Interviewed by Thomas Schwarzkopf (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Mat Sinner is a true workaholic: he just finished the tour with Voodoo Circle, a new Sinner album will hit the stores in the end of August, more stuff from Primal Fear is also on the way and if this wasn’t enough, recently a new “Rock Meets Classic” tour was announced, which comes along with a stunning line-up next year. So, I had many, many reasons to talk to Mat about all his activities and most of all about the forthcoming “Rock Meets Classic” tour. One thing is certain: we will hear a lot of this guy in the next few months. Check out what he had to reveal!
Myglobalmind: Hello Mat! Great to talk to you, how are you doing?
All cool, just a little break from the Primal Fear recordings and working on Rock Meets Classic and making plans for the Kiske/Somerville II album.
Myglobalmind: You are the head of the famous “Rock Meets Classic” project nowadays and the message of the new Tour in 2014 spread very quickly in the media. Since last week tickets are available and in my opinion you delivered such a stunning line-up with Joe Lynn Turner, Kim Wilde, Midge Ure and especially Alice Cooper. How could you convince him to be part of the tour?
Well, one BIG name is still missing reg legal commitments. Guys like Alice Cooper are still touring very successful and our tour is something very special. The concept is very different to a regular rock concert and it’s always a pleasure for the legends to mix the songs with a rock band and a mighty orchestra. And slowly we have references all over the world, that we deliver a high quality show!
Myglobalmind: Yeah it’s a great concept, but I think it’s nothing you would expect from Alice Cooper: a serious show with an orchestra, so I’m really excited to see it. What are your expectations on Alice?
My expectations? I love to play his songs and if I have the same friendship at the end of the tour like I have now with Ian Gillan, Steve Lukather, Eric Bazilian & Paul Rodgers, I would be very happy. It’s the first time for Alice performing this kind of concert with an orchestra!
Myglobalmind: Yes, so people get out and buy your ticket! I got mine for Leipzig already. What can we expect from the new shows in general? Maybe some guys never heard of it before.
Three hours of excitement, high spirits, great songs and a fantastic vibe!
Myglobalmind: It seems to be very hard to do rehearsals with all those rock stars. They all have their own timetables, so how will you rehearse?
I’ve already started to sort out the setlist, next – we will start to arrange the songs soon, rehearsals with the band and later with the orchestra. We will meet the singers for the first time at the official rehearsals.
Myglobalmind: What about other musicians on stage for example Olli Hartman and Amanda Somerville? They were part of the shows this year.
The band and the choir will be the same as on the tour 2013 – all top players & singers, no changes and we’re good friends, like family. Jimmy Kresic, Amanda & Tiffany are with us for 5 years now!
Myglobalmind: I know there will be another co-headliner. Can you tell us something about him/her? Maybe just a little tip, for example when he/she started his/her career?
Of course, two guys – singer & guitar player of one of the BIG classic rock bands. Think they’ve started in 1969.
Myglobalmind: How did you come to “Rock meets Classic” and what pulses lead to this project? There were some shows before 2010 without you, right?
There was a tour in 1993 and 2002, but my agency owner Manfred Hertlein was looking for partner for the musical part and we had a nice meeting in 2009 and since then we’re working very hard to make every show more exciting and meanwhile Manfred has a great team in the office!
Myglobalmind: You have shared the stage with members of Toto, Journey, Foreigner, Deep Purple and many more. Which musicians you’d like to see on a “Rock meets Classic Tour” in the future? Any dreams?
Oh yes, there are so many great artists who would be more dreams come true and we’re already working on the line up for the tour in 2015 – it’s a hard job to fix an outstanding line-up. The sooner we start, the better and I won’t tell you any names now – sorry!
Myglobalmind: Speaking about the future: Where do you see this project in 5 years? Are there any plans to do it on a more international level? I mean it is already a big format with many international stars, but it seems to be just taking place in Germany and not in other countries.
Wrong, we will play in France, Switzerland and Austria in 2014. We’ve played before in Denmark and in the Netherlands. We have great offers from Sweden and Russia. But we’re very careful and serious with our project. We are very happy with the progress, the venues & the business. Our target is to do every year a little step into the right direction.
Myglobalmind: Ok, didn’t know that, because I always saw German dates. Let’s talk about your other activities. There are so many. 2013 seems to be the year of Sinner. You just re-released your album “Back To The Bullet” and in the end of August your new album “Touch Of Sin 2” will hit the stores. What can you tell us about it? It consists of re-recordings from older songs, right? Why is it the right time to do such a record?
