Interview With Håvard Lunde Of Norway’s “Moonscape”

Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, I’m Keith Clement, How are you today?

Hi, Keith! I am doing very well, thank you! Thank you very much for the interview and for featuring Moonscape on your site! 

Your two tracked EP “If Heaven’s Know My Name” is to be out on November 25, Would you like to tell me about the Songwriting and Production behind these two Songs?

They are both part of the album that is coming out early next year, so they are a result of that process. On the previous two album releases I have written and recorded everything as one long track, and then split it into multiple tracks later on, but this time I wanted to actually write proper songs that had their own individual strength, if that makes sense. I had already written a one track album (Entity, 2017), and the follow up (Entity, Chapter II: Echoes from a Cognitive Dystopia) was divided into three tracks and an intro, so I felt it was about time to try out a more “song oriented” approach this time.

“If Heaven Knows my Name” is actually inspired by Opeth, at least the opening section. It has a nice groovy riff that might be more straight forward than the rest, but I feel it is effective in the way that it makes you want to bang your head, haha! Eventually there are a couple verse parts that I feel have an Ayreon’esque feel to them, without any further comparison. I feel it is a very textural song, very atmospheric, and for my own part I feel it is a fresh breath in terms of my own songwriting. 

The version of “A Rendezvous in Time” that is appearing on the single/EP is actually a slightly different one than the one that will be on the album. The album version will have a different solo in one spot, as well as some other tweaks and turns that I have done to present it, without feeling that I’m giving too much away prior to the album release. 

The basis of that song is a riff I have had lying around for many years, and it was actually the last song that was written for the new album. It is very riff based, which is unlike anything I have ever written before. I had written the last song on the album, and I felt it needed one more, something that was more direct than the rest, and I remembered that riff, and then the basis of the song was done relatively quick. Afterwards I brought out my Roland Gaia synth that I bought a couple years ago, and I came up with the chorus melody, and that was pretty much it. Despite it being more direct both musically and structurally, I feel it is a great song that fits right in with the rest of the material on the album.

Was there any particular focus or a theme behind these songs?

As with the previous two album releases that we have done earlier, the new album is also one that tells a story from beginning to end, so they are indeed individual chapters in a story. Without revealing too much before the album is out, the concept is based on certain events that are happening about 100 years from now. The Earth is dying, and mankind need to find a new planet to colonize if they should have a chance to survive. I have incorporated a certain historical figure into the concept as well, and I have played with my idea of what time travel might be like, other types of existence, ways of seeing the future… Every sci-fi cliché crammed into one album, haha!  

The Cover art is just amazing, The beautiful Norwegian Sky, it’s totally an awe to see the art, Can you tell me a bit about the cover art?

It actually is a pre-made artwork that I picked up from somewhere. I felt it visualized a lot of the things that Moonscape is about; stars, space, the unknown…plus, it looked gorgeous, so it just had to be that one. Sometimes you just know when you have found the right thing, you know?

Any Special release day plans?

Not really, actually. I am working on the CD release at the moment, as well as promoting the new material. I have just finished setting up the Moonscape website, and I have started writing the next album as well, so I guess I am keeping my hands full anyway. 

How does touring look for you?

I doubt that it will ever be happening. Moonscape is essentially just a studio/recording project that I have, plus all the marvellous guests that are lending me their talents on the recordings. It would be an awesome experience to be able to play this music live, but I haven’t even dared to think about how many people would be needed on stage to cover all the parts that are on the recordings. I am pretty sure it would be getting crowded up there, haha!

If Heaven’s Know my Name & A Rendezvous In Time, Two beautiful songs great songwriting, Beautiful musical progression, the power and the vocals of David Akesson is mind blowing, I really loved the arrangement of the songs, Just mindblowing, Thanks for the awesomeness, How as a creator do you feel about the outcome?

I know this sounds like a cliché, but I feel these songs are among the best pieces of music I have ever written. I probably said something similar when the first two albums were released too, but to me the new material sounds the way a fresh breath of air feels, if that makes any sense at all. I guess everyone who makes music feels the same way about their new material, but I also feel that my songwriting has improved a little bit, so it all has a kind of “new” feel to it, and that’s a really great feeling. 

