t matter, we love them both for all the right reasons . Yet, this shadow still hangs and I know we will never get rid of it, that we have learnt to live under its shade. When people ask me what changed in 25 years, I say little has changed. We still fight to get our name in the festival posters when t’s not there even tough we think band X or Y is being promoted at our expenses; or fight for slots which should come just out of respect. In a word, credibility is not something we have in the way we thought we should, after such long time. Credibility doesn’t come easy for us but that’s a subject for my second note , if you be so kind and waiting a few more days.You will find out more about  what goes through my mind in 2017, the year a Portuguese band who started black and wasn’t afraid of other colours , reached the quarter of a century. The ugly cinderella wolf that never sat with the big boys but always managed to drift the obstacles becoming their own masters.

 

#depechemode #spinmagazine #moonspell #fernandomoon #metalinthenineties#uglycinderellawolf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 years meditations#1:Is it okay to like Depeche Mode now?

8 thoughts on “25 years meditations#1:Is it okay to like Depeche Mode now?

  1. Sandra says:

    Wonderful post again. Moonspell is respected for everyone who truly knows your career. Like you said years ago on your column on Loud magazine there will be always ” o balde de caranguejos”. But who cares about idiots? They do not make history. People like you do. Your band is amazing and have always enlightning my life. I’ve been your fan for twenty years now, applaude all your inovations and love every single album. Music is not about stupid prejudice is about heart. At least the real one, like yours. And Depeche mode, whom I like very very much and have seen live twice. Thank you again, you truly are a magnificent artist.

    Like

  2. Monique says:

    I’m so glad to have found this site. Great to read your thoughts. I’m a big Moonspell fan from day one and think the band couldn’t be much better than today. I’ve been to the Lisboa show for the dvd recordings, all the way from Holland and it was worth every second of it. Depeche Mode is a band i liked when i was younger and i still go to their shows in the Netherlands for old time sake. But for now i’m still under the spell from the best show i have ever seen .

    Like

  3. Sandra says:

    Wonderful post again. Moonspell is respected for everyone who truly knows your career. Like you said years ago on your column on Loud magazine there will be always ” o balde de caranguejos”. But who cares about idiots? They do not make history. People like you do. Your band is amazing and have always enlightning my life. I’ve been your fan for twenty years now, applaude all your inovations and love every single album. Music is not about stupid prejudice is about heart. At least the real one, like yours. And Depeche mode, whom I like very very much and have seen live twice.
    Thank you again for your work. You truly are a magnificent artist.

    Like

  4. Thank you for sharing!
    I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity and expression lately, and it seems to me that some people (many of them, and loud too) confuse idle criticism for creating. “This is not what you SHOULD be doing or have done consistently for years, so I will hate it. I won’t even give it a chance” (I think you mentioned something similar about some reactions to Metallica’s new album). Being truly creative though, in the sense of making something original but also just the honest act of making, is a lonely place! I haven’t done anything groundbreaking but I imagine it’s like being at the top of the hill and watching what lies ahead. Maybe even carries a bit of Cassandra complex…
    One of the many things I love about Moonspell is how each of the albums have “a soul” of their own. Work grows and questions itself and explores other roads and it’s almost on a quest. Or I might be reading too hard between the lines, but it truly feels this way. And I can imagine that the only way to do that is to be daring, to take in as much as is possible, grind it and give it back. I wonder, do you think there is a silver lining to fighting tiresome fight of proving yourselves over and over? If it were otherwise, do you think there would be more pressure on you not to go where others don’t dare to go and say what others don’t dare to say?
    I look forward to the rest of your meditations 🙂

    Like

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