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Randy Black – Drums & Ralf Scheepers - Vocals

Dates: 10/8/05 & 5/19/2005
Interviewer: Rich Catino


1. Did Primal Fear have anything to prove on “Seven Seals”?

RANDY: No not really, it’s just an ongoing development of songwriting and we just wanted to make the best album we could possibly make at this point.

2. What is Seven Seals the song about and the direction of the video?

RANDY: It’s not meant in a religious way. It’s like a doomy vision of the end of the world. As far as the video is concerned we have tried to visualize the world coming to an end, you have the fire, the crumbling buildings. Yeah that’s quite the chorus too huh? I heard that song a hundred times and I don’t get tired of it.

3. Who came up with the design for the Cd cover?

RANDY: That was Mat our bass player. I think there’s actually a special edition coming out around Christmas, yeah I don’t want to give too much away but the cover of the Cd has a lot to do with the special edition. There will also be a bonus disc with both audio and video material.

4. Are you releasing any other promo videos?

RANDY: We also shot a video for “Evil Spell” and might be part of the special edition. We all sent our wishes for what our other video would be and I think everyone picked that song. It is just a performance shot with no effects, it’s neat. I’m not too sure when that one comes out.

5. Tell us about your drumming for this Cd and did you bring anything different to the table?

RANDY: I got to stretch out a little more, songs like “Diabolus”, “Carniwar”, “In Memory” which is a little different and not your typical metal drumming. What I found interesting with the drumming was working with producer Charlie Bauerfeind where he really pushed me, and the rest of the guys. But speaking of the drum tracks he got really great sounds and performances even if that meant an intense almost nerve racking vibe in the studio. When I listen to it now I can hear that extra work that he demanded of me and the guys.

6. Compare “Seven Seals” to “Devils Ground”.

RANDY: First off there is more variety in the song writing and that’s because you have four different writers in the band, and sonically. From the production with Charlie and Matt to the mixing in Canada with Mike Fraser really sets it apart. Everything is played better, sounds are better, overall a better sonically sounding record with more variety.

7. Did you do any writing on this record?

RANDY: I just wrote the drum parts, none of the song writing is done by me. I get demos from the guys and some of that definitely stays, and I help out with some lyrics here and there.

8. What do you think about the many comparisons Primal Fear gets to Judas Priest? Is that something you hear also?

RANDY: I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I hear it yeah. With the last two records I think we are sounding less and less with each record, especially with the new one “Seven Seals”. Obviously with Ralf’s voice it’s hard to get away from that comparison because he has a great range and when he hits the high notes he just so happens to have the same tone as Halford. He is singing lower stuff on the new one but as far as the music everyone is saying we are getting further away from that.

9. Do you hear any of Mat’s other band Sinner in Primal Fear?

RANDY: Maybe a little but I think Sinner has a more dirty rock sound and that’s totally different than Primal Fear. Plus Mat sings totally different too.

10. How was it working with Annihilator guitarist Jeff Waters?

RANDY: Well I don’t work with him anymore if that answers your question, but for me unfortunately that was more of a solo project. Playing the music was fun and I’m still friends with some of the former band members especially Joe Comeau and Russ Bergquist who happens to be the new bass player for my side project DuskMachine. On “Waking the Fury” we didn’t have so much time in the studio to experiment but I did bring some things to it. More room to stretch out with Primal Fear.

With DuskMachine, the whole production has been done by the band. The outcome of much hard work is a concept album, whose story was constructed by singer Hagen Hirschmann. In the style of works by E.T.A. Hoffmann (a German writer in the 19th century), its an emotional concept story, which depicts the life of the main character from birth to death. Finally it is brought to life by the atmospheric and pounding compositions of the band.

11. What happened with you working with the band Rebellion?

RANDY: What happened was I got the gig with Primal Fear and I thought there wouldn’t be any problems working with both projects but the guys in Rebellion were skeptical. In the end they gave me an ultimatum and I had to leave Rebellion. I have no problems with the guys and we are still friends, but they didn’t think it would work with scheduling.

