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Ricardo Santos - Morbid Death

Interview with Ricardo Santos from Morbid Death
by Laura Glover at 01 March 2020, 7:58 AM

MORBID DEATH have survived more than 30 years in the industry, recently releasing their latest album titled "Oxygen." Metal Temple writer Laura Glover recently got the chance to catch up with original member Ricardo Santos, to talk about the album, and the key to their longevity.

It is a pleasure to get to speak to you today, Ricardo Santos, on behalf of Metal Temple online magazine. Thank you for the chance to do this interview!

We are very excited to featured on Metal Temple magazine, we are the ones who thank you for the chance of having this highlight moment!

What is the message behind "Oxygen"? What inspired you the most in creating this message?

Oxygen is vital to/for all living beings on this planet. With all the issues about global warming, we as musicians try to pass the word in our own way, and it’s by our Metal that we try to do this awareness. We’re not from some kind of environmental organization, but it’s a thing that fires up our alarm.
The preservation of the environment is something that is very dear to us from where we come from, the Azores islands, which lay in the middle of the Atlantic ocean; it's full of lush green vegetation and lakes so, gladly, there's plenty of oxygen around!

As I understand, the child's voice in "Cry Me Out", belongs to your guitarist and producer, Luis Bettencourt's son. Which I'd like to say I think is really cool! Will we see him again in future albums?

You know, working with Luis and Rafael thrills me. I never know what will happen next, in a good way eheh The idea of bringing on the voice of Luís’s son was actually his \[Luís]. By the way, his name is Henrique and like his father he breathes music. He also did some choirs in other songs. So, Henrique had some takes and he nailed it. The result was amazing and we never know if we’ll recruit him again. It depends on his fees eheheheh

"Oxygen" is your fifth album release, anything specific planned for your next release?

Good question! Well, we’re going to do the best we can promoting OXYGEN. Alone, it would be difficult but having on our side the record label - Art Gates Records, things are going smoothly. Let there be no misunderstanding, we’re aware of the hard work that it takes to break barriers. We have been on the scene for thirty years and we humbly know that it takes a lot of work to get where we want to be. We want to take one step at a time. It’s the best thing to do! The next release is still a bit blurry at this point, I know that Luís has some songs already brewing but by now we're focusing on getting OXYGEN out and known.

Will you be touring with the release of "Oxygen"?

Touring OXYGEN is among our goals and we started contacting promoters in order to get some gigs. It’s crucial to tour. It’s one of the things that we like doing: being on stage!!! Our label will also give us some advice because we can’t just hop on the ‘first train’ that shows up. Everything has to be very well calculated, planned.

How did the album get the name "Oxygen"? What does it mean?

Almost a year ago, Morbid Death suffered a huge transformation but I wasn´t and still ain’t ready to pull the plug. Luís and Rafael replaced the other members that played in the band. They brought new oxygen to this project…and let me tell you a thing: Oxygen of High Quality! Basically its meaning is that no matter what, inhale deeply and be optimistic. There's always a plan B.

How did the album, "Oxygen", come to be? What inspired its story? Or led the writing of its songs?

There are different themes that are represented in OXYGEN. It goes from the real subjects such as corruption, global warming, poverty, plastic surgery, etc passing by some imaginary stories. Usually when I write about something, I just let it flow. Luís also gave his share on some lyrics.

MORBID DEATH has been around since 1990, 30 years. How has the band evolved since the old days, and what are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned that helped your music grow along the way?

Exactly, thirty years is a long time. Sometimes when I look back, I think to myself: ‘Ricardo, you freakin’ love this shit, don’t you??!’. And I really do! I’m the only ‘survivor’ from 1990 and Morbid Death it’s like a son that I stubbornly won’t let go. There were good and bad moments, ups and downs, but being with the right people is the best way to make it possible. Luís and Rafael are also ambitious like I am and throwing the towel is not an option for now. I truly believe that we can achieve great strides.

Which musician, alive or dead, would you meet if you were able? What would you tell them?

Wooow…a lot of them but Cliff Burton…yes Cliff would be the chosen one. He, as a bassist, was one of the best. His skills just over blown my mind and probably I’d be speechless. I do believe that I was the one who would hear what he had to say to me eheheh And also Jason Newsted! The first time that I saw him live was back in ‘93, when Metallica came to Lisbon for the black album tour. He’s a beast on stage!!!

Where do you see MORBID DEATH ten years from now?

Let me see where my crystal ball is…damn, I lost it…again eheheh. In ten years from now and if I’m healthy and with strength, I'll probably be rehearsing some new songs. We never know!!!

In doing a search online, there is not much information about your history. Tell me how MORBID DEATH was born? Where did you all meet, what is your story?

Unfortunately these thirty years weren’t as productive as we wished and sometimes we made not so good moves but the good thing is that we learned with those mistakes. Back in 1990, me and Dinis Costa (ex guitarist) decided to form a metal band. We didn’t have any skills and just started from zero. We studied at the same high school and then later on, Miguelito (ex guitarist) appeared. The most difficult part was to find a drummer but Pedro Rodrigues (ex drummer) miraculously popped out when we least expected  because he played guitar in a Pop Rock act!

We started composing some stuff and started being invited for some gigs. Let me say that at the time, we were practly  the only Metal act around in the Azores. We did some opening acts for Paradise Lost & Moonspell, among others.

We recorded two demo-tapes (Nomad & Shameless Faith), three studio albums (Echoes of Solitude; Secrets & Unlocked), one EP (Metamorphic Reaction) and one Live DVD (Spinal Factor: Maintaining aLIVE). And now, the brand new OXYGEN that we are extremely proud of and for the first time ever, we had a well known swedish producer that mastered the songs. His name is Jakob Herrmann from Top Floor Studios (Gothenburg). He had clients such as Anthrax, Machine Head, Body Count, In Flames, Europe, Evergrey among many others. For us, having our name related to the studio/producers name and all these bands that we grow up listening to…it’s just amazing!!!

What is the biggest difference between the metal music scene in 1990 as opposed to now? How has it affected the band?

The Internet is basically the biggest difference. Back in those days, it was more interesting. Difficult to get those musical pieces of art and merchandise but much more interesting. Trade-taping had that unique thing…everything was new and had charm…we worshiped the album covers, consumed all lyrics…many hours listening to vinyls… miss those days.

Of course, as the years went by, the band just had to go along and adapt to the new reality, like others. The Internet started and opened a whole new world for all bands. It’s faster to get your music recognized but on the other hand, there’s a lot of free downloading that doesn’t bring financially good effort and puts bands in jeopardy. Well, for an unknown band like us, we just have to find the best strategy and be focused on our priorities.

If you could pick one message to stand out the most from MORBID DEATH to our readers, what would that be?

If you believe that whatever you are doing is the best for you, just go for it because we only live once, even if someone says the opposite. Follow your dreams!!!

I deeply appreciate the chance to talk with you and discover more about your band on behalf of Metal Temple. \\m/

It was an honor! From the bottom of my heart and in my name, Luís & Rafael, I would like Thank You and all Metal Temple followers. Keep the Heavy Metal flag always flying high! Horns Up!!!


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