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Ralf Scheepers – Vocals for Primal Fear

Date: 1/20/16
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Tell us about the new Primal Fear album “Rulebreaker”, and how involved are you in writing the lyrics?

RALF: Well, first of all we were really happy with the last album “Delivering The Black”, and felt it was hard to top. But then when I heard the demos that Mat (Sinner – Bass) and Magnus (Karlsson – Guitars) were sending me to work on vocals, lyrics and melodies, some things were pre recorded for me to follow, and I knew this was gonna be as good. But I always said, that all the guys who played on the album, whether or not if they wrote or not, just contributing notes, gets a co-write credit. Mostly its Mat, me, and Magnus who write the lyrics.

2. I’ve been a long time fan, and listening to the new album to review…am I right in saying that the first four tracks will be in the live setlist?

RALF: Haha, yes, you got it, we are working on about five songs. We will see, we really want to play a few from the new album, and dust off a few others we haven’t played in a while.

3. This is Primal fear’s 11th album…given the Judas Priest style of traditional heavy metal Primal Fear plays, is it hard to repeat yourselves with each album?

RALF: You know, not really because playing this style of heavy metal just comes naturally to us. We are not trying to be anyone we aren’t. This is the music we grew up on and love to play.

4. Do you like the comparisons to Judas Priest? And do you feel, since obviously the godfathers of traditional classic Heavy Metal are older, and will be retiring soon, that Primal Fear can, and maybe should be called, second generation successors to their throne, or their offspring?

RALF: I take it as a compliment, and I have heard those comparisons for years. It’s not a terrible thing, hahaha, to be compared to Priest. It’s just the combination of classic and power metal in our sound, it is what it is. But, I also think Primal Fear have their own thing as well that identifies us as ourselves also.

5. What kind of setlist are you working on for America, and will it be the same as the European one?

RALF: It will be the same for Europe and America. Maybe switch around two or three, but for the most part will stay the same.

6. There are a few songs I’d like to hear live. I know a few of these have been played in the past. What are the chances of the following returning for this tour?

a. ‘Church Of Blood’ or ‘Play To Kill’.
RALF: No. neither one. We’ve played them before. It is hard after eleven albums to pick the songs. But, the ones I am saying no to there is no reason why we chose not to play those for this tour.
b. ‘Fight The Fire’.
RALF: Nope.
c. ‘Armageddon’ or ‘Fear’. Will we get something from “Black Sun”?
RALF: Nope, haha, sorry, Rich, none of your choices look to be in the setlist this tour. Its not for any reason why that album has been neglected the past couple times we played America. Great songs that worked great live.
d. ‘Sea Of Flames’ or ‘Suicide And Mania’?
RALF: Haha, nope. I can tell you that ‘Rollercoaster’ will be back. I’m happy that one is back…I’m releasing a secret right now, but who cares, haha.

7. I see there is a new drummer in the video for ‘The End Is near’ and ‘Angels Of Mercy’? will he, and Magnus, be on the US tour?

RALF: Yes, that is Francesco Jovino, from the U.D.O. band. And he will be with us, but not Magnus. He has a family and children, it is very difficult for him to go on the road. And we totally understand.

8. The story goes, as I have read, is that you auditioned as the replacement for Rob Halford in Judas priest? And that is how Primal Fear came about?

RALF: No, I never auditioned, but I was on the short list for consideration. But yes, Primal Fear did happen because of that.

9. Do you see growth in the band’s success with each album?

RALF: Yes, I do. But still everything is a learning process. We are very much in touch with our fans and album sales around the world, and America. Both through our label and social media.

10. Do you like doing side projects?

RALF: Yes, I do as a part of my profession because I sing for a living. I like singing on other people’s albums when asked, either a duet or solo. I am also working with a band from Italy called Derdian. I did some singing on like six songs for the Tomorrow’s Outlook album.

11. Plan on doing another solo album?

RALF: Not right now because I am busy enough with Primal Fear. The only other project I had time for was the Blackwelder album.

12. Was it the your band’s choice to take out Luca Turilli's Rhapsody for the American tour?

RALF: Yes it was. They are friends, are on our previous label Nuclear Blast, and I did some singing on their new album ‘Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus’. And our sound engineer also recorded the album. Plus, it is a smart decision to tour with another strong band, who is also from the same or a similar genre.

13. Recording a show from this year’s tour for DVD?

RALF: Yes, we will do some recording. Both from the band, and pro shot stuff.

14. As a European band, do you see things have gotten better for a band like Primal Fear in America?

RALF: I see it in a positive way, even with some of the negative, especially with the illegal downloading. I have that attitude that Metal will never die. In one sense, maybe albums don’t sell like they should, but, we can also tour and play in front of a lot of people. In the end, with so many pre costs, you have to break even, and pay you’re crew because without them touring can’t happen. Luckily, we have been around long enough to earn a living doing this. I am even a vocal teacher when not doing Primal Fear./p>

15. Metal bands you like?

RALF: I’m really liking the last three album from Accept, it really worked out with Mark as the new singer. I also like Disturbed, but if you asked me what my favorite albums were of 2015 I couldn’t tell you, haha, because of the time I put in to Primal Fear. I also like this band called Steel Engraved who’s music I produced. I think it’s their third release coming out. I do that as well, produce vocal recordings for others which I have done for several people.

16. Anything you would like to ad?

RALF: RALF: yes, come check out our American tour, and please come up to me and say hello, I like to shake hands, meet the fans, and have a beer with them.

Official website: http://www.primalfear.de/home/band


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