12. What was it like for a Canadian moving to Germany?

RANDY: At first it was quite strange because I only really knew my fiancé and I really didn’t have a grasp on the language. It was difficult in the beginning. I have been here six years now. I am speaking more of the language, things are going good with the career and my fiancé and I are still together so I am much more comfortable now.

13. What are your favorite Primal Fear songs?

RANDY: Until now it was “Heart of a Brave”, “Visions of Fate”, “Under Your Spell”, ‘Angel in Black”. But from the new ones I like “Rollercoaster” which we did at a festival recently. I think “Diabolus”, “Evil Spell”, “Demons and Angels”, I am looking forward to playing them all. All those songs will be in the set list I think along with “All for One”.

14. What are the band’s touring plans? U.S. dates?

RANDY: We are going on tour with Helloween November 30 in Europe till January 21. I heard some rumblings of a three week U.S. tour at some point. It would be nice if we could tour the States with Helloween.

1. It has been said that Primal Fear are doing some different things with this record. What are they?

RALF: I think there is more variety for this record, more bombastic stuff, much more powerful but still melodic. We used a string section but not too much because we didn’t have enough time to add say an orchestra. The sound is more rounded out this time. I think people will be pleasantly surprised.

2. Can you give us some song titles and what they are about?

RALF: Sue I can give you all the titles, Haha. Seven Seals, Demons and Angels, All for One, Rollarcoaster, Diablos, Evil Spell, Memory of You, Higher Power, Union, Carnivore, The Immortal Ones, A Question of Owner. Like our albums before we write a lot of fantasy lyrics along with personal experience. We have also used some references from the bible for our lyrics without sounding like we are preaching. It is just like telling a story.

3. What will the album cover look like? Will you still use the eagle?

RALF: Everyone is going to be surprised, we have a chrome looking eagle that is part of a book, it really looks great.

4. Does it bother the band that Primal Fear are always getting compared to Judas Priest?

RALF: To be compared to one of the greatest Heavy Metal bands is not a bad thing. Sometimes you can’t help it, as much as you try to write your own music and remain an individual you are always going to sound like someone, it happens to every band in the genre. It happens with Gamma Ray and Hammerfall too and they do their own thing as well. If you listen to “Angel of Retribution” by Priest and our new record it’s totally different. I think we were able to separate ourselves from those comparisons on the new CD.

5. Are the changes with the new record a reaction to the comparisons to Judas Priest?

RALF: No I don’t think so. We tried to do our own thing as usual. I think if you compare our first record to what we have been doing since then, and especially with the new one, we continue to do our own thing and do different things with each release.

6. Does the new album “Seven Fields” maintain the Primal Fear sound?

RALF: Our sound has not changed a bit, it still as always has to have melody and a hook. Now it has just grown more while still being aggressive.

7. Overall, how have your experiences been when touring the States?

RALF: It has been mostly positive. The Halford Metal Gods tour went very well, as short as it was. It was not a problem with ticket sales, that is not what caused the tour to end. It was something financial in another way unfortunately, something I will not get into.

8. Do you feel the scene for European Power Metal has improved in the States? What kind of feedback have you heard from European bands who recently toured the States?

RALF: Yes I think things have improved especially in the past year and a half. Every time when a band comes over and then reports to the German press it’s been mostly positive. The only thing with America is you start your tour on the east coast and it takes some time to get over to the west coast. Also, a lot of times since the country is so big, its hard to get good sized crowds once you start getting further away from the major cities and the coasts, your only playing to like 100 people at a time. With

Primal Fear that’s why we choose to do festivals a lot of times, you get to play to play to more people that way.

9. Do you receive or will you receive some support from radio, either in the States or Europe?

RALF: We do get some support from internet radio and local stations, I did do a lot of interview when Devils Ground came out. Its hard with radio unless you are a top selling artist on the charts, that goes for both in Europe and especially the States.

10. What are your plans for the rest of this year?

RALF? We are doing some festivals this summer in Europe and we will also finish up the new album which should be released in October. We will also shoot a video for the album.

11. Will you return to the States in 2006 for a tour?

RALF: Yes we are planning on that but it is too early to confirm any details yet, everything is in the planning stages.

For more info go to the band’s official website: www.primalfear.de

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