David Åkesson is just awesome, and I love how his voice sounds with the music I am making. In my ears he is a great fit for Moonscape, that’s for sure. I have a feeling that him appearing on the “Entity, Chapter II” album inspired me to writing more power metal oriented music, and perhaps moving a bit further away from the melodic death stuff that was on the first album. When I wrote the “Entity” album I was really inspired to make an atmospheric album, and put every every musical ingredient into it, from bands that had inspired me over

the years. The main idea was to musically put as many parts of myself into it, because in many other ways it was a very personal album, and I believe that is why it turned out the way it did. 

The “Chapter II” is more or less done the same way, but I was going through some personal stuff that perhaps caused me to make it a slightly more aggressive record. My father passed away during the making of that one, and it was something that I dealt with and managed to get through by writing it into the story.  

As I mentioned before, I feel the new songs are an indication of a slight progression in my songwriting. I sincerely feel they contain the best music I have ever written, and with all the wonderfully talented guests that have lent me their talents once more, the outcome just has to be great.

There is a big plan and announcement for 2023, on your third album, How is it coming up, Have you decided a title for the album and a planned release date?

Yes indeed, the title is ready, and I believe I have a final release date ready as well. The most difficult aspect of the album wasn’t necessarily the writing, recording or mixing, but to come up with a bloody title that I felt was a good summary of what is going on on the album. I believe I landed on a good one, and I am really excited to present the final result to the listeners.

Formed in 2015, With awesome music throughout the last 7 years, how has the road been for you so far?

It has been a great ride, for sure! I started this project because I wanted to get more serious about my music, and I officially started Moonscape around the time when I started writing what was to become the “Entity” release in February 2015. I have been in a few bands over the years, and it was good fun and all, but I guess I evolved differently than my bandmates at that point, so we moved in separate directions. 

Moonscape has allowed me to explore music in a different way than I would do in a band setting, I believe. I am writing and recording everything on my own, and the first two albums had a much more personal approach when it comes to the lyrical content, so it has been a great “outlet” that allows me to express myself in several ways. 

I have said this many times before, but I can’t say it enough; I am very happy, and I feel very lucky to have had so many talented guest performers help me out by adding their colors to the music I wrote. They really do lift the music to a whole new dimension, so I am indeed thankful for everything they have done.  

What would be some of the highlight moments for you?

“Entity” receiving a 100/100 score in an Italian webzine was one of the earliest highlights that I can think of. That was really something special, knowing that there was someone out there that really appreciated the album we had done to that extent was just remarkable. We generally had great reviews on both albums up to now; I believe the lowest score we have received was a 6/10 in a Finnish webzine, so I’m really happy with the feedback we have been getting. 

Just the feeling of holding the physical copies of each release is a highlight itself, especially when I have done a vinyl release. Those moments are just priceless. 

What would you consider the biggest dreams of your life?

A few years ago my biggest dream was to one day manage to release an album and to hold a CD or vinyl copy of it in my hands. That dream came true in 2017, but there are always new things you start hoping for, or dreaming about, if you will. Right now I am hoping to reach new listeners out there, that the new album will be well received and that people actually will appreciate the music we have recorded. I guess everyone wants to feel that what they do matters to someone else, if you know what I mean.

Finally what would be the message for the fans?

I am hoping that they will consider giving Moonscape a follow on Facebook and Instagram, as well as subscribing to our Spotify and Youtube channels, of course. I have recently started making videos where I talk about what is going on in the Moonscape world, so if they want a notification when those are coming up, please subscribe to the YouTube channel. There is a Facebook group where I am posting stuff as well, in addition to the public page, so there are many places to check us out. And of course, check out the brand new website.

And finally, if you check out our music and like it, the best way to support Moonscape is to get the physical albums.

Thank you to everyone who enjoys our music and supports Moonscape! It means a lot!

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