November 9th, 2010.
Special thanks to Willy (The Beast) Forrest www.myspace.com/gothicsasquatch for completing this interview and big thank you to Vocals Magazine www.vocalsmagazine.com for allowing Global Entertainment Mag to publish The Vocalist of Primal Fear as a featured interview on GEM.
1) Hello Ralf, It is truly a great honor to interview the Vocalist of Primal Fear for Vocals Magazine, As listed on www.wikipedia.org you are often compared to Rob Halford. Was Rob Halford a great influence to your vocal style?
Hey hey, it's a great honor for me as well, thank you! Actually Rob has influenced me when I was a kid yes....I mean, if you start to listen to metal, your ears and your brain teach you a lot, just from listening. If you then have talent, you can transform these "heard" impressions and do your own thing.... Over the years I have developed my own style but of course those high pitched belted notes sound very unique the way they are sung technically. You can't changes this, even if it sound similar to someone else.....
2) Ralf, could you please name other vocalists that you are influenced by and the reason why they have influenced yourself in your career?
As I've mentioned above: Rob Halford: Because I always loved his power and agression in the high pitched notes: Bruce Dickinson: His passion and phrasing Eric Adams: The strength, the power, the technique, the passion, the feeling
3) Have you had any formal vocal training? And if so could you please give details about your vocal training.
I never took any lessons. I was just curious once and asked a vocal trainer of a local musical facility and took 2-3h lessons. She said I am singing way too loud and uneconomically - :-) That's true but I can't change it. Since I am a vocal teacher on my own, I take care of all those exercises and practice them on my own....:-) The details are way too much to write'em down here but you can find them in every vocal teaching book...for me it's most important to train the diaphragm as good as possible.....it's the engine and the compressor of my voice....
4) With the technological changes in performing live do you use in ear monitors? Or do you use conventional side fill and floor wedges on stage while performing? Also which type of monitors do you prefer when you perform?
I use InEar monitors since almost 3 years now and I'm feeling well with them. It belongs to the monitor system of the house you are performing how good or bad the sound is. If I have a bad InEar sound, I still prefer the floor wedges and side fills yes....they also deliver that certain kind of ambience I love so much. I love to use both in combination, so the ambience is still there from the floor and the side wedges, even I use InEar.
5) With the recent tour of the United States of America you sang with Pamela Moore is there any other artist that you would like to perform with on tour?
Oh yes, many.....we will see what the future brings....I would have loved to sing Metal Gods with Rob in the House of Blues in Los Angeles but he wasn't around at that time....we will see, maybe next time...:-)
6) Since Vocals magazine is a publication that is based out of San Antonio Texas in the United States it would be interesting for us to hear your opinion on the difference between European Festival Audiences and the audiences of North America. Could you tell us your opinion on the audiences in both cultures.
Wow, thats a tough one! :-) It's pretty hard to judge any difference.....both crowds are fantastic and always gave us a fantastic time.....sorry, I just can't distinguish this....:-)
7) Ralf, besides Progressive Metal is there any other style of music genre that you would like to sing?
I have tried many things and I am doing good in many different styles but I think I can provide my best energy and feelings when I sing metal songs and ballads.
8) The promotions department of Frontiers Records has informed Vocals Magazine about your upcoming solo release. Are you planning on touring your solo release? Could you give us some more information about the artists that will appear on this cd?
At the moment we (Mat and I) are concentrating on recording and producing. It would be a bit too early to talk about a possible tour. Right now I don't think so. It also depends on the sales of the album. I have several guests on the album. Starting with the drums which have been recorded in Sweden and are played by Mr. Snowy Shaw. he did an outstanding job and I love what he did! The bass is being recorded by Mat Sinner (Primal Fear - Sinner) The guitars are shared by Sander (ex After Forever), Magnus (Primal Fear) and Alex Beyrodt (Voodoo Circle and t.b.a.) The solo guitars are shared by the guys above, Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) and Mike Chlasciak (Halford) and ??? maybe one or two surprise guests. The vocals are done 95% by me, 1 song I share with Tim Ripper Owens (Ex Judas Priest) and I am fucking proud of this!!! :-)
9) Do you do any formal warm-ups or procedures with your voice before going out on stage or in the recording studio? If there is differences please briefly explain the differences for the readers of Vocals magazine.
Actually I have more discipline nowadays than 10 or 15 years ago.....like I have mentioned above in question 3, since I am a vocal teacher on my own, I take care of all those exercises and practice them on my own....:-) Before going on stage I warm up, humming the whole day a bit here and there and I get really loud half an hour prior to the show. The same thing in the studio. But as I have to take care of the technical preparations in the studio as well since I am recording at home, I sometimes tend to be impatient and just start to sing as I record...:-) (Don't try this at home! :-))
10) For those that are interesting in becoming a vocalist in a metal band would there be any advice that you could give to strengthen vocals? Or any special Training?
First of all try to strengthen you diaphragm and your breath technique. That's the basics and very important for all the following steps. Be sure that you are able to sing in tune.... Get some advices from a vocal coach or teacher. And: Be patient with yourself, to sing economically correct takes it's time....
11) In Closing Ralf I wish to thank you on behalf of Vocals Magazine for this interview and please feel free to tell the readers about anything that you wish to promote.
Oh well, I have to thank you for sending me your questions! It was an honor to take part. Right now I am working on my solo album as I have said before. Just look out for it when it comes into your stores around spring next year. Primal Fear will go touring in Europe this fall, maybe you guys have some free time and fly over to see some shows...:-) You never know...
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