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Ralph Scheepers (Primal Fear)

Interview with Ralph Scheepers from Primal Fear
by Manolis Moundrianakis at 01 January 2001, 2:00 AM

We all loved him from his work with Gamma Ray. We will never forget songs like Heading for tommorow, Last Before the Storm , One with the world etc. Mr Ralph Scheepers is not with the Rays anymore but that does not prevent him from making great albums. Primal Fear strike back with Nuclear Fire and on this interview Ralph talks about everything concerning the new album of Primal Fear and not only. We caught Ralph a fine sunny morning on a hotel with a great view. We sat on table and we had about 20-25 minutes in order to bring you this interview. Of course when you have such a great musician for an interview time is never enough but i think we did our best. Have fun!

Hi ralph we are from an internet magazine named metal temple. First of all we'd like you to tell us your opinion about internet.

What I think about internet? It's very good thing indeed. Fans do not only rely in magazines. They can always run on the internet and find information. For our new album for example. If there's something new they can visit our official home page and learn it. On the other hand we have problems with the piracy. With the mp3 files which is a pretty bad thing. Many fans prefer to download the album from the net and that's pretty bad for us.

Do you think that when someone downloads a song from your album steals money for you in some way?

It's a good thing when it's only one song. I mean if they download one song in order to see if they album is good and then they buy it. It becomes a bad thing when they download the whole album! (laughs)

You have a new album now, can you give us some information for it? The title, the official release date and stuff.

Yeah of course. The title of the album is Nuclear Fire . It's going to be released on the 15th of January and it's the third album for Primal Fear which shows pretty much that the band grew together. The whole composing was basically done right after the last European tour. It's the best album we've ever done because it's has all the power and the energy it's on it.

 How long did it take you to record Nuclear Fire?

The recording sessions were four and a half weeks, but we composed the songs half a year before that. I said right after our European tour and it's a pre-production process before that, so we could come to say 6-7 months. The final recording in the studio would take four and a half weeks.

Are you satisfied with the result of your new album?

Yes I am. Of course musicians are always somehow a little bit Well we can do better next time but when they listen to the result for example in the car really loud you think That's it. (laughs)

What are the differences and the similarities of your new album with the previous albums?

Like I said we worked as a team. Everybody was involved 20% on the whole album. You can really say that our new guitar player brought in some very good ideas and the variety we have in this album has a wide range if you listen through the songs. So we can pretty much say that is our best effort.

Did you have any hard times during the recordings sessions?

Well I remember having a bad hang over one time (loud laughs). Of course sometimes you strungle with some songs and some seem much easier to do but I think that this is pretty normal.

 Could you give a good reason to the fans, why they should buy Nuclear Fire among the other releases.

Yeah. I just can say that it's the strongest album so far by Primal Fear and if they liked the other albums they're going to love this one. Everything else it up to them. If they go to the cd store I suggest them to listen to some songs and if they like it they can buy it. If they don't we can't do anything.

 As you said before you are satisfied with the  results of your new album, so now there's nothing you would like to change ?

Its getting even better when you listen it more times.

 Have you kept the same lineup like it was in your previous album ?

No, Tom had so much to do in his private life, so much stress around so he said that he could not concetrate any more so much to Primal Fear so we saty together on a table and discussed this, and we got to the point that we had to go separate ways and we called up Andie cause he's a great guitarist and composer. So we sent him the cd's and he said that he wanted to do this.

 Is the producer Matt Sinner again ?

Yes he has done the production like in the past there's no need to find a producer if you have a good team already, so as you can hear from the sound of the new album its pretty tight so there's no need to change anything

 Did you use Morissound studios again ?

No this time we just stayed in one studio.

 We understand that you're gonna shoot a video from the new album. Angel In Black right?

Yes we are

 Why did you choose to shoot a video on this song? It's the first Primal Fear Video right ?

Yes it's the first Primal Fear video and Angel In Black is the very first song we composed for Nuclear Fire. Its was a good theme to shoot a video on this song because it shows the direction of the new album.

 Why did you choose to call the album Nuclear Fire ?

One person from the band came up with the idea to call it Nuclear Fire and we thought well this be difficult in Japan because they have some bad history with that (laughs) But then it has nothing to do with wars, so its like a positive thing its about fighting against the nuclear fire and somehow the eagle stands as a saviour.

 Do you have any touring plans in order to promote the new album ?

Yes we are going to be on tour next February.

 Accompanied with Children Of Bodom and Sacred Steel?

Yes its pretty strange but it's a challenge for us, we want to reach their fans and maybe they want to reach for our fans too.

Will you be the headliners of the toor?

We will be co-headlining with Children Of Bodom.

 Are you gonna play any Gamma Ray songs on the tour? Because you did it in the past.

We did do something cause we only had one album and we didn't have enough songs for Primal Fear. But now we have enough songs for a full primal fear set.

 How are your relationships with Gamma-Ray ?

Still good, still very good. We talk with Kai on the phone sometimes. There nothing bad going on between us. Of course they were some bad moments in the past but these were onlly a 5%. The other 95% were good. So let's keep the good things.

 There a rumor about a reunion concert with Gamma Ray. Just for a couple of live shows.Is that true?

Well, it was an idea of Kai when he recorder Blast from the past. He would tour with the old members but i think that if he already recorded the album why shouldn't sing it live? So it would make no senser for me . On the ohter hand i'm very busy with my own band.

 Have you heard Kai Hansen's versions of your songs?

Yes i did. I mean it's a strange feeling if you hear somebody else singing your songs and in the beggining i was a little bit dissapointed but when Kai explained to me what he was trying to achieve i understood.

 Do you think that power metal lacks of originality?

Well, that's a pretty hard question. A lot of bands sound very similar to me. I don't want to say any names but there are some bands that sound very much like Helloween right now. Somehow i miss originakity of course, but when you grow up with something and when you like it a lot, without doing it on purpose you sound better or like it. So i can't say that this is a bad thing.

 What are your own influences?

We grew up in the 80's and on the end of the 70's with Accept, Saxon, Judas Priest, Iron maiden and so on.

 Ok now we are finished. Say everything you like to the fans around the world.

Thank you for your support and i'm gonna promise that you'll hear a lot of good stuff from Primal Fear in the future.


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