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In Words: Primal Fear

- Ralph Scheepers & Stefan Leibing - Aug. 2001 - Roberto Palmitesta -
- Mat Sinner - June 2010 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Primal Fear
© Primal Fear

Mat Sinner - June 17th 2010 (by email)

Finally Primal Fear have a live album / DVD out and they are already back on the road. Time to get a few questions answered... Thanks to Mat Sinner for taking time answering while touring the USA.

Why the decision to do now a live album / live DVD? Did you feel that 16.6. is an album with songs which are live even stronger?

It was time after 8 CDs to release our first live album. Fans asked for a long time and now the time was right!

The live album was recorded during the 16.6 over North America tour, while the DVD offers footage from around the world. Guess, it wasn't easy to choose to use which recordings to use?

We had some shows recorded and in the end we decided to take the Atlanta show for the live CD because it was really good played and a great audience. After two month on tour the band was even more controlled and the moves better placed etc. That's why we've decided to release the Switzerland concert on the DVD.

How did you choose the songs for the 16.6. over North America tour? And how much does it differ from show elsewhere?

We played the same song list everywhere – no changes. The set list was well balanced and worked everywhere!

At the moment you are back in the US and you'll play festivals in Europe this summer. What can your fans expect on the 2010 shows? Did you have some surprises on the set list?

Depends on the playtime on the festivals, but our next target is even bigger, to play the next European tour in September / October and then we will rework our setlist and come up with some surprises!

Are you planning to go back to the US to play clubs and continue building up a strong fan base there? Any plans to return to South America?

Yes, that's our plan – the US and Canada are countries we want to play constantly. We have already new offers to play South America. Let's see – but the band will keep themselves busy with touring!

Alex Beyrodt is playing guitar on tour. Magnus Karlsson was playing on the album, is he still in the band? Or is Alex replacing him only temporarily? Can you enlighten us?

Magnus and his wife got new born twin babies and it was just human that he wants to stay with his family. Now he will return to the band and many thx again to Alex for doing such a great job on stage, every show!

I heard that at the NYC show you dedicated Fighting The Darkness to Ronnie James Dio. How much did Dio influence you? Are you glad you had the chance to play with him resp. Heaven & Hell?

Ronnie Dio was a wonderful person and one of the greatest singers ever! Nothing more to say!

You are working with Pamela Moore these days. When did you first think about working with Pamela? Are there any plans for the future involving her?

Pamela was touring with us last year and it worked out really well, that's why we both decided to carry on this year's tour. We are already talking about some more projects. We will see. Otherwise Amanda Somerville joined us in Detroit, Metal Mike in New York and Roy Z. in Los Angeles on stage. It's great to have some friends jamming on stage and it's cool for the fans!

16.6 is out for about a year, have you already started to work on new material in between tours?

First will get he long awaited first solo album from Ralf Scheepers. We will start the recordings in early July. The new Primal Fear songwriting sessions will take place after the European Tour.

I heard that there will be a Ralf Scheepers solo album, is that true? Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Ralf's former Gamma Ray friend Uli Kusch will start with the drums in early July. This will be recorded in Sweden. The songs on the album are very personal – part time very heavy – some surprises and a great list of guests!

Through the years you played a lot places around the world, but there are still places you haven't played. If memory serves you played Australia, but it's been long ago... Would you like to get down under again? Probably hit New Zealand? Any other places you have on your list?

Both countries are untouched by the Metal Commando and is a huge target on our list. :)

What's planned for the rest of 2010? More live shows?

Yes of course as above mentioned – September / October – Europe!

So, if you haven't seen them live yet, European fans get their chance soon!

Claudia Ehrhardt


Primal Fear: Ralph Scheepers - live 2000
© Claudia Ehrhardt

Ralph Scheepers & Stefan Leibing - Wacken (D), August 2001

At Wacken Open-Air I had the chance to talk to Primal Fear singer Ralf Scheepers and guitarst Stefan Leibing. It was just about 10 minutes, but better than nothing, right?

Many people said that the music of Primal Fear use to remain Judas Priest and that you are a kind of German Judas Priest. What do you think about this? How do you feel about this?

First of all I have to said that is a great honor to be compared with such a great band like Judas Priest that is the top of the hill, the top of the mountain! But the thing is that I can said that my person have been always compared with Rob Halford, maybe because the similarity of the vocals, but there is no reason behind to copy anybody and if you listen to our albums you will see that there are songs that has nothing to do with Judas Priest. Maybe the higher vocals, but there is no reason to copy any band.

How would you describe the style of Primal Fear? To me you have a good combination of modern metal with classic metal.

You know, I don't like this label stuff. We just do what we got in our minds, we don't think maybe we could be death metal, or could be melodic metal or speed metal. We don't care about it, we just make our music and feel good, if it feels good for us. We compose the songs and then we have a band meeting and we sit together and we decide what's gonna be on the album. We don't choose any character from maybe death melodic metal or whatever, but I think our kind of music it's just a lot of energy with melodic vocals.

What do you think about today's metal scene? Metal is growing faster and faster. There are many bands that look like each other, but there are other ones trying to do something different. What's the opinion of Primal Fear and how do you see the future of metal?

The only thing I can said is that you can't invent something new in heavy metal. Everything has been done already, the only thing you can do is, come up with melody. For us the most important thing is, to have melody in our music, music is melody with of course the energy of drums and the guitars. And well, I'm not a prophet or Jesus, so I can't said what's going on in heavy metal, the only thing I can say is, it will be successful, it's gonna be more successful than it was before.

Tell us about your influences. Which are your favorite bands of all times in heavy metal?

We can't deny that we grew up with Saxon, Accept and Judas Priest, so our roots came from this bands, but we have this stuff in our brains and our minds. And we try to do another step in our music, we don't want to copy like I said before, but like I said before, somehow this stuff is our mind and in our blood.

Tell us about your plans for South America. You have many fans there that would like to see you.

I would like to use this media to say 'Hello to our fans over there', I promise that we are going to be there! I don't know where, we don't have plans jet, but we are going to be there. We were in Brazil before, but we would like to go to countries like Mexico, Chile and Venezuela, because everybody knows we have a lot of fans there and they really deserve to have the band live.

South American fans are really crazy! We really enjoy with them, when we were in Brazil that was amazing, we enjoyed the experience so much that we are looking forward touring in South America.

Many people in Venezuela still remain you with Gamma Ray, they use to buy the albums with Gamma Ray, especially Insanity And Genius that is always selling very well. I would like to ask you for the fans in Venezuela how is your relation with this band right now? And if there is a chance in a festival with both bands would it be possible to see you up with Gamma Ray singing a couple of classics?

First of all, still I have a good relation with Gamma Ray. We don't meet as often like we did a few years ago, but when we meet we have a good time and there is a good feeling. Of course some of my good times in my career where with Gamma Ray and I'm thankful with that, but know I'm in another level with Primal Fear that is the most important thing to me. And if we have a good time at festivals it could be that I could make some songs on stage again, but this will be spontaneously. It will deceide only five minutes before going to the stage.

Do you have any solo pro­ject in mind?

Not at this time, right now Primal Fear is the most important thing to me.

Stefan, tell us about your gear for guitar playing?

I play ESP guitars that are really great. When we played in Tokyo, we got in touch with ESP, so they sell us their guitars. We have different effect,s but nothing special to talk about.

Too soon our time was over, but somehow this will be continued in future....

Roberto Palmitesta


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