’80s Guy Exclusive: Interview With Mat Sinner of Primal Fear
Most metal fans would agree that Primal Fear is one of the best bands ever to come out of Germany. For more than a decade they have been playing to sold out crowds all over Europe but have been relatively unknown here in America. Last fall they played some of their largest crowds ever in North America highlighted at the ProgPower Festival in Atlanta.
The new Primal Fear DVD “16.6-All Over The World” is set to be released on June 4th in Europe and June 22nd in the US. It was recorded in various locations between September and November 2009 and will be released in conjunction with a live CD titled “Live in the USA”. Frontiers Records will release the two separately and as a limited edition combo version as well.
I had a chance to sit down with Mat Sinner before the Primal Fear show in Allston, MA and discuss the new live DVD and CD and also plans for the next Primal Fear album as well.
Interviewed by: Roger Scales
Let’s talk about the new live dvd “16-6-All Over The World”. Did you feel it was the right time for a new DVD with all of the new band members and subsequent albums since the last DVD “History of Fear released back in 2003?
It was more a product of the fans asking for some newer live material. In fact even though “History of the Fear” came out in 2003 we never had a live album/cd prior to “Live in the USA”. We had a lot of great possibilities on the last tour to record and film with some large festivals and just some crazy crowds. It was also one of the longest tours we have ever done so the amount of footage we had to pull from was extensive. South America, Japan, the US, Europe the fans were great and the performances match the energy we were feeling from the crowd. Also we knew that in 2010 we would be playing a lot more shows with tours here in the US and another 4 weeks in Europe these live releases will help bridge the gap between our next studio album.
Do you think this year’s tour of the US will pick up where you left off and carry the momentum the band gained in 2009?
The tour here last year was a huge success for the band. Attendance was higher than it has ever been which made the offers more attractive to come back and play again so quickly. The focus has been in the past to try and sell more records in Japan or Europe but we feel a push here in the states is crucial for our long term success.
Will the set list be similar to what we heard last year supporting 16.6 or will the band try and shake things up a bit?
It will be different. You cannot always keep giving the fans the same songs every show even though there are certain expectations the audience will have from one tour to the next. We try to keep our fans happy and listen to them when trying to determine what songs to play.
How did Pamela Moore’s involvement come about on this year’s tour and how long as she been associated with Primal Fear?
She has been a good friend of the band for years and we have always felt that’s it good business for Primal Fear to help cross promote other artists whenever possible. We had Metal Mike Chlasciak play on the “Black Sun” album back in 2002 after having toured with him when he was a member of Halford. Pamela did some shows with us last year and the crowd really responded well to her performances and she enjoys being out with us and we love to have her. She and Ralf work extremely well together and they plan on recording more together in the future.
Do you feel you have an advantage producing the band while also being the bass player and songwriter as well?
It’s really a question of whether you can do the job. The guys had heard the work I’ve done with other artists and really didn’t want someone coming in from the outside to help direct the vision that we have as Primal Fear. They look at it this way – if they are not happy they don’t have to travel far to buy a pair of spikes to kick my ass because I’m right in the back of the bus!!
Is there a special significance to the “16.6” title on your last record and will the follow up carry on with this same theme or go in a different direction?
No, the follow up is already being planned and will be a very different kind of theme. It will be very provocative I can promise you that. The concept and the strategy will not disappoint long time Primal Fear fans. But before that at the conclusion of these shows we are going into preproduction for Ralf’s first solo album. He has written songs over the years that are very personal and little different than Primal Fear so that will be a great challenge we are looking forward to. He wants to make sure not to completely alienate his hardcore fans so we will mix in some real metal tunes as well.
Do you feel that there is a huge difference between European metal audiences and North American metal audiences when out on tour?
I see no difference. The vibe and the atmosphere that I saw here last year and on the first few shows of this tour have been outstanding. We have been very happy and pleased from the reaction of the fans so far. Fans of Primal Fear are passionate and as our audience grows here in the US so does that passion. I can’t wait for everyone to have a chance to listen and watch the new live stuff in June!
You dedicated “Fighting the Darkness” on your opening night in NYC to Ronnie James Dio and the crowd when into a massive “Dio” chant as the song came to an end. How has his passing affected the band, the shows and the Primal Fear fans as a whole as the tour continues?
We played shows with both Dio and Heaven & Hell over the past few years and I have known him for many years even prior to Primal Fear so the memories are many, and all precious to me as he has passed on. Huge loss of such a fine gentleman and I think the fans are just reacting to it in the only way they know how – from the heart.
Any final words to the Primal Fear fans who will be reading this as your US tour continues into June and the release of the live DVD and CD?
It will be available June 4 in Europe and June 22 here in the US. It will be made available in a special packaging for those who want to buy both together at a special price. The tour is going great so far and we really hope to reach out to all of you personally as we are offering VIP meet and greets in select cities so please come out and say hello as we visit your town and city into the start of your summer concert season. The Fear is here and here to stay for a long time!
For more info on Primal Fear:
Their Official Website
Catch Primal Fear on tour in the US:
01st Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
03rd Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
04th Portland, OR @ Peter’s Room
05th San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
06th Santa Ana, Ca @ Galaxy Theatre
08th West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
09th Mesa, AZ @ U.B.’s
10th Tucson, AZ @ The Rock
12th Houston, TX @ Meridian
13th Austin, TX @ Emo’s