About Me

Interview with Primal Fear

Primal Fear are a twenty-year career band with twelve albums that no longer needs introduction. With their powerful Heavy Metal, determination and fierceness are adjectives that can describe this (now) sextet. On the road to promote "Apocalypse", the band promises not to stop and managed to find some time to talk to Metal Imperium.

M.I. - Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It's a pleasure to talk to one of the most consistent metal bands of recent times. Let's start with "Apocalypse," your recently released album, which is, perhaps, the most diverse of the Primal Fear, leading the listener on a journey of strong riffs, striking melodies and catchy chorus. Was this diversity on purpose, or did the songs build like that?

We collected around 25 cool ideas for the pre production, reduced it to 20, then to 14 and started to work on the details, set up, melodies, grooves etc. Then we’ve started the real recordings with the drums, then guitars, bass and vocals. During this time it was clear that we wanted to record an album that was different to “Rulebreaker” but should be 100% in the Primal Fear direction.

M.I. - As the name implies, this album takes us back into the darkness, towards the end of time, with an apocalyptic instrumental beginning. Can we say that "Apocalypse" is a concept album?

No, not at all, we were never interested in writing a concept album, but the lyrical content is dealing with the progress on our planet, corrupt politicians, rude words, no more loyalty, threads, no more dignity and we thought it would be ok to write some lyrics with our view of the current situation instead of writing 12 love songs.

M.I. - Twelve albums in 20 years imply an almost permanent creative process. How do you work on the new themes? Compose on the road? Do you want to unveil a little of your composition process?

I’m working with Magnus the entire year on ideas, riffs, melodies and we’re collecting everything until a certain point. I will try to do the same with Tom now. In the end we have a bunch of ideas and will try to find the best combination for the next album. We have a lot more to say and still can do a lot of modifications.

M.I.  - Keeping up, you're already thinking about the next album, right?

Yes, we have already two really cool ideas finished and we will go on, but first we will tour around the world to celebrate our 20-year anniversary and the new album Apocalypse. That’s the main focus for the next months. 

M.I.  - The year 2015 brought some changes to Primal Fear: Aquiles Priester left the band, and drums started being handled by Francesco Jovino (U.D.O.). What did Francesco bring back to the sound of Primal Fear?

It was Randy Black who left the band and we’ve tried hard to replace him with Aquiles, but he just played 7 shows with the band and it didn’t work out. Francesco just left UDO and he was playing just like what we were looking out for. We’ve played a show together in order to check out if he was the right guy for the job and he did great! 

M.I.  - It was also this year that Tom Naumann, one of the founding members of the band and who was touring with you in the last two years, joined Primal Fear again as an official member and third guitar. What motivated this decision?

Tom started the band with me and Ralf and it’s right that he is back with us. He belongs to the band and is a main part of the band. We are very happy to have him back!

M.I. - If you could do one of your albums again, which one would you choose and why? What would you do differently?

Black Sun – because we had a lot of technical difficulties during the production. On the other side, we’ve learned a lot and these things didn’t happen again.

M.I. - "Apocalypse" is your 12th album. What moves and inspires you after 20 years of career?

Every new album is a huge challenge. Our lifestyle and passion are our jobs – isn’t this great and enough motivation to give 100% 24/7? I’m very happy with the current status of the band and the power of the band. Not more motivation needed and we’ve just signed a new recording deal with Nuclear Blast and the first album for this contract must be crushing!

M.I. - Studio or stage? Which do you prefer?

Both – I like to get the picture together of an album production like a huge puzzle. On the other side on stage it’s the real deal. One shitty show can be changed on the next day with a great show. An album will stay forever – this is a bit more responsibility!

M.I. - Primal Fear is an European band. Do you think European metal is different from the American metal, for example? What are the differences?

For me there’s just good and not so good metal. I don’t care from which country it is coming from. There are so many great bands from the USA – as long as it touches me I will listen to everything.

M.I. - Portugal is on your route for the "Apocalypse" tour?

We would love to play for you guys, but we need a promoter who believes in Primal Fear and will give us the chance to perform in Portugal and present the band in a cool way! 

M.I. - What do you still have to do?

Rehearsal for the next shows in 12 European countries, Japan and Australia.

M.I. Thank you so much!


For portuguese version, click here

Interview by Rosa Soares