Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Love For All Things Metal: Mike Gaspar Interview!

I have only  pleasure of hearing "Moonspell" for their lastest release on Napalm Records I have been fortunate enough to review.(5 stars!) What an incredible album it is on so many different levels this will be one I will listen to for years to come.

Being a drummer myself I found myself beyond excited when there was an email saying that the drummer for "Moonspell"(Mike Gasper)was available for telephone interviews. I did do an interview with Mike via phone however the interview did not save so I thought that was it Nathan Birk(Napalm Records)said not a problem-send the questions by email and he will have Mike answer them again, so VERY kind of the both of them to do that.
Thanks very much guys!

1-Congrats on Alpha Noir its a great album.

How does it feel to be back have a hot album out and going out on tour?

Feels great to be back with something fresh and new for the fans to experience live. These days I try not to get too excited so that I can concentrate on the best performance. Being a drummer it takes a lot out of me and with the traveling I have got to stay calm . But when I´m on stage I just give it all i got like there´s no tomorrow ! 

2--What do you do to warm up before you start playing?

I like to stretch a lot do some breathing exercises  get my practice pad out and do some simple drum rudiments, drink a lot of water and listen to some good metal to get me going . I like to sweat a bit before show to get the blood pumping. Sometimes I´ll do some Taekwondo to get me in the battle mood .

3--Love is Blasphemy has some very difficult time changes throughout, very busy as well how long did it take to get that song down to a science?

Well all the songs took some time to compose and record . But this song was so driven that most of the parts just came out naturally . I like to run from time to time so thats how i saw the songs just run like crazy!

I did take a while to get the feeling right on the solid simple bass snare parts , I really wanted it to feel like I was pounding on a 28" bass drum to get the Hard Rock touch from the 80´s. The more complicated double bass tom fills was more from my Death Metal roots . Just pounding on drums like a cave man ! hr hr

4--I feel heavy metal rarely ever gets the attention it deserves, I remember Vinnie Paul(Pantera, Hellyeah) gracing the cover of Modern Drummer a few years ago and the next issue people slamming the magazine for having him on the cover and saying that Heavy Metal drummers should not be in that magazine-any thoughts on that?

I have that issue and it inspired me a lot. He is for sure one of the best drummers ever and anyone who says not is pretty ignorant . It pretty hard to groove do complex beats and hit the drums like a man. It´s another level of intensity just like Jazz back in the early 20th century that for sure everyone at that time thought these cats were sons of satan!!  I bet that 100 years from now many  metal bands will be considered revolutionary and ahead of it´s time . Kinda like the way we see Jazz or older styles of music. Music is music and if people listen too it than it has its importance. The metal community is very open to other forms of music and has incorporated it in metal raising the bar from generation to generation. It is unfair and unjust to have an opinion on a matter we know nothing about. Their loss fuck em !!

5--Who did you admire as a drummer growing up and any that you like now?

Many many....  as a kid Tommy Lee and Alex Van Halen were huge influences. As a Teenager drummers like Pete Sandoval,Dave Lombardo and Gene Hoglan were there the best and fastest drummers around. Igor Cavalera from Sepultura gave me the tribal elements I needed. His grooves are off the wall and the souther American reality really connected with me coming from Portugal and also having a lot of African Brazilian influences here. Vinnie Paul I saw him with the album Cowboys from Hell when I was 14 and I was in the front row in the mosh do I need to say more ! Many more drummers have inspired me I try to learn and appreciate as much as I can and in all styles you can always find something cool if you look and listen with an open mind 

6--With 4 years between records did you have any side projects that you were apart of , how did you keep your drumming up?

