Now your ships are gone

NOW YOUR SHIPS ARE GONE

 

The sound  of the church bell clocking 7PM is remote, resembling the familiar feeling of many towns in Portugal. I  am reassuringly awaken from a quick tour nap, inside my dark bunk. We’re in Gandsk, formerly Danzig, and we’re parked, noblesse oblige, at the port. In the morning, sounds of wielders create a small buzz for hours, punctuated only by the silence of the workers’ cigarette pauses. It is grey outside. There is a metallic tone into the sky, suggested perhaps by the surroundings, with flying cranes, dismanteled ships and a disconcertating sense of immobility, broken only by the small repairing works noises and talks. It seems like no big ship is leaving today. I can only guess this is where they come to die their iron-steel death and dismantling. It’s October rust all around. It’s touring.

 

The club is brand new and is an amazing place to play. A good presale reassures the band against the hardest day to play in the week (Mondays used to be days-off when this luxury could be afforded on tour). I can’t stop wondering that we are the reason why more than 600 people already made plans to face the rain, the cold and a night out. I am happy but intrigued. Is our visit so meaningful to disturb an otherwise tranquil night home, with some tea, TV and slippers on? I guess that in a few hours that responsability will be ours and, as spiritual as it gets, I start focusing for the show and trying to conjure that little extra magic that can turn out this Monday night into a life experience for the ones who dared into the secluded location of the club, in a dead port neighborhood.

 

I can hang out all day, lowering my body functions like a reptile in wait, but in one hour it’s ready-go. People have no idea that all the waiting involved is, perhaps, the most decisive factor on a tour. How to cope with the dead time and turn it into something truly exciting, even on the grey start of this week, it’s a problem of no easy solution. It goes both ways and while some daring souls drink vodka outside, others have to maintain a balance between activities and how to endure those activities. For how many years i live, some road-warriors will always gain my wonderous respect for the amount of drinking they drown their time in and still can play a remarkable show. This is a stupid statement, of course. Based more upon the physiologic aspects of their standing, than on less-than-virtuous dependence of booze or drugs. Not against any in particular, but against depending in general.

 

I haven’t said almost a word, all day long. I am saving up all my energy and my castigated throat for the shows so that extra factor can have a substance of screams and moods. Normally, I spend my time talking. I can kill a lot of time just by blabbering. Yet silence can be gold. And tonight, I have to dig on that gold and share it with the monday night Gdasnk adventurers. My mission on this tour is clear for me: Play great shows. Survive. Wish me luck. I will reply in written, saving my voice for other flights.

Natural habitats

When I go down the stairs of Rock Cafe Club in central Prague, to reach the backstage area, a familiar feeling invades me. My face is unwashed but I still got to manage a little tourbus hygiene and brush my teeth. Many of my favorite books are about the art of adapting and I am always fascinated about the success stories of people or beasts descenting into hell, finding their way there, starting a life, sometimes, worth living for. By no means I wish to compare the First world trenches or any truer captivity to this life of touring. We have a table full of food, coofee, nice couches, techonology. It is just that first feeling when you get into a place, you have never been, and start nesting for the day. It is like all materializes on tour, putting away some of the anxiety that always mounts before we set foot on the tranqullity of a bus or the welcoming looking sandwiches wrapped for us backstage. That is why that the week that preceeds the tour is always the weirdest one. There is a time where everything seems to fall apart and another time when things come together. What gets you a bit crazy and anxy, is that the chaos and harmony  are only separated by a few days or even hours. Worst case scenario: minutes.

This sensation might describe perfectly a life lived between domestic parenthood and the orderly reckless travels and shows of the rock’n’roll circus, big or small, does not matter, you still have to play the show at night, sandwiches or not. The person one becomes can tie with both universes but as the universe itself not all is harmony and, sometimes, convulsions on a microcosmos confined to four walls and common space, might be violent for you. To deal with that speedy adaptation is everything you must concentrate on. Basic rules and moods set in quite easily, quite familiarly.

If you like to ruminate as much as I do and put your faculties at service of speculation, you will be left with a good deal to think about. Is it ok and even appropriate to fit in both quotas (the family, the road) and does one have to feel guilty of prefering one over the other, as the days pass by and miles click in, are questions I try to answer without great success. The smile of a fan in the crowd or the joy of your son flying in your arms, what does stand more valuable? Blood can be louder than everything. The beauty of it is that it is not an option as one can be easily mislead to. What is nice, though, is that familiar feeling of both, proving only that our natural habitats are much more where our heart is, regardless of the detail of physical presence.

Simple: before you put your helmet on, call home. If everything is peaceful there, then let the battle here begin.kwadrat stage

I wait for you to welcome you, in my dreamworld, my water eyes…

To everyone who will visit my new blog, introductions first: My name is Fernando Ribeiro and I am from Portugal. I am the singer of a Metal band called Moonspell. We have been together for over twenty years now. I like to share my ideas, thoughts, afflictions, my darkness and my hope with respectful, intelligent people who might or not already follow my work.

I have been taken to bed with a high fever and exhaustion from work for a couple of days and spent my hours thinking. Not all of this thinking is good for me, I must admit. I am 39 now and sometims it’s hard to cope with the anxiety and the speed of time which runs against us after we turn into adults. I have a son, Fausto. He is 18 months old and he is everything for me. I have a lovely wife,Sonia, who is also a singer but in a Pop band. Our little own family is all I live for. I am fortunate to have them.

I will go on tour in a week. It starts in Prague and if all goes well ends in Beijing, China. It’s like a Jules Verne novel, almost. I have been doing this touring life since 1995. Portuguese are homesick by definition. I am Portuguese. My kid stayed with my mom because I am ill and my wife she is working. As I put up years, missing them became more intense. Of course I love what I do. But sometimes, people waste my time. Now, everything has to be worth. Every show. Every travel. Every minute outside.

I had a rough week. I started a blog.

Until a next time,

Fernando

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