PRIMAL FEAR:  Interview with Henny Wolten     
by Dalia "Gryphon-spirit" Di Giacomo and Stefan "Absolut_Evidence" Vogelaar

GIG AT Z-7 IN PRATTELN (CH) - 02/10/2002       our live report

Stefan: Are you satisfied with your last release Black Sun compared with Nuclear Fire which your fans liked so much?

Henny: Yes of course, we are performing the new album on tour now and the response in the countries is different, we have for example gained many fans in countries like Spain and Italy, and in Germany our home country, many fans think that we should go back to our first album called Primal Fear, and so new albums take you havent been before and you have to cross the fine line between gaining new fans and not losing old fans, and so i guess the next album will be rather in the direction of our first two albums, ..... especially the first album.

Stefan: Wich is your favourite tuning for your guitars?

Henny: My favourite tuning would be half step down, but a normal tuning.... i dont go for something like D tuning, i dont like super low guitars, thats not my style, but if a song efforts a D tuning of course i will play it.

Stefan: Looking at the cover arts of your albums, it seems that your eagles are involved every time in some kind of adventurous missions between desolated towns, nuclear explosions till flying into deepest space. Could your albums been understood as concept albums and if yes, is there a logical union which bounds all your albums?

Henny: Really not, at least Black Sun is a concept album, its ment to be a concept album. It didnt start over this one, but as we started writing and after we go on the Nuclear Fire tour, it turned out because of the lyrics as a concept , and so we wrote the rest of Black Sun fitting into the concept, but all four albums are not ment to be one concept album. Maybe you can say that there is a red line going through all four albums with the eagles with different surroundings and environments , but thats the only redline going right through and it connects a little bit to the music , cause Primal Fear has a very dedinite style and we dont go very far off of it, like exprimenting with thash or progressive stuff and thats what the artwork stands for, because Primal Fear never really change very much,..... we stand for basic heavy metal and thats what the fans like about it. They know what they getting...... you know....

Stefan: Where will your eagles go next time?

Henny: (laughs) Well, i have no idea, but the eagles will go somewhere

Stefan: In part, you have already answerd to this question, but ... how much of power metal and how much of heavy metal is there in your music, and which are your considerations about the power metal today?

Henny: To be honest, i'm not an expert on all this different draws, like power or thrash or whatever, i'm a rather old school metal fan, i like Priest,  ... i like AC/DC, Motoerhead .... thats my kind of music,..... power metal to me means , especially american powermetal, Vicious Rumours and kind of stuff, but we surely have some close to power metal mid tempo songs, but certainly it is more about heavy metal, .. old school, traditional heavy metal, .... conservative , if you like to call it that way.

Stefan: Every member of Primal Fear is very engadged and busy, and that not only with Primal Fear, but also with side projects, doesnt mean that: too much stress?

Henny: Untill now we are able to handle this, and we did the way, that when we record an album or we do a tour, we are focalized only to that band and priority:  is Primal Fear, and thats clear to every body. If we have some time off, like after we get off after the south america tour in december, we will probably start practicing for the new Sinner release which would be out by february and we get together and rehearse for some tour dates with Hammerfall, but we can only do this when Primal Fear is off for some time, but Primal Fear has the priority. 

Stefan: You are in the middle of a tour together with Rage, can you tell us something about how it is touring with Rage and how the tour itself is going? 

Henny: The main difference to the last tour, the Nuclear Fire tour, we did with Children of Bodom, is that the styles of both bands fits better together, and that means that this time we can collect more fans of the same style of music, because during the last tour, the fans from Children of Bodom left the show after CoB has finished thier set cause they where not interested to hear Primal Fear. This time it is different, because the musical style is not that different. You will find Rage fans getting into Primal fear and Primal Fear fans getting into Rage, and that is the main effect of this package.

Stefan: ...but how is it to tour with the guys from Rage, with the persons themselves?

Henny: Oh, we are getting together well and these people are really good guys and as i know Peavy already 15 years and i did 12 years ago a tour in Japan with my old band Thunderhead together with Peavy, it is basically more a family type event rather than with people you never heard before ... we know Mike, ... we know Victor... and we have a good atmosphere 

Stefan: I've seen that you are on the bill for three Open Airs next year....

Henny: ....thats true, and probably some more .....

