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  MAT SINNER: IN CONVERSATION ABOUT PRIMAL FEAR

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

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mat sinner

The German Heavy Metal act have now amassed ten studio albums, all of which carry a punch to the guts and deliver on promises of primitive and straight forward Heavy Metal values.

The concise package has been getting better and stronger as their career has gone from year to year allowing two of the main characters in the band to become highly respected and valued purveyors of the scene; Ralf Scheepers and Mat Sinner. Both of these musicians have successfully broadened their output by collaborating on other projects and working with other bands while always finding their way back to their mutual love of Primal Fear.

It is time to salute these mighty Metal warriors as they embark on the promotion of their latest studio release known as 'Delivering The Black', incorporating epic monsters in the shape of 'One Night In December' and the single 'When Death Comes Knocking'. There are surprises in the shape of a ballad called 'Born With A Broken Heart' and there are the more traditional belters like 'Alive And On Fire' or 'Road To Asylum'. It is the sound of a band that has really become confident and comfortable with itself without compromise or doubt creeping in to the equation.

Article continues below...

 
 


I was given the glorious opportunity to speak with Mat Sinner who handles the duties of bassist, vocalist and producer on the new album and discuss aspects about the band in general. On the evening that I was granted an audience with the good man, he was caught up with his rehearsals as Primal Fear prepared for their imminent touring schedule.

It was of little surprise to me that he was late for our appointment, but he was very humble and gracious nevertheless. He calmly went about answering my questions clearly and directly without stumbling or losing the plot. His interview technique mirrored his approach to the music of Primal Fear as a matter of fact. Would I come out of this interview without a scratch or a bruise I pondered?

"'Unbreakable' was chart-wise our most successful album, we charted in nine countries and there was no big reason to change a lot of things. We started with the target to make the details better; try to write better songs, better production, better single performance of everybody, and better riffs, better melodies and maybe a better sound on the whole thing."

Mr Sinner is precise as he details the approach and attitude towards 'Delivering The Black': "Started with the song writing so mostly I wrote the basic tracks with Magnus Karlsson (guitarist and keyboardist) and we started to write and it was very soon, very clear that we were on the right track. We loved the first tunes we wrote and that was a good feeling, it took away a little bit of pressure off the whole thing."

mat sinner

The calm exterior portrayed by this Metal hero was sustained as we discussed this latest studio offering: "We booked a nice recording facility and started with the drums, and had a very, very great time with Randy (Black, the drummer) in the studio. I think Randy played for my view the best album in his career and he's played on a lot."

He explained how the various aspects of the recording came together during the recording process and wrapped up his thoughts on the new album: "Slowly, the whole picture was nicely getting together and now I have the final copy of the CD in front of me, I'm very happy about this."

Liv Kristine provides a fresh and subtle dynamic on the track 'Born With A Broken Heart' and is familiar to those who support and appreciate the output of Leaves' Eyes: "I always had the idea we need to open up the chorus, so I need a crystal clear female voice for that chorus. Ralf knows Liv very good, she and her husband are living in our area and they have their own recording studio, so Ralf was going for them and tried out her vocals and I really liked it. We made a deal and I have my female vocal here." With his German accent adding to his personality, Mat lets out a hearty chuckle after realising how he had delivered the obvious conclusion to his tale.

I recalled reading how Mat had joined the ranks of Silent Force who recently released their album 'Rising From Ashes', and then pondered to him how this would fit in with Primal Fear related activities and promotions: "Well the problem is that have a massive Primal Fear schedule for 2014. We have so many territories lined up for touring that it is very difficult to do something with another band."

mat sinner

He then explains their touring schedule and reiterates how Primal Fear is the priority right now. During his list of continents and countries, he says that as he stands there now, there are six dates lined up in the UK too.

"So we will start in Europe and then we will see what is going on. We'll start with five new tracks in the set and ten best of songs. So we mix our best of from the first to the last album with five new tracks."

Having established the thinking behind their set-list for the upcoming shows and understanding that despite the other pies Mat had his fingers in, I was curious to know about his thoughts when producing bands and what he gravitated towards? "It depends on the song, and it depends on the band. From my view and what I personally like, I like the more raw edge. Not too polished. There are some polished stuff that I said wow, that is fantastic!

"I can still listen to 'Hysteria' album by Def Leppard and say wow this is still great; or the first album by The Police – that was raw and I like that. It depends on the band and the players. I'm not against a polished album but I prefer a raw album."

mat sinner

I found myself analysing their album titles during our conversation, and this brought about some new thoughts and things to share: "I think with for example 'Delivering The Black' we had first the album title and then we wrote the songs. We wanted to have a black album with the eagle on it and the colour black was the leading colour for this album.

"But there were other albums where we just named the album on a title or we had a story for example. 'Devil's Ground'; there was a spoken thing at the end of the album, it depends."

