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Ralph Scheepers (Primal Fear)

Interview with Ralph Scheepers from Primal Fear
by Tommy Foxx at 27 March 2012, 12:12 AM

Without even letting us grasp the new year, PRIMAL FEAR released one of their toughest albums yet reminding their early years of spectacular Heavy Metal. Tommy-Foxx talked to the band’s vocalist, Ralph Scheepers, about the new album “Unbreakable” and the course of the band’s work.

Hey Ralf, how are you doing? It is great to have for this interview!

Hey hey, it’s great for me as well, thanks!

Congratulation for the new album, how does it feel? Did it make the impact you guys desire?

Thank you very much again! Yes, it definitely worked out how we wanted it and we are all overwhelmed by the reaction of our fans and the press! The chart entries were absolutely fantastic and they were the highest we have ever achieved. Thank you out there for showing your faith!

Can you describe the main proceedings of the album’s production (meaning recording and the rest)?

We wanted to travel back in time to the years when we have started PRIMAL FEAR. Combined with our experience of playing live over the years and the constellation of the best line up we’ve ever had, we were set to go and produced an album which deserves the labelHeavy Metal!
The formula in PRIMAL FEAR is having a 4 members writing team and we always have been writing songs which came totally out of our true metal inspiration. So if you have 4 hungry guys writing, it can’t be wrong in the end… I don’t want to talk about other groups; they might have their own way to compose songs….
It came naturally as this is our style. We love this kind of Heavy Metal and we never tried to adapt to any trends. It was our intention to replace the keyboards and piano intros and effects into a more guitar orientated direction again. Which doesn’t mean that we didn’t like what we did on all the albums since “Seven Seals” but we just wanted to be a bit more Heavy Metal again.

How does the work process go as it seems to me not everybody in the band is located in Germany?

Everybody of the band (Matt, Magnus, Alex, me and Randy with drum patterns) came up with ideas for “Unbreakable”. It was pretty much composing over the internet as Matt, Magnus, Alex and I live too far apart from each other to team up in one room to compose. But after all those years of working together we have somehow developed a style and a system that really works out! (As you can hear on the album) We all know what works best for PRIMAL FEAR and we keep writing stuff that comes totally out of our imagination and fantasy.

How do you succeed to keep that amazing voice going? It seems that your vocal abilities are in the same quality both live and studio.

Thank you again! I try to be as healthy as possible! That means I drink a lot of water and try to sleep a lot… go to make fitness etc…. On the other hand I have started not to care about it so much anymore and be a little bit more relaxed about it…I can’t change it if I have a bad day, that’s only natural…but so far I think I still do well. For me it’s also very important how the basic feeling is around me…at the last tours we really had a lot of fun in the band and no one came up with ego problems or things like that…we had enough of it in the past…

What is different on the “Unbreakable” album from the other PRIMAL FEAR albums?

The songs! JAs I have already mentioned above, we have replaced a lot of possible piano and keyboard effects with acoustic and e-guitar again…. All in all that’s the major difference!

You are in the music business for over thirty years since your first band TYRAN’S PACE, how did you turn to be a singer? Who influenced you?

I was singing along with the radio when I was a young boy (around 9) already…I never knew I was kind of good….until I have  joined the first school bands and went my way…The 80’s really were amazing to me… The whole NWOBHM vibe struck me down and I banged my head and formed my vocal chords at that time! J

What I like about PRIMAL FEAR is that you always keep on the traditional Heavy Metal style even though bands around you changed their music to something modern in order to fit the timeline. With your music I feel that even if I will listen to it 10 years from now it will still be relevant, what lead you to keep that same direction?

Our own passion about this style of music.  And again, we love this kind of heavy metal and we never tried to adapt to any trends.

Can you describe the process of writing a song in the band? It is interesting because PRIMAL FEAR was built from SINNER, ANNIHILATOR and REBELLION musicians, how does each one contribute to the band with his past musical background?

First of all you forgot GAMMA RAY (me) but that’s ok…. JIt’s a different thing because everybody brings in his style and this is some kind of an own style…. We just stick our heads together and write, there is no certain trick…just the 4 of us writing and collecting ideas….

You are in front of the new tour for the album’s promotion. How is it developing?

We are just about to start to rehearse this week and we have set up a cool set list with songs from the past which we didn’t play for a long time and of course with many songs from the new album.

Can you shed some light on funny experiences from your tours around the world?

It’s pretty much those things you can see in the movie from SPINAL TAP (Tap into America) – searching the way to the stage and all those Rock ’n roll moments we always have on every tour… J

Each one of you, at least this is how I see it, are living a sort of a Rock Star’s dream, performing around the world, do your own songs in front of thousand people, enjoy your vision, what can you recommend to young musicians that trying to reach into the music world?

I know it’s tough! Especially these days….the business is a pain in the ass but try to be yourself and be patient and have endurance…the rest is talent, luck and destiny! J

Ralf I would like to thank you for this interview. I wish you guys the best of luck with the new album!

Thank you very much again! See you out there at any place…


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