Moonshade are a Lusitanian metal band, formed in 2010, hailing from northern Portugal. Through the medium of their music they aim to redefine the beauty in chaos, and death in despair.

How would you describe your music?

Moonshade are the Lusitanian response to the more melodic side of death-metal, with a charismatic and deeply personal sound signature that mixes a myriad of other musical influences that go beyond the genre. Until now, we have been focused on epic songs with a healthy dose of heavy riffs and guttural vocals.

Tell us about how the history of the project?

In 2009, Pedro Quelhas and Cristiano Brito parted with their former musical project (Deep Cut), determined to venture on a new project and a different kind of sound. Inspired by the rising northern melodic death-metal scene, and by fusing that with multitude of different musical influences that focused on mixing heavy and melodic elements, the core of Moonshade’s sound was, thus, defined.

Ricardo Pereira (singer/lyricist) and former members Dinis Martins (guitarist) and Ruben (bassist), joined shortly after. In 2010, the band’s first demo, titled The Path Of Redemption, was released online for free. In 2014, by joining forces with session drummer Luís Neto (Shell From Oceanic), their latest EP was released: Dream | Oblivion, a concept work, Moonshade had to undergo changes in their formation that lead to the entrance of Sandro Rodrigues (drummer), Afonso Aguiar (bassist) and Daniel Laureano (guitarist), along with Nuno Barbosa (keyboards).

In 2015, Moonshade continued to bring Dream | Oblivion to the masses, with concerts in events such as Vagos Open Air and Pax Julia Metal Fest, allowing them to share the stage with bands like Amorphis, Heaven Shall Burn, Within Temptation, Vildhjarta and Avulsed, to name a few. After this, in 2018, the band released its first full-length album, titled Sun Dethroned (Art Gates Records, 2018), along with our very first music video for the album’s title track, directed by Guilherme Henriques, who directed videos for names such as Belphegor, Wormed and Noctem, among many others. 

Right now, after two very successful presentation shows in Lisboa and Porto, we are still bringing Sun Dethroned to the masses via live shows, while composing our next album.

What are your influences/ musical heroes?

We have myriad different influences between band members. Common tastes between us are Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium, and Amorphis. We also listen to a great deal of artists that don’t play metal, not just because we like them, but because it’s necessary in order to bring fresh ideas to the table.

What inspires you?

Experience tells us that the best songs come when we are just enjoying our friendship and camaraderie to the fullest. The rest can come from anything artistic, even poetry, a good book, an amazing painting. It also goes without saying that our greatest inspirations besides ourselves come from other musicians.

Do you write on the road? Or do you prefer to write in the studio?

We usually bring riffs from home and write the songs on our personal studio. The lyrics are usually written at home or wherever our singer can find industrial doses of coffee and silence.

What is your favourite song to perform live?

Songs are like children: picking favourites seems hard, but every parent secretly has one. It also depends on the show. Whenever the crowd decides to go completely crazy, it feels better to perform. Goddess Eternal, from our previous EP, is usually our closing song and it’s when crowd response is at its peak. 

What would be your dream tour to be a part of?

That’s a hard question, considering our wide variety of influences and the fact that we’re not an elitist bunch. To be completely honest, our dream tour would be one that would attract an immense number of people to our music. We put incredible amounts of hard work and dedication into it, so our top priority is to take it as far as possible.

What are you current thoughts on the music industry?

It’s not easy. There are more bands than ever, access to music is one click away, and due to the sheer amount of releases and accessibility, bands and albums become easily forgettable. It’s not enough to have a good release wrapped in great artwork, you need to stay afloat in the sea of publicity, or risk that your release falls to oblivion. More than ever, bands need to love what they do, because it’s the only way to stay motivated.

What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?

We haven’t toured a lot yet, but we’ve had some funny stories. Once, a guy fell asleep on top of our guitarist’s stage monitor and a piss-drunk middle aged lady just dropkicked the poor man without mercy, after which she proceeded to give our vocalist a thumbs up. Then she offered him two shots of a weird blue drink. It was probably the closest thing we had to having a groupie.

What are your future plans?

Every band wants to make it big. Some want to do it at all cost, and then there are maniacs like us who want to do it while compromising nothing regarding our professional attitude and our personal tastes. We’re not expecting this to be easy, but easy is rarely fun anyway. 

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