After some discussion about cover versions, the relaxed and warm tones of Sinner continue as we get back to specific tracks from their back catalogue and what might or might not be included during their set-list: "We'll play the complete version of 'Fighting The Darkness' (which is in three parts on the 'New Religion' album) and we'll play 'One Night In December' (from the latest album 'Delivering The Black') so we have two very long songs in the set. I think it's a challenge for a musician to play 'One Night In December' in an exciting version but we're not scared of that and we're going to do it!"

Acknowledging the friendship and partnership with Ralph Scheepers, I asked why the two had remained working together such a long time: "Respect, friendship and always a possibility for a good compromise." I asked him to elaborate. "The point was, we were both singers. So we never could play in a band together because we were both lead singers.

"Then came the point where Ralf thought about joining Judas Priest and leaving Gamma Ray for the position of the lead singer in Judas Priest. That didn't happen and they chose Tim Owens. Ralf was a little bit frustrated about the decision and wanted to quit the music business. But he had a nice offer from his record company in Japan who wanted to hear some demos from him, and he asked me if I could produce some demos and write with him So, that was not a point for me to say I could not sing or whatever.

"We sit together and write some songs and did some demos. The chemistry was really, really, really good. I think that was the point in me where I said; maybe it's the right time to step a little bit back. I can produce, I can sing backing vocals and I can write, so let's try it out with Ralf as a frontman and see what the future brings."

Mat sounds truly sincere at this stage of our chat and rounds off his thoughts about his relationship with Scheepers: "In the end it was absolutely a great decision. Its 15 years now and we're still together and we're still happy and it was a great decision to do this."

Witnessing the upward trajectory of Primal Fear and recognising the commitment and conviction behind the music of the band, there's little doubt that fans have anything to fear. Keep your eyes on their touring schedule as it will grow and grow, taking in a great many varied locations throughout the course of this year.

Metal is forever!


12.2.14





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wildfire festival EXCLUSIVE: WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES FIFTY BAND LINE-UP
Wildfire is known for bringing the best in Scottish talent to Wiston Lodge, and there is one name everyone at Wildfire HQ agreed should be on the bill...

kiss KISS GET ANIMATED IN COLLABORATION WITH J-POP IDOLS MOMOIRO CLOVER Z!
Just when you thought the Metal world had gone insane enough with Babymetal...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO FIFTH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL EVENTS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will include a public memorial service, a celebrity bowling tournament and the inaugural Ride For Ronnie motorcycle ride and BBQ...

walkway WALKWAY RELEASE SINGLE AND VIDEO FOR 'STREETWISE'
The single is the first release from their second studio album. Walkway will support Status Quo in June 2015...

motley crue MOTLEY CRUE REVEAL DATE OF FINAL SHOW AND FINAL TOUR LAST LEG DETAILS: NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO OUT NOW
Motley Crue are also in the process of putting together the ultimate collector's album package...

art of anarchy PRESENTING ART OF ANARCHY FEATURING SCOTT WEILAND, BUMBLEFOOT, JOHN MOYER OF DISTURBED AND JON AND VINCE VOTTA
Poised to become one of the biggest new bands of 2015, Art Of Anarchy is redefining the rock supergroup...

jettblack JETTBLACK RETURN WITH A BRAND NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO
Jettblack get serious in 2015, kicking things off with a headline tour and new single in February...

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS FANS PERFORM PUBLIC SEX ACT LIVE ON STAGE
"This was something definitely different to see at a punk concert..."

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW'S MISSING TRACK FINALLY RELEASED! A MESSAGE FROM DR HELL!
Evil Scarecrow have just released a new, old version of 'Robototron', which they feel is the definitive version of their most popular track...

eddie and the hot rods BREAKING NEWS: ORIGINAL EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS LINE-UP REFORM FOR 40th ANNIVERSARY
This will be the first time all original members have played a full show together for over thirty years...

carthagods CARTHAGODS TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM WITH SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDING TIM "RIPPER" OWENS, RON THAL AND MARK JANSEN
"It's been a long time that we look for this occasion to finally satisfy our fans..."

paddy goes to holyhead EXCLUSIVE: PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ANNOUNCE FINAL CONCERT FOR ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
Sadly it's the end of an era as Paddy Goes To Holyhead have announced that they are to play their final gig...

grateful dead BREAKING NEWS: GRATEFUL DEAD TO RE-UNITE FOR 50th ANNIVERSARY FAREWELL CONCERTS
The reunion, billed "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead", will feature the band's surviving members...

nazareth BREAKING NEWS: VOCALIST LINTON OSBOURNE LEAVES NAZARETH
"I am no longer a member of Nazareth. It didn't work out, for me, or for the band..."

lordi LORDI ANNOUNCE UK DATES FOR TOUR FORCE ONE
Lordi bring 'Scare Force One' to the UK for ten dates in the Spring...

