With the arrival of the thirteenth studio album by Primal Fear, “Metal Commando” (here our review), we had the opportunity to do a precious Skype interview with Ralf Scheepers, the historic front man and founder of the german band!
Hi Ralf, it’s a great pleasure to meet you and have you here with us! How are you?
Thank you! I’m fine to be here and I’m really happy to aswer your question!
Unfortunately in these months, music, especially live music, is not having a good time. How are Primal Fear facing this abnormal situation?
No, not at all. We wrote the entire album before the pandemic, it only conditioned the photoshooting and the videoshooting a little bit, because we could not invite Magnus for the video for instance. The photos are somehow set together on digital you know, because we could not be together, I mean, the smart thing like this. It was difficult for us for putting a booklet together but we are still happy, everything worked well. The writing of the music was not compromised, nor the writing of the lyrics as everything had already been done before the pandemic.
Despite Covid-19 is bringing numerous problems to the artists, many of you haven’t stopped working and released new material. Does “Metal Commando” come just to fight this situation?
I hope it help, yes! I mean, if people somehow have a bad time that it’s great for us because we now release music and release music is not forbidden in times of the pandemic, so that’s a good thing; people can listen to music and somehow find some courrage themselves out of the music and fight, maybe with a new motivation for the future! This would be a great thing for us, people who manage to indulge in music by struggling and finding new motivation to move on and get through a period like this.
How did the recording of “Metal Commando” take place?
The recording went as we always did, I mean, the drums was recorded in Denmark in the studio when everything was open. So there was no side of the pandemic at the time in novembrer last year. I recorded vocals at home in my studio so all of that wasn’t affected in the end by the health emergency. Except for the video as mentioned before, but still we managed and in the next few weeks one more will come out, we are quite busy right now!
What are the positive and negative changes in music market, in recent years, in your opinion?
Surely you can spread the world about your release using the social medias. Unfortunately, even if some people can listen your music using legally Spotify, it’s still a steal, somehow “illegal”, for the musician, because the retribution isn’t adequate. But we have to go with the times and we must understand that it’s not so easy to sell music anymore in terms of making money with it, because musicians no longer make music with the intention of make money, otherwise they would stop soon, but we still have to be paid for our work, because it’s a work.
What we doing? We keep having a lot of trust when we have studios booked and when we do the mixes. In the end that’s a bad situation we are all in, but we will never give up. So it is not easy this year, I will never say it’s easy, but also know that we are fighters, we are surviving all this. It was not easy before the pandemic and it will not be easy after the pandemic. We are very positive, and not only in Primal Fear, I think there is general positivity, we will survive.
How do you deal with difficult moments in your life?
Well, I would say that not everything is perfect in my life, but that’s make me a normal person like everybody else. There are always ups and downs in life but you have to take the best out of it because you learn from bad times and bad situations, and you make the best out of it. You’re maturing and your growning on it, so that’s the positive side.
What was the most beautiful moment you lived with Primal Fear?
Oh, we had some amazing moments like Wacken, for instance, if you are talking about live music. Standing on stage always those big festival concerts like Monters Of Rock in San Paulo Brazil and also Wacken is just amazing for a band.
In terms of being together during tours it’s just great being together with the mates and having a good time on tour. You know, this doesn’t mean it’s only party, there are other things like going to have dinner together every day, to have exchanges and to speak to your friends.
Have you ever come to Italy for holidays? Where have you been and what did you like?
Yes! In 1974 and 1978 I was in Rimini and I like Italy. I like the culture of Italy because italian people are very positive in terms of living their culture, that’s what I like mostly. It’s got someting which is really relax in positive way how your people are in terms of food also. And also in terms of the beautiful landscape you have and I remember all love songs from Italy. I still have a cassette with about an hour and a half of Italian music, also classical, with artists like Zucchero, which reminds me of some holidays I had in the past. It makes me go back to the beach and enjoy Rimini. I also said this to my friend Cristina from Lacuna Coil!
Many artists listen to musical genres that are very different from what they play (in their band or their projects), is this also your case?
Well, yes, I listen to many styles of music, not only heavy metal. It’s good to charge battery sometimes with something else, even classical music sometimes, or also some kind of pop music back in the days like Phil Collins and Genesis, and all the nuances of music, not only heavy metal. Of course we are Primal Fear, a heavy metal band! We love heavy metal and we play heavy metal but honestly, what to say, sometimes I listen something else just to charge battery again and sometimes I also listen to nothing!
Besides music, what are your biggest passions?
Well, I like to go to the fitness gym a little bit, not too much anymore, but to keep myself in shape. That’s very important for me. You can define it as a little addiction because I simply love to be fit, and it’s a great feeling after the gym when I go upstairs to the top of my roof, sit there and have a very satisfied feeling
With what other artists would you like to collaborate in a Primal Fear’s project?
In a Primal Fear’s project? Well, I’d like to collaborate with another woman to maybe do another duet, but this is too early to talk about at the moment, so we will see what happens. Unfortunately this year we cannot tour but we are still planning to come up with some goodies for the fans so that it can be worth the wait.
If you could choose to play as a co-headliner with a band, which one would you choose?
Oh well… Helloween? We did it before and it was just great, a great thing for the fans! Maybe also Gamma Ray. Why not?
Which young band would you personally recommend to heavy metal lovers?
Well, there is a lot of band out there, and I would nominate a lot of them, but I would miss other great ones, but there is an austrian band, Garagedays! They have a very raw, direct and dynamic energy and that’s what I love.
Thanks Ralf for your answers and for your time, I wish you and the band all best, hoping to see you on stage as soon as possible!
Thank you guys, stay safe and see you next year!