Mat Sinner of Primal Fear: Delivering the Goods

Metal As Fuck catches up with the Primal Fear bassist about their new album and upcoming Australian tour....

Ah, you have to love the trusty emailer, the interview format context forgot. A place where you find yourself not only lost in translation, but quite often lost in the junk folder too. But when you’re interviewing a musician as influential as bassist and songwriter Mat Sinner, you take what you can get. The dude’s a busy guy after all, seemingly touring nonstop with Primal Fear. So busy in fact, that instead of opting for a day or two off, he and the rest of the band will be playing a blitzkrieg two date Aussie tour in between a bunch of Canadian, US and Japanese shows. Thankfully, after a few weeks in inbox limbo, we can bring you Sinner’s thoughts on Primal Fear’s upcoming tour.

From where are you answering these questions right now?

“I’m in Baltimore tonight; we have 4 more shows in the US, then Canada, Japan and of course Australia.”

You’ll be heading down under in June for your first Australian tour, are you looking forward to it?

“Everybody is thrilled about the possibility, the band is in a fantastic shape and every concert so far has been a celebration. Now we’re coming for the first time to Australia and we’re really excited and looking forward to it!”

These Australian shows will be a real smash and grab affair. The band will be doing two cities, two shows, over one weekend. How did this tour come about?

“We had some shows in Japan straight after our 6 week US/Canada tour and had already booked the prestigious Graspop Festival in Belgium on June 16. Then came an offer from Australia and the only chance was to squeeze two dates in between Japan and Graspop. It’s a real monster travel for us, but it’s worth it.”

You’ve said in previous interviews that Rulebreaker is very much an album for the fans. With that in mind, what has the reaction been like to the album so far?

“After touring for Delivering The Black we were going back into songwriting with a lot of inspiration and we had a solid strategy for how the album should sound. We started writing songs and soon found out we’re right on track. Finally for this album’s release, the fans showed faith and we received the best feedback ever for Rulebreaker.”

Over the last couple of albums, the band has really expanded in the song-writing department. You’ve written 10 minute long epics like We Walk Without Fear and Where Angels Die, where does the inspiration for these kinds of tracks come from?

“Personally I’ve already had experience writing these kinds of tracks with Sinner on the albums Judgement Day and The Nature Of Evil. On the first Primal Fear album we had for example Tears Of Rage which went in this direction. I’m looking for challenges and to write an 11 minute song that is interesting is a big challenge and will be a part of the Primal Fear’s music in the future.”

You have been on both sides of the mixing desk as a song-writer and as a producer. How has taking on both these roles impacted you as a musician?

“Music is my life; I love being involved in making music in any capacity. I’ve had some bad experiences in the studio and decided I would learn everything for myself. Then I started to produce and found out how much fun I have in a recording studio. It’s not just work to me, it’s a passion and I’m thankful that i can work in a creative way and can write lyrics with stories I want to tell.”

Primal Fear started in the late 90’s, a decidedly barren time for metal as a whole. What was it like starting a new metal band in those days?

“I was quite successful with Sinner those days. So there was no pressure for me in that regard. But it was great and something different to write songs with Ralf Scheepers [Vocals] and in the studio we had a lot of fun. We recorded the songs we really loved and in the end, the entire metal scene was positively surprised about the first Primal Fear album.”

What else have you got planned for the rest of the year?

“We have some festivals in Europe for the summer. Then we’ll have a huge tour in South America spanning 10 countries, as well as more shows in Europe through October and November. After that, mixing the new live album/DVD.”

Finally, what can Australian fans expect from the upcoming shows?

“At least 5 new songs from Rulebreaker and in addition a best-of set played with a lot of ambition, passion, power and total energy.”

You can catch Primal Fear on their upoming Australian shows in Melbourne and Sydney on June 11th & 12th.