Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 10, 2005
What was the name of the first garage band you were in?
I was in Hot Rats at the age of fourteen. We recorded some stuff that is lost somewhere. I would love to hear that.
What kind of kid were you in high school?
Pretty normal, I was in to sports and music. I did enough just to get by in my marks. I played ice hockey in Canada. I was pretty good.
Did you take drum lessons?
I took some lessons when I was 11 for a few years. I played drums in the high school band and I took one year of college in Edmonton Alberta, Canada before joining my first road band that toured across Canada called Chaotics. Then I joined Click it was a Rush cover band that had the same four members for ten years. Same four members together for ten year that is amazing these days.
How was it when you joined Primal Fear?
It was great! I was first just a substitute for the Metal Gods Tour. The drummer at the time could not get away to do it. I was under the assumption that I was just going to do the tour and that was it. Things developed from that tour, they liked how the band sounded, and I guess things weren’t going so well with Claus and I stayed on.
How is Primal Fear different from other metal bands?
Man, I would say with this new album is a little more dynamic, more variety with the songs. I am referring to the last two albums that I was involved with.
Who are your influences?
Ringo Starr would have to be first then Keith Moon, John Bonham, Neil Peart of Rush and Terry Bozzio. The newest drummer I like is Jaska Raatikainen of Children of Bodom he is really cool and very tight and plays really well.
What is your favorite track on the new Primal Fear CD “Seven Seals”?
“Diabolus,” “Evil Spell,” “Seven Seals,” and “RollerCoaster.”
Were there any songs that did not make the album?
Yeah we had a pool of songs close to twenty. Ten didn’t make it.
So what happens with those songs?
I guess they go back in the pool. I am not a writer but they put them back on the back burner and they get new inspiration during the new tour and maybe change them. I know that happened in past songs. They rewrite something and it might make it to the next album.
Will there be a US tour?
I really hope so. There’s talk and rumors beginning, there might be a tour of the US, I am keeping my figures crossed, and I really hope so. We have played there way too little. It all depends on the sales of the new record and the demand for it. We are definitely willing to do it and want to do it.
What song is your favorite song to play live?
“Heart of a Brave” off “Devils Ground” and “Under Your Spell.”
On the last CD and the new one, the band seems to use a lot of string instruments. Will that be a normal part of the band?
In the past during our live show, Stefan played them or we might just have a sampler on stage that will trigger them.
On the “Seven Seals” CD, the band goes in to a lot of religious meaning, is the band religious?
No. I am speaking for myself. What I see in the band, no, they’re not.
Even on the new video, “Seven Seals” Stefan has a shirt with a cross on it.
<Laughing> Yeah true but no. I asked Stefan myself with the song “The Healer”. I really thought so too. I said Stefan are you religious and he said no it’s just a song I wrote about and found the topic interesting.
How does a song like “Diabolus” get written with those amazing lyric? One line is ‘Blood on my hands and no more footsteps in the sand.’ How the hell do you come up with lyrics like that?
<Laughing> Fuck, right on. That’s a great line Mat just comes up with stuff like that. It’s a great tune. We also have done two videos for “Seven Seals”. I think the theme of the video comes from the bible.
Do you think “Diabolus” will become a video?
It’s too long. I know it’s great and I wish it could be. But there is not a radio station in the world that will play and eight minute song. Well at least we are playing it live.
Another song “All For One,” is another great tune that is melodic first and melts your brain with power.
Yeah. Good variety of songwriting on there. I think that was Tom’s riff. He came up most of that tune.
How do you feel about the drumming on that tune, seems almost like a solo is on there?
Yeah! at the beginning. It’s like Keith Moon style. To be honest that was the producer’s idea Mat. I didn’t object obviously.
Do you feel the band gets to much comparison to Judas Priest?
Less and less with the new record, but if you’re going to get compared to Priest it could not hurt. They’re legends in metal. Well you can’t deny it that at points Ralf sounds similar.
What is your feeling towards each member of the band?
Ralf: Great range, absolutely killer in the studio.
Mat: incredibly patient and great ideas.
Stefan: Great ideas. Great sound and very laid back. But when he plays he is like an animal.
What is it like backstage with Primal Fear?
After the show, it depends how the show went for everybody, which it usually goes well. Good feelings, everyone’s happy and relaxed.
What are some of the things on Primal Fear's Rider?
Nothing really special. Fruits, vegetables, drinks, beer vodka and red wine plus Bacardi rum.
How is Nuclear Blast doing promoting the new album?
It could not be better. They are doing great. Reviews are coming in and we could not be happier with all the great reviews coming in from the magazines and internet sites. Nuclear Blast has been doing a really good job.
Primal Fear has always stayed with the Iron Eagle on the CD covers. Why?
I guess it’s cool. People could relate that to the band and it just worked. It’s like a trademark thing.
On your day off what do you do?
I play hockey or go to the gym.
Randy we would like to thank you for the time you have given us at Rockeyez. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
Yeah! I hope the fans like the record as much as we do. Hope we can get over to the US as soon as possible. Thank you.