Interviewed by Denys (Site Founder/Senior Staff Writer) Myglobalmind Webzine
Myglobalmind: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for your fans and readers of our webzine, how are you?
Ralf Scheepers: Hi Denys, you’re welcome! Thanks so much for supporting me!
Myglobalmind: How excited are you about your new solo project titled “Scheepers”?
Ralf Scheepers: I am very exited! After working on this album occasionally over 10 years now I am very happy about the result and about the killer jobs of everyone who took part in it!
Myglobalmind: Congratulations on the new record your voice sounds better then ever!!! I know you are a busy man, in between your other band Primal Fear, and various projects in between how we’re you able to set time apart for your solo record?
Ralf Scheepers: Thank you again Denys! As I have mentioned above, the songs have been collected over the years and we are a writing team. Mat Sinner, Sander Gommans, Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt helped me with all this and I’m very happy about it! I have received two playbacks from Sander for instance, with completely composed arrangements, there were just melody lines and lyrics missing. It’s so easy to find good melodies on a good track, that’s why I had the entire melody and lyrics in about 30 minutes for two tracks! It’s great how the intention of writing a good track and the initial feelings and thoughts of a song melt together by two or three persons who are not sitting together in one room but totally understand each other!
But of course I also have those tracks where I only worked on my own and they took me very long to work on….sometimes good things go fast and sometimes they need a little time…:-)
Myglobalmind: The press release stated that some of the tracks of “Scheepers” came from years of writing certain songs that didn’t really fit into the mold of Primal Fear? What songs in particular are we talking about and why?
Ralf Scheepers: Songs like “The Pain Of The Accused” or “Doomsday” or “Compassion” would somehow never fit on an Primal Fear album. Sometimes you have a certain kind of flow or a red line which makes an album diverse and brings a lot of variety. So those songs never really fit on an album of PF. On the other hand songs like “Dynasty” or “Play With Fire” were actually co written by Stefan Leibing (ex guitarist of PF) and were not taken at that time in Primal Fear. Now they are on my album and they perfectly fit!
Myglobalmind: Some of your good mates Magnus Karlsson, Alex Beyrodt & Mat Sinner of course all contributed to the record, it seems that the Matt has been involved plenty in production as of late with some other releases. I would assume the chemistry is even greater with people you’ve know for years right?
Ralf Scheepers: Exactly! If you trust each other personally, you get a long musically with each other also pretty well, that’s for sure! Great fellows, great musicians!
Myglobalmind: I’m hearing lots of early Judas Priest influences on your new album, was that something you had in mind when you started putting together the songs for the final cut? How did you decide on the Priest cover Before the Dawn?
Photo courtesy of Roadrunner Records
Ralf Scheepers: No I (we all) never think about any band when we compose songs, that would be totally odd! We are just putting together our ideas and music, I really don’t think that it sounds so much like Judas Priest! Before the dawn has always touched me in a certain way. I love the passion and the melody of it. It was also a great challenge for me to do all the instruments on it….that’s why I have chosen Before the dawn, to add a bit more of a personal note to this cover version.
I also love the solo from Victor Smolski on that one very much! Makes it a bit different to the original…cool!
Myglobalmind: The CD features Tim “Ripper” Owens: Lending guest vocals on the duet in “Remission of Sin”, how did you hook up with Tim?
Ralf Scheepers: Tim and I met in Spain on a festival the very first time (was it 2005 or so?) and immediately had good conversations….over the years you can really say we became buddies, although we are both so busy that it’s tough to meet in person but we stay in touch via email and all those internet communities nowadays… 🙂
Tim loved the idea of singing a duet and I really felt that Remission Of Sin would be the perfect track to do this…… The result is simply amazing and I’m very sure the fans will also love this track!
I am pretty sure that we will have the opportunity to do this again in the near future……watch out for the twin razor blades! :-))
Myglobalmind: Do you approach this solo project a little different now that you have more creative freedom as opposed to the Primal Fear stuff where all the members help in the songwriting, and playing?
Ralf Scheepers: Yes and no… 🙂 As three member of PF are helping me to compose songs there is no need to talk about a creative freedom…we all offer ideas and work together…if we like the results the songs are going to be released, if not we will wether work as long as the song is great or we simply kick it! :-))
Myglobalmind: What do you hope fans will take out of your upcoming release and why should they buy it?
Ralf Scheepers: 🙂 I hope they will take out some energy and some relaxing moments as well! 🙂 I hope they like the songs! Why should they buy it? Maybe because they like heavy metal in all it variations? :-))
Myglobalmind: I’m sure you’ve heard them before, but influences in your voice can be compared to the metal greats like Halford or the late Ronnie James Dio. At what point did you decide that you wanted to be a “metal” singer?
Ralf Scheepers: I was pretty aware of what I can do when I was around sixteen…..and my musical direction has always been heavy metal! So I went my way in different bands and I am what I am now… 🙂
Myglobalmind: What are your thoughts on the passing of Dio? Any fond memories of Ronnie?
Ralf Scheepers: It’s a great loss! Not only musically, also as a great human being! He always was a very nice and “down to earth” person as i have met him…. He now is a Saint of Rock!
Myglobalmind: When Primal Fear hit the road on the North American tour that was partly featured on the Live In The USA CD, in comparison how different or alike are the USA metal fans as opposed to European fans or fans from other parts of the world?
Ralf Scheepers: That’s a tough questions as they sometimes don’t differ at all and sometimes (depending on the cities and the amount of people who are livening in the cities) are totally different. No matter what, we always give our very best and try to deliver the goods as much as we can….
Myglobalmind: Can we expect a tour in support for this release?
Ralf Scheepers: So far we have never talked about touring for my solo album or doing a single one off show for it. We are very busy guys and everyone is also involved in different projects and bands….but most important will be the work with preparing our next Primal Fear studio album! I also think we should wait for the reaction of the market before discussing this issue. Primal Fear was and will always be top priority! If any side work would run me into a schedule conflict, I would rather postpone these side activities rather than the duties for Primal Fear.
Myglobalmind: Any other projects to look forward to for your fans? I know you said last year that you we’re helping Pamela Moore with some music on her upcoming record.
Ralf Scheepers: I work for several friends and musicians when I have the time….these days are packed with duties but I will try my best to help out where and whenever I can….. But I do know that everyone can look forward to hear Pamelas new album as I have heard some tracks…it’s going to be a killer album!
Myglobalmind: The final thoughts are yours Ralf. Thanks again for taking the time, keep it heavy!!!
Ralf Scheepers: As I have read in so many myspace and facebook comments and in the first reviews, the fans of our/my music really look forward to hear my album. I am very happy that the album will hit the market in about a month and I am equally happy that the result of the album is absolute fabulous!
I want to take the opportunity to thank the people out there for being true and for their support!
But let me also thank all those guys who took part in this album: Mat Sinner, Snowy Shaw, Magnus Karlsson, Sander Gommans, Alex Beyrodt, Tim Ripper Owens, Mike Chlasciak, Kai Hansen, Victor Smolski and last but not least one of our former band member Stefan Leibing who composed two song with Mat and me for this album. Also a big thank you to Achim Koehler for making it sounding so killer” !!!
THANK YOU GUYS, YOU ROCK!!!!
Webzine Review for Ralf Scheepers – Ralf Scheepers
The rest of photos courtesy of Frontiers Records Press Pack