Today Lachryma Christi had the pleasure of interviewing Ricardo S. Amorim. Some of you might be familiar with his work, if you follow metal magazines such as LOUD!. Ricardo has been working on the metal journalism for a while, interviewing big big bands, and he just released his first book, the biography of Moonspell "Lobos que foram homens" (Wolves that were men).
Where does the title "Wolves that were men" (Lobos que foram homens) come from?
It comes from the lyrics of «Full Moon Madness», which is kind of an anthem for Moonspell. It can be immediately recognized by Moonspell fans and it’s also a title that gives an insight into the more personal side of the book. It’s not just a rock biography, it’s a very personal book in which the band members go through a process of self-reflection by looking at their past. Not sure if the English edition will have that exact same name, though.
What aspects of the band are covered in the book? What timelines did you cover?
The whole history of Moonspell is covered in the book, from their origins to the release show of «1755», their latest album. It has all the musical and career highlights and low points and all the previous band members were interviewed and give their own insight regarding what happened.
How did you decide to convey the information in the book? What writing style did you use?
Kind of hard of answering this one because I feel like I needed to find my own style. I write for magazines for some years now but I never wrote a book, needing to tell a long story and still keeping it interesting. I studied some books of New Journalism, by the likes of authors like Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote and Hunter S.Thompson. The interviews I did were pieces of a big puzzle that then I had to assemble into a coherent story.
Why did you decide to write the book? Why were you chosen?
Fernando Ribeiro, the singer, invited me to write their biography in a very spontaneous way. It’s told in the first chapter of the book, so I wont spoil this one right here.
How long were you a fan of Moonspell before writing this book?
I became familiar with Moonspell around 94/95.
What did the research for the book entail?
Most of the research was done first hand. Of course I’ve read hundreds of interviews but I wanted to talk directly with everyone involved. Sitting besides someone, looking them in the eyes while talking in an open and honest way is the best research one can do.
How closely did you work with the band during the process?
As close as possible. I had full access to them, either on the studio, at shows, backstage, even in their own houses with their families. We became really good and close friends, and that’s definitely the best I can take from this whole experience.
How much input did the band have in writing the book?
None whatsoever, except for the posface that Fernando wrote. All the writing was done by me, with no interference from the band, publisher or anyone else.
How long did the research process take? And from there how long did it take to put it together and write?
The whole project took a year’s work. I started in November 2016 and finished November 2017. The writing was done while researching for a certain period, and both research and the writing were being done almost simultaneously.
Were you very familiar with the band prior to writing or did you find out things whilst writing that you hadn't known before?
We weren’t exactly close friends, as we are now, but I had some familiarity with them and their career. Nevertheless, there are several things that nor I or anyone else outside their closest circle did know. These are the most intimate things about the book, their personal relationships and their trials and tribulations.
How did you become interested in music journalism?
Almost for as long as I became interested in music, actually. I became obsessed with music at an early age and wanted to know everything about the bands that I loved.
How did you start doing it?
I started with fanzines and underground publications, then I became involved with metal magazines. I’ve been doing this since 2001, although it’s not my only profession since I like having some luxuries, such as eating or having a roof above my head.
How long have you wanted to write a book? What was the most challenging part?
For a really long time. I guess that anyone that likes to read and write kind of has that secret desire. The main challenge was the research, because you really need to impose yourself a limit, or else the research is endless. And this is a book that needed a certain flow and rhythm, it shouldn’t be an academic paper, so you have to put yourself in the place of the reader.
What are the differences between writing about a subject for an article or a book?
Not only the research process was a lot more thorough but, as time went by, I became closer to the band and started questioning my own objectivity. There were a couple of weeks that I had to put the whole thing on hold and get back to it with a new look and refreshed mind.
Is it best to be interested in a subject before you start writing or can you become interested during the research?
Absolutely, but I’m lucky enough to (mainly) only write about things I like or respect. But both things happen and a lot of good surprises might come your way when you approach things with an open mind.
Do you have any subjects or people you would like to write with or about in the future?
I don’t have any immediate plans for now besides the English translation of this book. It’s not being done by me, and although I have great trust in my translator, I feel it’s important to be involved in the process as much as possible.
Are you influenced by any other writers or Journalists? If so, who?
Absolutely. One of my favorite authors of all time is Hunter S. Thompson, to whom I pay tribute in this book, as well as Charles Bukowski. Lester Bangs, Nick Kent, Mick Wall, Neil Strauss and Jay Bennett are journalists I really look up to, was well as authors like Truman Capote, Stephen King or Philip K. Dick.
Lachryma Christi would like to add that the Portuguese version of the book is out already, since the 2nd of March, and you may find it here: