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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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nigel glockler BREAKING NEWS: SAXON DRUMMER NIGEL GLOCKLER PRONOUNCED 100% RECOVERED WITH ZERO DAMAGE
"This means that I am okay to get back to work, but I am told to ease back into it and on my own timeframe..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF RELEASE BLISTERING NEW SINGLE 'NINE LIVES'
"Nine Lives is a song about making the most of our limited time; about living with no regrets; about changing our attitudes towards death and about life..."

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DATES FOR 2015
European fans will see Arch Enemy again in late April. The band are coming back with support from US Metal force Unearth and Drone from Germany...

motley crue EXCLUSIVE: MOTLEY CRUE PAY TRIBUTE TO GARY GLITTER ON THE FINAL TOUR
Debauched rockers Motley Crue are currently in Japan performing their last Asian dates on their much publicised Final Tour...

music for nations LEGENDARY HEAVY METAL LABEL MUSIC FOR NATIONS IS BACK
As well as reissues, the label will be signing new artists for the first time in over a decade...

satyricon SATYRICON SIGNS WITH NAPALM RECORDS FOR RELEASE OF SPECTACULAR LIVE DVD
"It's not a live album. It's a celebration of what Satyricon stands for as a band..."

absolva ABSOLVA RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'IN SOME WILD UNIVERSE' PLUS TOUR UPDATE
This video features the touring line-up of the band for 2015...

rival sons RIVAL SONS WITHDRAW FROM SOUNDWAVE 2015
Australia will have to wait a little longer to see Rival Sons in the flesh as family matters take priority...

the answer THE ANSWER RELEASE BRAND NEW LYRIC VIDEO FOR TRACK 'LONG LIVE THE RENEGADES'
"The song is about just doing what you do best and having a bit of a bunker mentality..."

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE HEADLINE TOUR FOR JUNE 2015
US punk pioneers will bring their distincitve sound to four countries over ten dates...

carl sentance BREAKING NEWS: CARL SENTANCE ANNOUNCED AS NEW VOCALIST FOR NAZARETH
Persian Risk vocalist Carl Sentance replaces Linton Osbourne to start the next chapter for the Scottish hard rockers...

rockingham firefest BREAKING NEWS: ROCKINGHAM RELIGHTS THE FIREFEST; GOTTHARD, DAN REED, STAN BUSH AND MORE ANNOUNCED
The AOR flag will be raised high yet again over Nottingham Rock City...

pentagram PENTAGRAM RE-SIGNS WITH PEACEVILLE RECORDS - ALBUM RECORDING UNDERWAY
Through four decades of adversity and triumph, Pentagram have become a legendary international act...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP 2015 UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
This tour follows on from the release of the band's acclaimed album 'Outsider' which enjoyed excellent reviews...

godsmack GODSMACK VOCALIST SULLY ERNA TO MAKE AN ONLINE POKER COMEBACK
For Godsmack fans this could be disheartening as Erna shifts his attention from music to poker...

quo convention FIRST EVER STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION ANNOUNCED
There will be live music, very special guests and a packed programme this October for this very special celebration...

queensryche THUNDER CONFIRMED AS VERY SPECIAL GUESTS TO ZZ TOP AT WEMBLEY ARENA PLUS MINI UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
The group's first studio album in six years, 'Wonder Days', reminds us why Thunder are now more revered than ever before...

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE TO TOUR EUROPE AND RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN 2015
It's a busy year for Queensrÿche with headline shows and festival appearances before the new album release...

dir en grey dir en grey RETURN FOR TWO EXCLUSIVE SHOWS
The Islington O2 Academy will be the scene for Japanese avant-garde Metal in May...

unleashed SWEDISH LEGENDS UNLEASHED REVEAL ALBUM TITLE AND ARTWORK
The founders of the Viking Death Metal movement are back and as brutal as ever...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'MY REMEDY'
Get a taste of the new album with 'My Remedy', the third single to be released...

Shattered sun LEGENDARY BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS FM RETURN WITH 'HEROES & VILLAINS' ON APRIL 17TH
"We're on a roll! Some of the tracks on this album are better than anything that the band has ever produced, and Steve's voice is as good as ever..."

nightwish NIGHTWISH ANNOUNCE ONLY UK DATE THIS YEAR WITH ARCH ENEMY SUPPORTING
"Who would have thought about headlining at Wembley Arena one day when we were starting our UK touring history..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS GO UNPLUGGED AND PERSONAL: ACOUSTIC DATES ANNOUNCED
After last year's highly acclaimed unplugged tour, The Quireboys are pleased to announce a very intimate string of evenings early 2015...

killit KILLIT UNLEASH DEBUT VIDEO AND ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER LIVE SHOW
'Shut It Down' is the first single from the album and is out now and available...

state villains STATE VILLAINS TO RELEASE SECOND EP IN SPRING
State Villains have an honesty that harkens back to an era of integrity and a distinct lack of gimmicks...

chris slade BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS SLADE IS BACK IN AC/DC
Chris will rejoin the legendary hard rockers for their appearance at the 57th annual Grammy Awards as well as the band's upcoming tour...

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