All the classic albums of the end of the eighties are not distributed any more and the few CDs you can still buy second hand have prices between 60 to 100 Euros – this is insane. The original tapes are lost and there’s no chance to do any remixes. Well, our record AFM Records had the idea to re-record our favorite songs and we liked the idea. We recorded old school, together in a recording studio with a fresh attitude and 3 new songs in addition. And now I can say, it’s a fantastic album! Check it out!
Myglobalmind: You just finished the tour with Voodoo Circle. Can you give some highlights from the tour? Was there something special about this tour? A friend of mine attended one of the shows and she was very happy.
Voodoo Circle is such a great band, really a pleasure to perform with these guys! This is a special band with a great vibe and music. You never know when the jam starts and we have the freedom to jam as long as we like it – that’s cool and makes every concert special and different!
Myglobalmind: Do you need Voodoo Circle as some kind of musical compensation? With Sinner and Primal Fear you do the Heavy Metal/Hard Rock thing and Voodoo Circle sounds very different from that with its 70’s roots and blues influences.
I like the music and I like the characters in the band. This band deserves a lot of more attention and for me personally it’s always nice to play different styles of music.
Myglobalmind: Speaking about Primal Fear: Magnus told me a new album is in the making. Can you give us some details about it?
Yes, the music is recorded & delivered. The album is very much in the same direction as “Unbreakable”, maybe a little more epic and catchy. No need in big musical changes after our most successful album ever! Ralf has finished 9 tracks, we have still 3 vocal tracks to record. In September, we will move to Denmark and mix the album with Jacob Hansen. Frontiers Records will release the album on January 22, 2014 and this is already the day we will start our European tour to support the new album.
Myglobalmind: You mentioned it already and also Amanda Somerville said a new Kiske/Somerville album will hit the stores in the end of this year. You were part of the first record. How involved are you this time?
I was and I am the producer of the project … my closest partner on this project is Magnus Karlsson, we are a great team and we will continue on the second K/S album. Serafino Perugino, the president of Frontiers Records had basic idea for this project and we both started to make the first steps. We have already 15 fantastic new songs written. Amanda just came back from the Avantasia tour and I’m sure, that she has some more great stuff written with her partner Sander Gommans. I’ve plan to start the recordings in October.
Myglobalmind: What do you do to keep the songwriting fresh and to ensure that all those different projects don’t sound the same?
I have a lot of great and highly talented partners. We have one thing in common – we love music and this is the key to everything and to be creative!
Myglobalmind: Beside all that stuff you also take the time to produce other bands like Helker. How important is it to you to support such Newcomers?
If the music kicks me and the guys in the band are cool, I will always open my door for any bands. The most important factor is that the vibe between me and the artist has to be special. Diego Valdez is one of the most spectacular metal singers today!
Myglobalmind: You stay very busy and you also do some office managerial stuff, so where do you get the time?
Good time management helps a lot, but even in my office comes the time of chaos & confusion (laughs) – I love my job, that’s my key to make it happen!
Myglobalmind: Please tell us, what is a typical working day for Mat Sinner? What do you do in 24 hours?
There is no typical working day – every day is very different. I’m in the recording studio, on tour, in the office, meetings, accounting, contracts, publishing, management, agency work, equipment etc etc – I’m very happy that I know all parts of the music business.
Myglobalmind: Do you have any other future projects in the pipeline?
I’ve just finished a sensational album with Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) for Frontiers Records. We’re just looking for a date to shoot a video clip and an EPK to set the release date, but this one will be a BIG classic rock album! Soon we will reveal the name of the project!
Myglobamlmind: After working with so many artists, what do you appreciate the most about your colleagues?
Attitude, emotions, honesty, friendship, quality!
Myglobalmind: Is there something that drives you insane in the studio or on stage?
People who are permanently late, on stage – shitty equipment!
Myglobalmind: For many musicians music business isn’t as glamorous as most people think. So what do you love about it and what pisses you off?
Good buses, short rides, good food, friendly locals, good equipment, good hotels – the opposite pisses me of and standing on an airport and didn’t get picked off as announced!
Myglobalmind: Mat, it was a pleasure to talk to you. The final words are yours!
It was a pleasure for me – well, check out the great new Sinner album and get your tickets for the forthcoming Rock Meets Classic tour – don’t miss this exciting show!