Are you ready to break all the rules? Mat Sinner speaks out!!!
German Power Metal God's 'Primal Fear' return with their latest album 'Rulebreaker', released on Frontiers, this stunning new album sees the bands music taken too the next level, with solid and powerful songs, scream vocals by Ralf Scheepers and a great production and mix by Mat Sinner, Jacob hansen. The band in early years were signed to Nuclear Blast, recording such great albums like 'Nuclear Fire', 'Jaws of Death', and later on albums like '16.6.- Before the Devil knows you're Dead), 'Unbreakable' & 'Delivering the Black'.
Now the band return with the new album, a fine album and song interesting riffs and soaring vocals makes this one great album. I managed to chat with Mat Sinner to find out more about the new album, line-up changes, and what the future holds for the band. Here is what he had to say, in the meantime check out the new stunning album 'Rulebreaker'.
Well it's good speaking to you Mat, it's been some time since we last did an interview for Primal Fear, I think it was something like 10yrs ago when I did the fanzine, so there's a few bits to talk about. Let's start by asking you out of all the albums in the past you have recorded with the band, which is you're favorite album and why?
"Well it is always going to be the latest album, this is because the songs are fresh and I haven't played them on stage yet. It's our new little baby kind of speak and I really like it and I like the vibe in the band and the improvement of the sound and production and the sound of the songs. I still think our debut album holds a special moments for me and the band & I also like 'Nuclear Fire' as it hold a lot of success for a commercial album which made the band bigger. I also like the 'Seventh Seal' album as we learnt a lot from this album at that time, so from that point the new album is far the best."
Moving on I saw the band at Dynamo festival in Holland back in 97 I think, a great show that was. Do you ever see anything of the old members Stefan and Klaus or Randy?
"Well Klaus is still a very close friend and we live in the same city. He actually played a show with us last February as a substitute. As for Stefan, he is concentrating on his family and his job so I am sorry for that. Randy left the band as he had some internal problems with Ralf so he said to the rest of the band, it's either Ralf stays or I go. We let him go and it was a problem that has been growing for some time."
After Randy you got Aquiles Priester former Angra who joined the band for a short time, what happened there? he's a great drummer.
"Yes he is, after a while he sold us he wanted to remain in the band, but the reality showed a different face and we were sure that we had to make a hard and fast decision that was good for the band. It was the the distance for us and him ,we needed somebody who was nearer to us as we practice a lot. So we didn't think it was a natural move to keep him in the band when he lives in Brazil, we needed somebody closer to home."
You have had a few guitarists in the past, one in particular Tom Naumann who had left comeback and left and comeback again, What is the deal with him and you guys?
"It was a decision we did were Magnus is a guy who is loyal and has a really big family so it is not good for him to tour for so long, so Magnus is still part of the writing and recording part of the band. So when we did 'Delivering the Black' album we sat down together and thought what would be a great move for us to have somebody from the past, and for the future? We knew that Tom would be ideal as he lives in the same town, he knows our old songs and could do the tours. He also influenced the guitar world of the band. We asked him if he wanted to do the tour for 'Delivering the Black' tour and he said yes, he is a great guy and the vibes were great so we knew it was the right move."
Could you see Primal Fear been the next Iron Maiden with 3 guitarists on stage?
"No we will only have the 2 guitarists on stage."
After leaving Nuclear Blast you moved to Frontiers, how are things with Frontiers so far? You and Pretty Maids seem to be the 2 heaviest bands on the label.
"We are really happy with them and they like us, we are one of the few bands that play real Heavy Metal music, the vibes are good and the contract is good."
How do you see each album as a progression from one another?
"Well I think the new album is a vast progression, with the production and the sound is kicking and I think it is a big progress for us. I also think that the production on the album is solid and we took our time with this one to try and get it right with the sound. We also invested a lot of our own money into the production, going to old school recording studios and recording together and I think we have reached a new level for this album."
This is the 2nd time you have worked with Jacob Hansen, how did the whole thing come about?
"We worked together on the 'Delivering the Black' album when he mixed the whole album then we did the 2nd Kiski album together. We have a really good relationships Jacob and myself we work really well together so we have become a great team. He is a friendly and peaceful guy. He is a great musician too as you know.
How did you meet Jacob?
