Interview by Ricardo Dias ( guitar and ,melodic vocals )
1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We have been promoting our 4th new album " Abyss Masterpiece
"released by LISTENABLE RECORDS and it is getting great reviews and
feedback from the press and fans. We have done two SHOWCASES at FNAC in
Portugal and more gigs are coming for the near future. It was a real
hardwork to compose and record this new album so it´s a wonderful
feeling to notice that everyone is really enjoying it from all different
countries and cultures.
2. how would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how
does it differ from previous releases?
This new " Abyss Masterpiece " comparing our previous " Redemption "
is much more darker, we deal on this album with the darkest side of
love, everyone knows love have to faces just like a coin..we decided
to focus on the hardest part, the sad emotions, some kinf of
frustraion, drama and also a very portuguese way of feeling and living
on this world wich is the term " saudade ", it means yearn but in a
very peculiar way. We got inspiration also from the very first
portuguese female poet D.Leonor / Marquesa de Alorna that for many
portuguese is still nowdays a kind of a myth. We did have a lot of
difficulties in exploring or even studying is work from the XVIII
century. It´s funny because i did findo original works scanned and
archived on an american cultural archive on the net rather than
finding it on paper or websites in Portugal..she was a " persona non
grata " for the system in portugal back in the XVIII century. A
revolutionary, a visionaire, a women rights defender once portuguese
women on those days werent aloud to share or express with man her
feelings, poetry, etc. D. Leonor also was the very first to translate
the best poetry and philosophic texts from german, grench and english
to portuguese so i think she deserved this recognition instead of just
work a " clichet " poet and that would be rather easy..but we love
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and concepts the new releases explores?
We adapated two poems from D.Leonor for the songs " Leonor " in th
eoriginal title " I´ll Sing a day of sadness " and " Goddess Presiding
Over Solitude ". The rest of the songs are inspired in her capacity of
expressing feelings such as love, anger, hope and criticism regarding
the injustice she passed when she was jailed when she was still a
young child till her mature age for a crime her parents didn´t commit
againt the portuguese state ( a murderer ). D. Leonor developed alone,
by herself, while she was jailed on the CHELAS MONASTARY ( near lisbon
) an amazing capacity for writting feelings she didn´t experienced
such as parental affect, love or passion..most of the times Nature was
her only friend or confident ( as she discribes on the song / poem "
Leonor " ). Even sometimes there is a mistraphoic feeling on he rwords
and thats why we titled the album " Abyss Masterpiece "...she was
capable of going real down her soul/ mind and made the best possible,
fought for her and other rights and made her own justice. We identify
a lot with that and all this aspects works as a metaphor also for the
band personality and history since we started. The " Abyss Masterpiece
" is a huge metaphor.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
HEAVENWOOD is related to our very own world, it´s aconnected with the
legend of the lady ghost Judith Heavenwood, a forest and a special
place where evryone that would pass by would become different after
this travell around.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and
how would you describe your stage performance?
We had fantastic experiences just like beeing the first portuguese
band to play on WACKEN OPEN AIR, also touring with ATROCITY, IN
FLAMES, SOLITUDE AETURNUS, LAKE OF TEARS and THEATRE OF TRAGEDY was
great. It´s a wonderfull when we share also the stage with our old
time friends MOONSPELL as it was last September on the best Club in
Portugal that is know for all bands when touring and comming to
Portugal that is HARD CLUB, it re-open again afert some years cloose
and both bands played on the official re-opening week for a great
night fulll of fans from both bands. Rememberi we had supported CRADLE
OF FILTH on a mini tour in Portugal too many years ago and that was
6. What are the touring plans for the new release, any plans to hit
North or South America?
We do hope to play!! We had very good feedback from the press and a
lot of fans have mailing us regarding our new album, moost disvoer the
band with th eprevious album " Redemption " but now with LISTENABLE
RECORDS working perfectly and with passion we have been noticing a lot
of new people very interested and amazed with our music, many said
that we have som e kind of musical charisma, a lot of portuguese
living on the states send their compliments and congrats and are
waiting for the album to be on the american stores, its a kind of
proud too for them, its a question of feeling clooser to their country
in a cultural form..that is a real deep and wonderfull feeling..it´s "
saudade " :)
7. On a worldwide level how has your new release been recieved by
gothic metal fans?
Great, i dont remeber to have for example a negative review, a really
like even when it´s nnot so positive at least be constructive and
rational..it´s hard for a Emo or Thrash 18 year old guy to understand
our music now so perhaps sometimes those kind of feedback i do
understand but i do understand also that this same guy will pick up
our album when he does have 22 or 25 and then he will say to it self "
oohhh now i do understand this stuff, this metaphors, this feelings "
We have fans from all ages but most of HEAVENWOOD fans are ecletic and
they do enjoy metal and good music, most of them are between 25 - 45
and our goal is to get more young metal fans in our music and
words..although " Abyss Masterpiee " is a dark ride into love it have
a message of hope...just listen to our final instrumental track " Her
Lament" it´s a metaphor and it does transmit hope regarding the
feeling you got when listening to it...
8. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
hmmm.. nice question! We don´t want to predict but hmm..i think we
love to explore the soul so the mysticism, alchemic processes and
metaphors will be again a inspiration...it will depend on the mood of
the band but i´m shure grind core or black metal we will not playu,
that´s not our musical personality.
9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your
music, and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The classic one from The Cult, Sisters or Fields to the classic Death
Metal stuff..the term gothic i think it´s a rotule to define our dark,
emotiv, dramatism..COnsider us a kind TIM BURTON for the metal music,
or at least we try or would like to be :)
10. Does paganism or Occultism play any role in your music?
on a metpahoric way yes, we do embrace a lot of differente religious
concepts,we´re not extremists defending the road you´re watching in
front of you is one way only and that you will not see any crossroads
some km´s after 1 hour walink on it...no..we are spiritual and i
believe humanity balance and harmony will have to deal with the
balance for Consciouness / spirit and Flesh / Materialism..man is on
the midlle..now the quest is..does man want to be an instrument/ tool
or does he want to be the worker ? Why can´t he be the both ?
11. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
Reading, watching a lot of seminairs and congress regading Humanity
all kind of expressions for example like Michael Tsarion, i do love to
read Paupus or Alan Kardec and i do feel interest in understanding and
working on my inner capacityes..studying myself wich is very important
for a development. I do beleive we must care of our inner garden first
then we can look at the others garden too afterwards. To many people
live is life without discovering themselfs, without speaking to their
own beeing. I love musical instruments also and work with them so
music is hal of me in life, family is the other half.
12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks for the great interview and i want everyone to check our new
album " Abyss Masterpiece", i know a lot´s will download it but if you
enjoy it you have to buy it, it´s a album to be discovered with time,
to be studied..if you wann be a kind of INDIANA JONES on metal
music...yes this is the one album you have to buy and to listen, read
and understand step by step!
A portuguese musical hug to all and check our official site at
www.heavenwoodclan.co.pt or www.myspace.com/heavenwood