Interview with Mat Sinner of PRIMAL FEAR and SINNER

Interview by Mark Dean

Antihero Magazine’s Mark Dean spoke to bassist, vocalist, and music producer Mat Sinner about his recent projects and his work with Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle, and Sinner.

Mat Sinner - Primal Fear
Mat Sinner - Primal Fear

Your album Delivering the Black was the bands highest chart entry in the bands career in your native Germany. Can you give any explanation for that success? Did Primal Fear do or try to do something different with this release with the pressure of its predecessor’s success?

Mat Sinner: Our intention was to give the fans what they want. Give them a Primal Fear album they really love and want to hear on the stage. That was the idea behind the Rulebreaker album.

Okay. Given that the band has now had 10 studio albums, how would you explain the enduring popularity of the band in that they’re still popular with fans? They’re still selling.

I think we enjoy our job. We’re playing a lot of shows and we are still really happy to do this. We like our job and every live show is a new challenge. We really enjoy to go on stage everywhere in the world. Have some fans and make a great night of rock with them. The fans really appreciate it if they see that you’re really giving 100% every night and have fun, like to communicate. This is important. This was during the last years I think were very strong for us which made Primal Fear even stronger. That the fans really appreciate our attitude. That’s one point.

Mat Sinner - Primal Fear

Over the years you have been involved of course with other musical projects, Voodoo Circle, rock meets classic. Also as a record producer. I just wondered which role gives you more satisfaction. Musician or producer?

It depends. It’s nice for me to have both jobs because there’s a kind of variety. For example, for rock meets classic, I’m the musical director. I have to share the stage with a great band, choir and a fantastic symphonic orchestra. I can work together with the greatest voices of the rock scene. For me, it’s a kind of really nice job to do this. It’s a hard job, but a great job. It’s only different than everything else I have. With Primal Fear, I’m mainly involved in the songwriting from point zero. Really creating this album and then in the end being the responsible producer of this thing. I really like to have both jobs. To be in the album involved from the first song to the last song. It’s a really nice job.

If I work with other bands or other artists as a producer, I am really in a different position. I am responsible for the result and to make an improvement in every direction for the artist I’m working with. It’s a nice variety for me.

Of course you really level 10 music project with Russell Allen back in 2014. Just wondered if that was a one off musical project or is it something maybe that you can revisit?

I think the result was great. Russell himself did a phenomenal job on this album. Really enjoy his performance. It was, for me, outstanding. We are both very busy. Let’s see, I think it was a good start. We can do another album in the future. It is absolutely possible that we do another one.

What about the band that obviously carries your own name? What about Sinner? Do you have any plans to maybe revisit Sinner as a band?

Yes. I’ve written a new album. I just spoke to the record company. To AFM records to what we’re going to do when we have a possible release date that fits to my schedule. As I’m touring the whole year, I found some space in summer to record the album and release it early next year.

Rulebreaker, the album continues to break new ground for the band. Thinking specifically the long orchestral pieces. We walk without fear. I just wondered what’s your rock meets classic. What is the we rock without fear was an idea that you had brought to the band Primal Fear?

No, I don’t think so. We really did this before I did rock meets classic. If you listen to, for example, the seven seals album, you have a lot of more orchestra influence than on the new Primal Fear album for example. We did this before and I like to fool around. My songwriting partner Magnus Karlsson, he likes that too. It’s always great to have at least one song on an album with that kind of extra bonanza and that kind of possibilities to go into other directions. I think that musical challenge needs to be on every Primal Fear album.

Well then in conclusion, what would be your future plans for the year ahead? Is it all Primal Fear focused or are you going to have other projects happening as well?

I thought I told you. We are starting in February with a Primal Fear European tour. I have 2 month of rock meets classic going on in march and April. End of April we start the North American tour for 6 weeks. North America and Canada. The US. Then we fly straight to Japan. From japan we fly straight to Australia. Then we come back playing some summer festivals here. I record my Sinner album. In September, we are going to South America for a longer tour. Coming back, we’re playing some more shows in Iraq. That’s the plan for this year.

Okay. Just to touch on, Voodoo Circle have now had a couple of albums. I just wondered, Voodoo Circle is obviously going to be an ongoing musical project as well?

Yes. I think so. We’ve been doing this since 2009 or 2008 even. I’m involved until the beginning. I think it’s a great band. We’re good friends in the band and I think this band will go on. If we find the space to play shows, we will do this.

Okay. That’s good. Thank you very much Mat for chatting with me. Good luck with the Primal Fear album and maybe we’ll get to see you in the UK during the album tour.

Thank you. Yes, Mark, I hope so too.

About Author

I'm a 40+ music fan. Fond mostly of rock and metal - my staple musical food delights. Originally from Northern Ireland, I am now based in the UK-Manchester. I have a hectic musical existence with regular shows and interviews. Been writing freelance for five years now with several international websites. Passionate about what I do, I have been fortunate already to interview many of my all-time musical heroes. My music passion was first created by seeing Status Quo at the tender age of 15. While I still am passionate about my rock and metal, I have found that with age my taste has diversified so that now I am actually dipping into different musical genres and styles for the first time. Photo: Mark Dean with Jeff Kendrick of Devildriver - Photography by Olga Kuzmenko