Wow we took 4 years because we were on tour a lot , every break we had in the 4 year period was to write work with producers on 3 different occasions during 3 years and the recording of 2 album in one year. We also did an acoustic project and toured in theaters in Portugal and long rehearsals with 3 female vocalists  4 cellos and a percussionist all on the same  stage. You should ask how i have not gone crazy he he. In reality I learned a lot about drumming with all the Moonspell projects it gets pretty crazy sometimes and all the time I have free is to recover be with the family and do taekwondo. I also teach and it´s a lot of hard work. But very gratifying 

7--I have noticed that you like to hit the toms and the floor tom allot more than I remember other drummers-you certainly have a sound all your own.
 Don´t know it´s just normal for us I´ve been in the band for 20 years and there is always a tom part waiting to happen. I think this is due to the big influence of Dead Cab Dance a world music band that mix elements from all over the world and the percussions and vocals are amazing. the mood you can set for other instruments using the bare wood sound of the drums just brings out the organic feeling bringing us back to other times other civilizations . Brings a bit of our historic past and ethnic  roots together .  You can see me as a world music metal drummer :) But I have to say on this new release I went more for the drive and more rock n roll punch in the gut feeling on Alpha. Omega has a ore classic rock big drums touch to it. With so many albums it´s good to hear all the diferent stuff I´ve done. But always making the band sound it´s best that´s my main goal over the years.

8--Do you look forward to being on the road again? or as I have heard from musicians its a love/hate thing being on tour.

I love being on tour as I love being at home. With me I always miss home before leaving and would rather stay with the family. But once I´m on the road it feels like I never left and just absorb everything . I rock the hell out of tour for the fact that I´m a huge fan of metal and when I´m not playing i just feel like a kid that can get aways with anything !! Sometimes it´s hard to go back to normal reality always takes a while to calm down and get back into a routine. Guess I´m pretty use to it just try to enjoy all the moments I can . I have dreamed of cloning myself so I could be home and on the road at the same time!

9--The opening part of "Sine Missione" at the lead in there are some gongs and off tempo drum parts, then you get into the melody as it progresses nicely, who wrote that track?

This track came from Pedro trying some cool keyboard sounds and programming . Ricardo came in with that awesome riff and I laid the drums done with not much practice. We kept it fresh to the last minute and tried not to complicate just be a bit spontaneous like an infernal jam . It had to be majestic and symphonic like other things we have done in the past! Stuff like this is really easy and fun for us. All scary type movie soundtrack are stuff we have dabbled with for years . We try not to do to much so we won´t bore people but when we can it will pop up and be surprising 

11--Also what is your favorite part of the drum and why?

I would have to say the snare drum because if I had to just pick one element that would be the one I could jam with. I use to do marching band and all I had was a snare drum and I  did so many things with it. I would use the rims as cymbals , change the snare sound to the open tom sound it had when you would release the snares from the skin. Drum corps is a great introduction to drums you learn to do so much with it. 

12--I love the video for "Lickanthrope" was that the bands idea or the directors?

A bit of both. The story was written by fernando but Filipe Melo saw immediately his vision and elaborated an amazing plot for our video. He is a huge fan of Hammer movies and all that is really scary. He just love monsters and a lot of blood always! He did the first ever zombie movie in portugal and we worked with him 10 years ago and new what a nut he is. He is also a famous Jazz pianist. This helps a lot because he is a musician and helps bringing both world together to result in something epic .He was amazing and got the whole community in a small town in the north of portugal to help make this. It was a big production felt like i was in Hollywood. Many thanks to all the wonderful people that stayed there for hours after hours working . Salute

13--Since you have been away for four years how has Heavy Metal changed over the years and the industry?

Everything is much faster thats for sure. I could complain about many thing but the fact is there are more people going to live shows and listening to music from all areas of the world. If you pay for it or not it´s your judgment. We understand the difficulties and economics we are going through. Some people can´t get metal for religious reason or political. To get the music to anyone anywhere in the world by the web that easy . Is a a victory for people like us that came from the underground fighting for better music and conditions. I think that goal was achieved :)

Thanks Mike for the interview I really appreciate it
Anthony Nadeau
(Behind The Scenes)

Also your tours this year and maybe you can go over what you said to me about a North American Tour of the US/Canada

Check our dates on Myspace or facebook . Us only Barge to Hell at the moment but we are working on a full American Canada tour for 2013. Can´t wait to see you all brothers.

Take care and stay safe,

Metal On ,

Mike Gaspar

Thank you for reading this
Compiled from an email by
Anthony Nadeau

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