nightwish NIGHTWISH REVEAL TRACKLIST & FORMATS OF 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL'
The new studio album, released on 30th March, is available in several tasty formats...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN LEADER STEVE HARRIS' MANSION BACK ON THE MARKET AT KNOCKDOWN PRICE
The mansion boasts its own pub called the Horse and Cart as well as an indoor swimming pool...

pete way EXCLUSIVE: ALL PARTIES IN BATTLE BETWEEN FIN MUIR AND PETE WAY OF WAYSTED GIVE A RESPONSE
"I can confirm that this appalling defamation is completely without foundation..."

death angel DEATH ANGEL ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE SHOW AND DATES WITH QUEENSRYCHE AND ARMORED SAINT
Los Angeles Heavy Metal legends Armored Saint will join both acts for a special London show at the Electric Ballroom...

udo dirkschneider U.D.O. TO PLAY ENGLAND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DONKEY'S YEARS
Germany's favourite rock god Udo Dirkschneider has announced three exclusive shows for the UK...

california breed CALIFORNIA BREED HAS GONE THE WAY OF BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION
After a great first album, the departure of a superstar drummer, and very little touring, California Breed is extinct...

kamelot KAMELOT SIGNS TO NAPALM RECORDS; NEW ALBUM AND TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
In support of this highly anticipated release, Kamelot will hit the road for select UK shows, followed by a massive North America Tour...

the gentle storm ARJEN LUCASSEN AND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN'S NEW BAND THE GENTLE STORM REVEAL TOUR DATES AND ALBUM DETAILS
"We'll perform some Ayreon classics together and premiere a couple of songs that will be on our upcoming album..."

jimmy page JIMMY PAGE IN FIGHT WITH ROBBIE WILLIAMS OVER HOUSE RENOVATION
The pair are neighbours and have fallen out over Williams' plans to revamp his multi-million pound mansion...

hard rock hell SAXON ANNOUNCED FOR HARD ROCK HELL 9 WITH ROCK GODDESS, PIG IRON AND MORE
Hard Rock Hell, aptly titled 'House of Horrors', are pleased to welcome Heavy Metal Titans Saxon back into their realm...

dark funeral DARK FUNERAL TO RELEASE 7INCH & DIGITAL SINGLE 'NAIL THEM TO THE CROSS' IN FEBRUARY
The single is available as a hand-numbered 7inch limited edition of which 500 copies are on black vinyl and 500 on blue vinyl...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ TO RELEASE BRAND NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM ON MARCH 9th VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
Santa Cruz will also play five UK dates as main support to Amaranthe...

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG TO HEADLINE GARAGE DAYZ RE-VISITED ALL DAYER IN LONDON
A mouth watering bill not only from bands that were a huge influence to bands like Metallica and Megadeth....

truffle TRUFFLE TO PLAY SPECIAL SOUTH COAST GIG WITH SIEGE, TOLEDO STEEL AND KODIAK JACK
Tickets are priced at only $7.50 for a night that promises to be full of faces from the area past and present....

ensiferum ENSIFERUM UNLEASH TWO NEW VIDEOS ON EVE OF LAUNCH ON NEW ALBUM
Today Ensiferum unveils the official new video for 'One Man Army''s title track as well as an in-depth "making of" clip...

autograph AUTOGRAPH RELEASE FIRST NEW SONG IN OVER 25 YEARS
Simply put, a reunion was both inevitable and essential...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT ANNOUNCES NEW SOLO STUDIO ALBUM 'WOLFLIGHT' OUT ON 30th MARCH
The ten tracks take the listener through a journey in space and time looking at the different faces of the endless fight for freedom...

adrian smith IRON MAIDEN'S ADRIAN SMITH ROCKS UP IN CHISWICK WITH DOOGIE WHITE, ANDY BARNETT AND DAVE 'BUCKET' COLWELL
MetalTalk's first Gig Of The Week for 2015 turned up two major surprises as a great night was had by all...

sabaton SABATON ANNOUNCE "SABATON OPEN AIR" WITH POWERWOLF AND CIVIL WAR
Tickets are on sale now for this special event in Germany in July...

pig iron PIG IRON ANNOUNCE RELEASE DATE FOR FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM
'Sermons From The Church Of Blues Restitution' will be released worldwide via OYR on 2nd March and will be preceded by a high value four track EP...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE LONDON SHOW FOR 'ECLIPTICA OVER EUROPE TOUR 2015'
"On these shows we'll perform 'Ecliptica' in its entirety as well as assorted hits from our catalog..."

skalmold SKALMOLD UNVEIL NEW SPRING TOUR DATES WITH ELUVEITIE AND WIND ROSE
For those who didn't catch the Viking/Pagan Metallers live on tour, here's another chance...

tony iommi BLACK SABBATH LEGEND TONY IOMMI TELLS ALL ABOUT HIS CANCER BATTLE
"In the good old days there was cocaine everywhere. This time we had tea and coffee and health drinks..."

def con one DEF CON ONE ANNOUNCE CRUSHING HEADS TOUR
British Metallers Def Con One can be seen across the UK in 2015...

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