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?
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