Primal Fear's return to the music scene is the starting point of a new CD, a new record label, and a "New Religion". Yes sir indeed, it's once again time for some bombastic, fantastic, teutonic, metal. We had a quick chat with bassist/songwriter Mat Sinner and here's the outcome of the Q's and A's.

Hallo Sinner, congrats to an excellent new album. What's so new about, "New Religion", apart from the obvious change of record label? Does it feel like a completely new chapter in the book of Primal Fear? (Pheonix rising, huh? - the artcover).

Hi, well it is our own resurrection. The eagle is burning and is born again. On the next cover artwork, the eagle will be flying high again. We have a new record company and the comeback of guitarist Henny Wolter in the band. We are working with a lot of new people together all over the world. We have a great vibe in the band and we’re looking out for the longest tour we’ve ever done!

Yeah, the new record label, You're not afraid that some people will pre-judge your new CD, thinking it must be something utterly wimpy and AOR-ish, considering it's been released at Frontiers Records?

Why should we? Would it be better, if I would release the album on my own label? We negotiated with more than 10 great labels. Frontiers gave us the feeling, that they want us badly, the offer was cool and they have a 100% motivated team. For us it important to be a top priority band on a label. I don’t care whatever they release, as long as they are working cool for us. In this case, I couldn’t ever sign to a major! That’s bullshit!

Did you feed Ralf on helium and gasoline before entering the studio? It's like he's managed to deliver something even more impressive than usual this time.

Both …. and afterwards he singing out of his asshole! I think Ralf work very hard on his performance and has a pro attitude. This time, he delivers the best vocal performance in his entire career! A lot of the vocals were recorded in his own studio and this gave him an additional push!

Is the excellent duet, "Everytime The Rains" (featuring Simone of Epica), a flirt with millions of Goth fans around the world or simply just a natural step in the progress of Primal Fear?

I think it’s important that the song has to fit to the vision. Simone and Ralf both have done a fantastic job on this one and it’s always a nice pleasure to surprise the fans with something we’ve never done in the past! Well, on the other side there will be some dudes out there saying this song sounds like Judas Priest ;-)

You're using a lot of orchestra arrangements on "New Religion", and yet it feels very natural and synchronic to the metal. Any special influences or persons behind this particular idea, surely not "The Elder" with KISS (well, I love that album as well by the way).

We stared to work with my long time friend Matz Ulmer (Anyone’s Daughter) on the Seven Seals album. This time we worked even harder on the orchestra arrangements with him and it worked out even better. Over the years you have other targets as a musician and I really love the combination of a metal band and an classic orchestra!

I find, "Fighting The Darkness", to be your magnum opus so far. This isn't the typical four minute long metal tune. It's basically a monster that keeps building on emotion and sheer energy. Did you have the basic idea already worked out when you entered the studio, or did it simply grow into nine minutes out of the moment?

We are always looking for new challenges and new vibes. It’s a huge job in the studio to get all the puzzle stones together to create such a monster track. Well, we are very ambitious and want to deliver a creative and interesting album. A song like “Fighting The Darkness” is for us all a highlight. Maybe the best sounding Primal Fear song, we’ve ever released! But the song was composed in this way before we’ve entered the studio!

On the other hand, you still have the fun and rather "simple" metal approach of a tune like: "Psycho". Simplicity works like a charm every time? You need a couple of these rockers to keep the blood pumping and not to mention the flow of the album?

That’s the roots we want to keep. We will forever be a heavy metal band and this style belongs to Primal Fear. We love this kind of music too and play these songs with 100% dedication!

On a scale from 1 to 10. How much 'Judas Priest' is the intro of: "World Of Fire", if you get my question :-)). However, the rest of the song is completely different from JP though?

I would say “1” – because I don’t hear any Judas Priest similarity here!

Could you go through the story behind "Face The Emptiness", it sounds like rather sad and depressive story?

There’s not only sunshine in all our life. We have all our themes and problems we’re writing about. Jack Daniels, girls & rock’n roll isn’t the only thing on earth! The lyrics overall should fit to the vibe of the song and we tried to write stories around the music. The lyrics are important to us!

How important was the impact of Ronald Prent (Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Def Leppard, Manowar)?

Ronald is a fantastic guy and very nice and cooperative. He did a fantastic job on the mix of the album, but there was no influence in our songs or music! Because everything was recorded before Ronald came in to help us!

Listening to "The Man (That I Don't Know"), Ralf would do just fine in an Opera/Rocky Horror kind of show?

Yeah, as I told you, he’s working very hard on his act and that’s the result. His vocals are more variable and you can work hard with him in the studio. I have a lot of respect regarding his development as a singer during the last years!

I'll have to be honest here and say that I wasn't really into 'Sinner'... yet I find Primal Fear to be top-notch stuff. Any good point or explanation, you don't work things differently or write songs according to a different beat and drum/formula?

Sinner is my holiday and vacation. I put a lot more time in Primal Fear. But Sinner will be always my legendary band with great songs and memories of the past. I’ve already signed a new record deal with AFM Records for Sinner, so there will be a new album next year!

Thanks for everything, if there's anything you'd like to add, say, or promote, please do:

Of course, we’re really proud of our new album and it would be great if the fans are checking out our new album and be part of the tour in autumn!

Interview by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom, urban "at" (c) 2007