"It was not through our label, we had been checking his work and when we heard what he did for Pretty Maids we knew he would be a good producer and mix our labels as good as there's. So we wanted some fresh one who could motivate us and so we talked too him and things just worked out really well."
Did you record the current album 'Rulebreaker' in Denmark?
"No we only did parts of the album there, Magnus and Ralf recorded their parts in their own studios, but we mixed the album in Denmark."
So why the title for the new album?
"Well we are free thinking people and we don't let any politician or religion dedicate to us what we can or can't do. We are old school rocker sand we won't let anything or anybody tell us what we can or can't do. We will play on stage without fear. We are living free and we want to let our music be heard anywhere in the world, nobody will tell us that we cannot play live. That is why we chose the title, that is the meaning behind it."
Who came up for the album title? Also who writes the lyrics? Is it a team effort or certain individuals that write the material etc?
"It was a title for one of our songs that was already wrote and the band thought it was a great title for the album. As for writing music... lyrics 12 of the 13 songs were written by Magnus and myself, Ralf and myself wrote some lyrics. It took 9 months to write with breaks and I think the last album was our more successful album. When we started riffs we knew this would be a great album."
Are there any new songs that you like and why?
"Well I like them all, but there are some favorites I like, one is called 'We walk without Fear', which is about 11 minutes long was a big challenge for us, so we worked hard on this one. We put a lot of effort and passion into that song. I also like 'The end is Near', it was one of the 1st songs we wrote and the flow of the song is great. I also like 'The sky is Burning', it is a song that we really haven't use on our previous album."
Where there any special guests on this album?
"Well no not this time, we have enough musicians in the band (laughing)."
What have to press reviews been so far for the band?
"Well they have been so good, lots of positive press reviews and I hope the fans will think the same."
Are you in the process of doing a new promo video?
"Well we already did 2 videos so far. We usually do 3, we might film some of on the forthcoming tour, we are playing places like Australia for the 1st time this year so we can will have a lot of cool footage for the next video. (ed: Why are you only playing 2 shows in Australia?) We will play in Melbourne and Sydney and after the North American tour we will fly to Japan, then Australia and fly home to a festival in Germany.
Moving on... who did the artwork for the new album cover?
"Well that is a good question, I met an old friend of mine from Toto Steve Lukather at a show and in the audience was the guy who did the 1st 4 Primal Fear covers, his name is Stephan and he does a lot of industrial artwork and he asked me after the show if he could do the new album cover. So I said if you can come up with something good you have a deal. He came up with the ideal of a dark evil looking eagle which is great and we are happy with it."
Would you say the music has become darker with the artwork of the album been the same sort of idea ... dark?
"Yes I think so, I think the artwork and music fit well together and there is a really cool t shirt coming out too."
My next question Mat is, When will the band be touring? Last year you were suppose to be playing the UK but you didn't why not?
"Well the money for the band and UK tour didn't arrive in time. I think we will play everywhere in the world but there seems to be a problem playing the UK. OK so it's ok to play there for 1 show, but we need 1 day off before we get there and 1 day off after the UK show before the tour continues. I'd like to play 5 shows at least in the UK, but we need a promoter who is not going to make a fool out of us for this to happen."
Any plans for a live DVD soon?
"Yes we do, we will film a lot of our shows and put it together for a live DVD which will come out next year."
You seem to be involved in a lot of projects like Alex, Sinner, Silent Force, Voodoo Circle etc.. and manage Primal Fear , do you ever have time for yourself?
"In 2015 I did the Michael Kiske album which was a great success, I produced it with help from Magnus Karlsson, I also did the 'Level 10' album with Russell Allan, he is a great singer. I have also done the 'Rock meets Classic', a lot of famous songs, musicians, a choir and a symphonic orchestra. We did it with Alice Cooper, Ian Gillan, Paul Rogers, Rick Parfitt, Joey Tempest and Midge Ure and Thin Lizzy this year which lasts about a month in March and April around Germany and Austria."
Is there a new Sinner album is the works?
"Yes we have 15 songs wrote and I want to go to 20 songs and then strip them down, I will talk to some musicians to record the album and tour later on this year, it's going to be a great album for sure."
Well Mat, thanks for you're time do you have anything to say to you're fans reading this?
"Yes, please check out the new Primal Fear album, this is my favourite album, the whole band have but a lot of time into this album. Thanks for the interview."
Thank's Mat for the interview and Gary Levermore cheers guys.