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Interviews : “Be excellent to each other, and party on!” – An Interview with Primal Fear

By on February 27, 2018

Primal Fear – Matt Sinner, Alex Beyrodt & Tom Naumann

German Power Metal heavyweights Primal Fear are celebrating 20 years of success, so their return to the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise came at the perfect time. Having recently released their ‘Best of Fear’ album, and with the new ‘Apocalypse’ just a few months away, it’s a wonder Primal Fear had the time to make it for the relatively relaxed event. As it turned out, they were first cab off the rank, opening the cruise performances in the Ice Rink.

With the big anniversary front of their minds, bassist Mat Sinner and guitarists Alex Beyrodt and Tom Naumann reflect on the release of their best of album. “Well, overall it was a contract we signed,” the aviator-clad Sinner points out, “where the best of album was a part of it. It only covers our ten year period on Frontiers Records. The other rights, the ten years before, are at Nuclear Blast Records. So it was to close that chapter, then working on the new album. We wanted to make it different,” he continues. “We wanted to make one CD a real Metal CD with some new tracks, and on the other side we showed our more epic side, which is sometimes a little bit underrated because we’re working on, on every album, some very epic songs and now we have them compiled on one CD so whoever is really into this side of Primal Fear can enjoy and listen to 60 minutes of epic tracks.”

On the topic of the upcoming ‘Apocalypse’ album, Sinner reveals, “Well, these two guys,” he indicates Beyrodt and Naumann, “are just waiting to record their parts when they are coming home. And I think the time on the ship is really coming to a wrong point for us…” All three break out laughing then. “Because we stopped working on the new album! My first job when I come home is how we split up the lead guitars to give them the most hard time they’ll probably have.”

Beyrodt simply laughs, while Naumann chuckles wryly, “Any lead is hard!”

“Really work hard on that!” Sinner rejoins. “But we had a nice time here so it was okay. So, drums are finished on the album, most of the basic guitars are finished, I have to do my bass parts, Ralf [Scheepers] is already signing half of the album, so it’s coming along very well. It’s a good album.”

“Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to tracking down the solos, the leads,” Beyrodt adds. “It’s always a lot of fun. Of course, like Mat just said, we are now here on the boat and actually we should be in the studio tracking, but it’s gonna be okay,” he grins.

Reflecting on Primal Fear’s first time ago, Beyrodt muses, “That’s three years ago, right? Was it three years ago?”

“2015, I think,” Naumann puts in. “We went to Jamaica. It was like a dream come true. You know, normally you don’t have so many opportunities to go to Jamaica. Now you can combine it with the stuff you love, so we play our kind of music, and we party with a lot of friends and we saw Jamaica, so it was like a dream come true.”

When the issue of seasickness is raised, Sinner and Naumann both point to Beyrodt, who is sitting between them. “That would be me,” Beyrodt speaks dryly. “But actually I’m not feeling like, sick, but I’m feeling dizzy all the time, and that makes it really like,” he makes a sound of sickness and laughs, “Can this please stop now? Because today’s a little bit shaky, whereas the days before I was fine, but today I feel like, ‘Okay, alright…’”

“You have to drink more alcohol,” suggests a deadpan Naumann.

“No!”

“Yeah,” Sinner adds, “if you drink more alcohol, you don’t know why. If it’s the alcohol, or it’s the ship.”

As to the preference for beer or cocktails in approaching that solution, the jury is out.

“Water,” Sinner states, causing a laugh from the other two, uproariously in Naumann’s case.

“Liar,” Beyrodt laughs.

“I never thought White Russians is water!” Naumann puts in.

“It’s TV!” protests Sinner.

“Okay, let’s go with water,” Naumann relents.

“We had one celebration of the 20 years,” Sinner reflects, “which was very hard and we spent a lot of money.”

“On White Russians,” Naumann murmurs as an aside.

“So most of our fee of the job was spent on alcohol,” Sinner finishes completely deadpan as Naumann loses it once again.

“In one night,” Beyrodt adds.