Stefan: .... the Blind Guardian, Summer Breeze, Coburg Arena....

Henny: ..Wacken..

Stefan: .. so you like to play on Open Air Festivals?

Henny: Yeah, we certainly like to play on Open Airs, but we would prefere to have a mixture of both, Club tours and Open Airs, and i would say that every one who tells that to play in front of a large crowd is a lier, because to play on Wacken in front of 40'000 people is a great feeling, but during the Club tours, especially in the Metal Scene you are getting closer to the fans and you have the right response of the fans when look after the shows the guestbook. And this is very important in the metal scene.

Stefan: From the moment, that you are one of the best life bands at the moment and of the most selfconfident ones, i think you have heard already thousends of questions belonging your feelings on the stage, on the contrary, i'm interested to know what kind of problem or mistake you fear the most when you are in front of the audience?

Henny: .... well, i think eveybody has a different fear, for Ralf it could be that his voice drops out, ..... i'm not so scared and i think the worst thing could happen is that i die on stage, because problems happens, ... maybe a guitar is out of tune or dont work at all, but these things happen and if you are scared about that you cant go ahead. Look, two days ago at the gig we had it was really hot and at a certain point i thought, "hey, you must stop moving.." because there i was scared to get a black out, and after i stopped moving every thing went well

Stefan: The result of the recent Nuclear Blast competition of the most popular Primal Fear songs has presented, that 1: Angel in Black 2: Nuclear Fire 3: Armageddon 4: Final Embrace
5: Living for Metal  are considered your top 5 songs and you will try to include them in your setlist 

Henny: ..surely..

Stefan: Did you expect this result? 

Henny: Well we did a competition on our website to choose the setlist for this tour and i must say that there were a couple of surprises among the songs selected by the fans, because as we play live a lot we know what the audience want to hear, but there were really a couple of surprises, like Angel in Black , one of my favorite, wasnt on the bill for so long , but now that we know it we will do it for sure. A nice surprice for me was Armageddon, because we thought we wouldnt do that song live, but we put it on the setlist for tonight.

Stefan: ...cool!...

Henny: ..(laughing).....

Stefan: Related question, which are your two Primal Fear top songs?

Henny: Chainbreaker and Angel in Black

Stefan: Lets go back to the Eagles. Your Eagles are flying in the space, what do you think how long does it takes that the mankind will reach Mars?

Henny: It cant be that far, it cant be that far. I would say that we can go there in the next 20 years or so, if they go there and spend all the money for wars then they might make it, you know, but you never know what happens with all that crazy shit going on 

Stefan: In what you trust more, a jealous Label........

Henny: ... a jealous Record Label?..

Stefan: yeah! A jealous Label or a jealous  woman?

Henny: .......Thats weird, thats weird....

Stefan: ...i know, ... a woman put the questions together.....

Henny: (laughing) .... i have to think about this.... well, i rather dont trust anyone, both are not very trustful... both doesn't incorporate trust at all.... no way!....
We are very confident with Nuclear Blast, and as Mat is working there it is the best setting you could have as a band.... you have someone from the band working in the record company label to judge about budget and stuff, .... it couldnt be better for a band.....

Stefan: ... cool!... ok... last two questions
The track Into the Future from the album Jaws of Death is presenting these lyrics :

"to many years i have wasted to live in the past
i've started to move, and i'm doing it fast
i'm riding into the future......" 

Now, what is more important for you, the past or the future?

Henny: To me certainly the future, but to be honest , the present is the most important thing for me, because my motto of life is "live for the moment",...... the future, you cant really control whats gonna happen, so its better that you make the best of the presigns of the present, but in case of doubt i decide for the future certainly.

Stefan: As last question, here we go with the typical last Gryphonmetal question ....
it is a kind of game and it is called the game of the tower....
There is a very high tower and on top of it, there are three bands waiting for you, but you can save only one band and have to push down the other two..... so for you Primal Fear, on this tower there are Gamma Ray,Helloween and Iron Savior, which one  would you save?

Henny: ..to me........Boahhhh!..............mmmmmmmhhhhhhhhh.......i think i would keep Gamma Ray on top of the tower, maybe of personal relation with them. I know a guy from them since years and i like that guy, yeah! these guys stay on the tower!

Stefan: Thanks a lot for your time 

Henny: Thanks to you man....

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