Alex Beyrodt has been with Primal Fear for 5 years but he is not stranger to Primal Fear’s family and fans. It wasn’t surprise when he finally joined the band — it’s strange that Mat Sinner asked Alex — a reliable professional and songwriter — to do so only now and not in 1997. So Alex made his debut with Primal Fear on the album «Unbreakable» and that;s why we decided to discuss the album with him.
You and Tom Naumann played with Mat since the early 90’s but unlike Tom you didn’t join Primal Fear in 1997. Why is that? Weren’t you interested in playing traditional heavy metal at that time? And why did you decide to join Primal Fear now when you have Voodoo Circle, Silent Force, Level 10 and Jorn? How can you be in schedule with all these bands?
There are always two sides who need to be ok of this and it wasn’t my decision. I was busy with Silent Force too at this time, so I wasn’t pushing it from my side. So far Silent Force and Level 10 are no touring bands. Jorn is just in the beginning of our cooperation. Voodoo Circle is my baby and we’re not that busy. So I have enough time to be an active part in Primal Fear and Rock Meets Classic.
As far as I know you started your career in the band Wild Axes but were inactive for a few years until Mat asked you to join his band. Would you say that Mat re-launched your career?
Mat was always an important part in my career and we’re a great team, partners, real friends. I’m happy about our cooperation and we share the same passion in music.
You’ve played with Mat in many bands so what is the secret of your longtime partnership? Would you say he is the best co-writer and producer for you? Why did you quit Sinner by the way?
To work with Mat is always creative, honest, totally focused and straight. We love the same kind of music and have the same views in creating pro music. I always listen to his view and mostly we agree or found a nice compromise for all of us. Btw I didn’t quit Sinner, it was Mat’s decision and I respect it. We’re partners and best friends anyway.
You’ are in the band for 5 years now but have written only a few songs so far. Is that because your ideas don’t fit to Primal Fear or is it because you want to concentrate on your own projects?
I was always really busy with Voodoo Circle and time was against me to participate more in the songwriting. Let’s see what I can match for the next album. The guys are very straight if it comes to a new studio album, there’s a schedule and the timing is 100% a straight and our partners can rely on our delivery date.
Tell me please about the songs “Metal Nation” and “Conviction”. What influenced you to write them?
I wrote the songs together with Mat, it’s not two Beyrodt ONLY compositions. Ralf wrote the lyrics for Conviction. We had the time to sit down and collected ideas. I just need more time and 48 hours a day.
Was it ok with you that on the album “Unbreakable” the band returned to more traditional material? What is your opinion about the albums “New Religion” and “16.6”? What songs from the band’s back catalogue you like to play or would love to include to set-list?
Btw I love the set list and the energy of the band during the tours 2016 and even the first show in 2017 in Norway was crushing. Of course I was ok with the change of direction to go back to the more traditional Primal Fear sound and it was the right time. I like both albums and I’ve played all the tours, so I really know the material, but now we’re looking into the future!
Are you satisfied with the way the band records its albums when everyone record his parts himself? By the way, do you have enough freedom to change anything in riffs or writing your solos or does Mat or Magnus give everyone certain instructions?
Magnus never gave me an “instruction”. The only guy I allow to do this is Mat. And it’s not true that everybody records his parts himself. The only one is Ralf. Mat is always there with all the other guys in the studio, starting with Francesco in Denmark to record and produce the drums and so we go on to finish the album. It’s always nice to work with 3 or 4 guys in the studio, recording our guitar parts and push each other.
As far as I know the band uses ProTools. What is your opinion about it? I remember there were a lot of discussions about it when bands like Metallica started to use it.
We use the system which is available, it’s not a big deal anymore. Pro Tools is very common in recording studios, but no MUST anymore. I really don’t care about the system we’re recording on. My goal are sounds and the final result. If this is great, I think every discussion about the recording system is BS.
How do you estimate this album? Are you satisfied with your job? Are you a self-critical personal or are you able to tell yourself “Well, it’s done, let’s forget about it”?
Always super self-critical, but ok – the album the right step into the right sirection. Still happy with a lot of songs and the production.
I understand that you all are not teenagers anymore but do you still have some crazy moments during tours? What is the best part of touring for you – to hang out with your buddies, to play in front of huge crowds or to see some sights in different cities? What is your craziest moment with Primal Fear so far?
There are so many crazy moments on tour that it will take too much time to start with this now. Just the chemistry is wonderful with this line up and after the longest tour ever in 2017 with more than 120 shows overall we’re still best buddies and friends.
What is your attitude toward video clips? Basically Primal Fear’s clips are pretty simple — the band is playing on different backgrounds. Is there anything you want to try in videos? Do you really enjoy making videos or do you consider them only as promotional tools?
Video clips are a promotion tool to present the band and their new music, part of the game. Exhausting to shoot a video, mostly in the night. To make a real cool clip in top quality with a great story, the budgets are not there anymore. Impossible – so promotion tool! I don’t want to look like jerks, we are musicians, not actors and to satisfy us with a wonderful story would kill our budget.
Imagine you were asked by a label to put out a best of album and you have to pick out only 3 tracks from each album. What track would you choose from “Unbreakable” and why?
„Metal Nation“, „Unbreakable“, „Where Angels Die“.
Thanks to Eugine Silin (Alive Concerts) for making this interview possible.
Read interview with Tom Naumann about «Jaws of Death» here.
Read interview with Henny Wolter about «Nuclear Fire» here.
Read interview with Klaus Sperling about «Black Sun» here.
Read interview with Randy Black about «Devil’s Ground» here.
Read interview with Mat Sinner about «Seven Seals» here.
Read interview with Mat Sinner about «New Religion» here.
Read interview with Stefan Leibing here.