On the topic of who on the 70,000 Tons of Metal line-up Primal Fear would like to tour with, Sinner suggests, “Well, we had some nice talkings with Kreator.” Beyrodt agrees, nodding. “We spent a day with them in the plane, and then a day in the hotel, and we came along very well. They’re great guys and doing good music so I could imagine we could do some shows with them. Very peaceful and no super-egos. I think they are cool.”

“Yeah, I think that would be a great tour for the fans,” Beyrodt adds.

As to who is the most reclusive member of the band, Beyrodt laughs, “I won’t answer that!”

“Silence can speak more than words!” Naumann points out, with an arm around Beyrodt’s shoulders.

“No, it’s not me!” Beyrodt protests.

“Not you?”

“No.”

“Alex spent all his money,” Sinner says, “he made last year to bring his girl on this boat.”

That sits silently for a moment before Beyrodt processes what’s just been said. “All the money from last year?! Wow!”

“So he spent some time more than us in the cabin.”

“Well, I don’t know,” Beyrodt says. “But yeah, I’m having a good time. I brought my girlfriend because, you know, we travel so much. Last year we played 110 shows all over the world, and that means you are gone all the time. So she didn’t see me a lot last year, so I said, ‘The next time we do the cruise, I’m gonna bring you.’ And so this is cool, we’re having a good time.”

If Sinner were to head to the karaoke bar, he suggests the first song he would sing would be, “Painkiller. Because I like the range, I’m singing good in this range.” The band laugh wryly.

Hurt, by Johnny Cash,” Naumann suggests and laughs.

In the Ghetto by Elvis Presley,” is Beyrodt’s contribution.

In the Ghetto is a good choice,” Sinner muses.

“Ralf can do also like Elvis,” Naumann observes.

“He lives in the ghetto,” Beyrodt adds wryly.

As for the best thing Primal Fear have seen on the cruise, Naumann says, “Grand Turk was great. To feel the sand, to go to the water, that was really, really nice.”

“Watch the pictures in from Germany which is already super cold and snowy,” Sinner adds. “So it was really, really nice.”

“And we also enjoy meeting old friends like the In Extremo guys, the Kreator guys, so it’s really nice to hang out together and have a talk, and have some drinks. I really enjoy that,” Naumann reflects.

When it comes to late night food, opinions are polarised. “Pizza,” Beyrodt states, with the other two quickly following up, “Burgers.”

“Why am I always different?!” Beyrodt protests.

“You’re from Saarbrücken!” Naumann says with a laugh.

If Primal Fear could take control of the ship, Beyrodt suggests he would sail it to, “The Bahamas.”

“Really?” Sinner asks.

“For me, yeah. Never been there.”

“I’ve been there.”

“Seychelles,” Naumann suggests.

“That’s a bit far,” Beyrodt argues.

“I’ve been there too,” Sinner puts in. “You need, I think, a whole week to get there.”

“Well?”

“Even more, I don’t know.”

“Any place where it’s warm,” Naumann settles.

“I’m okay with that,” Sinner agrees. “If I think about when we come back to Germany, we have zero degrees and snow. I’m very fine where we are. Couldn’t be better.”

As for what’s next for Primal Fear, Sinner reveals, “All three of us, we have to record our parts on the new album. We have to shoot two videos for the album. We have to mix the album. We have a huge tour in front of us where all three are involved in a tour called Rock meets Classic, which combines a rock band and a symphonic orchestra with a lot of classic rock stars who play the biggest hits. So this time we have guys from Supertramp, Michael Sadler of Saga, we have Gotthard, we have Francis Rossi of Status Quo, and this is a huge arena tour which needs a lot of preparation and a lot of rehearsal to make that great. And we’re doing this every year since ten years, and this is coming up in April. So we have a lot to do. And in May, already starts the festival season with our first festival in Bulgaria. We play a lot of festivals over the Summer, and the new album will be released in August, and then we will tour Europe, then we have already confirmed some shows in Japan. Maybe,” he emphasises, “it will happen again that we come to Australia while we are in Japan. And South America’s waiting. Maybe America. A lot to do.”

In closing, Naumann chuckles, “Be excellent to each other, and party on!”


Head to the official Primal Fear website: www.primalfear.de

To find out more about the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Crusie, head to the official website: https://70000tons.com.

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