MOONSPELL singer Fernando Ribeiro has defended LACUNA COIL over the Italian band’s decision to take part in an initiative dubbed “L’Ultimo Concerto?” (Last Concert) to highlight the increasingly uncertain future of music venues. Instead of delivering live performances as part of a scheduled free virtual stream on February 27, each of around 130 Italian artists was filmed taking the stage at a different venue and then standing there in silence as a way of commemorating the one-year mark since the first Italian venues closed.

Addressing the fact that some LACUNA COIL fans felt shortchanged by the experience, Fernando told Barbara Caserta of Italy’s Linea Rock (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I understand that sometimes the fans don’t mean any bad things about being disappointed. Being disappointed is something that happens every day, and people should grow up and learn that being disappointed is a part of our lives as well and that sometimes bands use their power and use their reach in order to help their community. For instance, here in Portugal, we played four shows in 2020, and only with the musicians community coming together, fighting the government, creating awareness for our situation that we could, in between the lockdowns, play these four shows. Four shows is nothing for a band such as LACUNA COIL or MOONSPELL, but last year, it was everything. So I support them, obviously.

“I understand that no man or woman is an island,” he continued. “We belong to a community. We cannot perform without our crew. We cannot perform without our fans. We cannot perform without the clubs. And people, if they like music, they should take this opportunity to understand that music is not only about the bands. We are just the face of a much larger body of people. And obviously, LACUNA COIL, as the great people they are, they wanted to show that to their fans, and I think in the end, when everything comes down, they did the right thing, and I’m quite proud of them. And I think that even though sometimes that happens with MOONSPELL — we get a lot of heat sometimes — but I think they stood their ground, and I think that’s what bands are for. We are not just merely entertainers — we are flesh-and-blood people. We need also to put the pasta in the table. So I think [any opportunity] to create awareness is always a great thing, and I wish more metal bands had the guys to create awareness too.

“The first thing MOONSPELL did on the pandemic was not to ask money for ourselves,” Fernando added. “We still had [a little bit of money] left from the tour, but we raised money as a fundraiser to the Portuguese league against cancer. Because they didn’t have any equipment — no masks, et cetera. So our fans came together with us and we could raise some money.

“There’s this part that sometimes people don’t like. But I think only doing stuff like LACUNA COIL helps you understand that music is a community and not just fans and bands. They are the top of the community, but we should defend everything else. So, bravo! [Laughs]”

Organized by KeepOn Live, Arci, Assomusica and Live DMA, the “L’Ultimo Concerto?” campaign was announced in January when the venues shared images on social media of their year of foundation and the year 2021 with a question mark, suggesting that their closures due to the coronavirus pandemic could be permanent.

Between March and June 2020, the Italian government imposed a national lockdown by restricting people’s movements to contain the pandemic. Thus, museums and cinemas closed and all cultural events were either canceled or rescheduled.

Around 300,000 people working in theaters, music venues, cinemas and cultural spaces in Italy have been rendered jobless since they shut their doors due to the coronavirus crisis.

MOONSPELL‘s 13th studio album, “Hermitage”, was released on February 26 via Napalm Records.