I had a chance to talk with Ralf Scheepers one of the co-founders and lead vocalist of Primal Fear. They will release a new album this Friday entitled, “Apocalypse”. We talk about the new album, his amazing voice, the epic song Eye of the Storm and Primal Fears tour plans coming up.
Scheepers talks about what got him started and how long he has been in heavy metal, “I grew up on 80s metal, so that was a lot of my influence. We have been doing this twenty year now. I never thought about quitting. I really do not look that far into the future. We feel there are some physical changes as we get older, but I have the advantage of working with a great team. We are very creative and that helps with having a lot of material for albums.”
The new album “Apocalypse” is what Scheepers talked about next, “There is a message to the album. It is now a crazy world and a dangerous time, so we do make a statement here and there. We like to make statements, but we don’t want to be political. We try to keep the themes commons, so it could be anywhere in the world.”
“Apocalypse” features some amazing guitar work and Scheepers discussed that a bit, “Matt and Magnus are responsible for the guitar, Tom and Alex also have a song each on the album. About 70-80% is Magnus and Matt, writing the guitar pieces, but other people also work on them. Magnus will not be on the tour unfortunately with his family duties, but he is still a key writing member. We are a five-member writing team and that is what is happening on every album right now. The guitar work is really outstanding on this album again.”
Next up Scheepers discussed the new lyric video Hounds of Justice, “I sit here, and the guys provide me with music. Years ago, we would do rehearsals and it was a long and tedious process. Now I don’t have to sit in the studio any more. They send me some songs and say do whatever you want, and others are just pieces of songs I play around vocally with. I love the raw and aggressive guitars in this song. It kicks my butt and allows me to put my aggressive energy vocally into the song as well.”
We also talked about his incredible vocal range, Scheppers mentioned, “I am honest, it is not like I am twenty and more. I am a vocal teacher, so I am working on my vocals all the time. I go through vocal exercises of course and I try to keep my vocals very clean. It is a muscle and you have to train it, but not over train it. It is hard to not over work, especially when on tour. You have to really take care of it. No smoking, less drinking, good clean air, but you have to make smart decisions. You are born with a voice and you can learn a lot, but part of it is what you got from birth. But you need to perform maintenance on it.”
One song that had to be discussed is the eight-minute epic Eye of the Storm. Scheppers had this to say, “We got the idea of the storm being all around the middle point, and the melodic point is the eye of the storm. We somehow leave space for the listener to use their own imagination and fantasy. It is a lot like when you read a book. It is a story, but everyone has their own vision of it. It is like seeing the movie after reading the book and some people are disappointed. We always try to keep this space, so they can have their own themes and ideas on what it is about. Especially the part of the song with warrior lyrics. The message is never giving up and we all have our own struggles. We want people to stay brave and stay positive. I have been down on my knees and through my worst times ever, but I never gave up.”
Scheepers finally talked about the touring plans coming up for the new album, “We are going to tour Europe, Japan and Australia and do some summer festivals as well. Next year we will see what happens. It is not easy to tour the United States. Working with visas and stuff, plus the political situation. We can’t change that though. We want to come to North American next year and South America as well, but we will see. It will be a massive world tour again. People need to come to concerts more again. It is good to play festival, because so many people are there. When it comes to doing single shows and doing tours, there is a lot of competition. People need to pick and choose based on their money situation. All I can say is come to our show if you want to hear a good band, come see Primal Fear and you will have a good time.”
Check out our review of Primal Fear’s, “Apocalypse” HERE.
Pre-Order “Apocalypse” HERE.