Sinner, who co-shaped the landscape of the early '80s German metal scene are still going strong these days, releasing albums on a regular basis. They're dropping a new one in a few days and long-time fans who think they know what to expect, are about to get an interesting surprise. Mat Sinner's decision to enrich the sound by adding to the line-up a female lead singer may seem controversial, but you'll have to judge yourselves if it works or not. I already spoke to Mat, so in the meantime you can check out what he said about the new release.
The new album "Santa Muerte" is coming out soon and I'm sure you've already read some reviews. Are you happy with the responses so far?
Yes, very good. You can't please everybody with such a positive music, but the majority is really satisfied with our sound, songs and progress.
The album brings a significant change to Sinner's sound. You've now got an additional female singer Georgia, who's sharing the lead vocal duties with you. Where did this idea come from?
We've met on the Rock Meets Classic tour and became close friends. I love her attitude, her powerful voice and performance. We took her with us to Japan and Australia and played some additional show in Germany and she did a great job. We've asked her to join us and then the media can't say, "Always the same, no new ideas, nothing changes." Now a lot of new ideas are on the new album!
You opened the album with "Shine On", a song performed solely by Georgia, so you must have a lot of faith in this additional singer idea?
Yes, I have, that's why I'm very positive about it and if you're convinced about your decisions and moves, you should have the courage to present the new ideas in the right way! First song on the album - bang! Some haters will argue, "I need to look if I'm listening to the right album." Well, judge the music, not your personal favourite vision how my band should look and sound. It's all about the music. Peace!
And what's the idea behind the album title? Why did you name it after the goddess of death?
We love the Mexican vibe, the story, the myth, the mystery, the colours. It matches very much to the entire vibe of the album, it's catchy and gives a lot of ideas for the lyrics, which were not done so often in the rock and metal scene.
You've had these colourful cover arts on the last few albums, they all look like they were done by the same artist...
The last two album artworks were created by Jobert Mello from Sao Paulo and cover the Mexican spirit. The two ones before were done by Katja Piokla and were more tattoo orientated.
And what's the new cover art about, those two masks?
It's a scene from Santa Muerte. If you've watched the "Fiesta Y Copas" clip it's pretty much sure, good and bad, black and white, yin and yang, the way of the world.
You did video clips for "Fiesta y Copas" and "Last Exit Hell". Why those two?
We have four or five video clips planned. I think "Fiesta" was a very positive song that represents the album with a surprise appearance by Ronnie Romero, the second clip "Last Exit Hell" is a powerful driving force. The next two clips will be "Death Letter" and "Santa Muerte", then we will see...
You've got some known musicians doing guest appearances on the album, namely Ricky Warwick and the aforementioned Ronnie Romero. Why did you pick those two particular guys?
And Magnus Karlsson who played some wonderful instruments on "Death Letter". Ricky was on tour with Rock Meets Classic two times and we became friends, great guy with a great attitude. Ronnie is a long-time friend. We were on tour and met on many festivals. It was time to do something together and he was the perfect choice for "Fiesta" and we will do some great stuff together in the future.
A blues classic isn't something you'd expect from a metal band, so what's the idea behind putting "Death Letter" on the album? It seems to me like a way to showcase Gloria's vocal abilities?
We had the "Sinner Blues" and "Monday Morning" on the last album and we follow the blues path on the new album with an extreme version of "Death Letter" and Giorgia can show the entire world her skills and talent. Wonderful new video clip coming up by the way.
You've got some nice folk melodies in the closing song "Stormy Night". What were they inspired by?
No inspiration, this was always a part of the Sinner music and will be forever. If it's Celtic, Irish or Scottish, I love these melodies and the atmosphere.
Some of the version of the new album are extremely limited, like the splatter vinyl is out in just 100 copies. I suppose it's the label's idea, but don't you think it's a bit annoying for the fans who would like to collect various versions of the album?
That's a clear decision by the record company and we're very happy about our partnership. They will have reasons for their numbers and we trust them 100%.
I've got a couple of questions about the earlier Sinner stuff now. "Wild 'n' Evil" and "Fast Decision" are almost impossible to get on a CD. Will they ever be re-released?
I have the rights and these are basically unfinished demos. I have no plans to release this stuff in the near future.
You had a "heavier period" starting with "No More Alibis" and albums like "Nature of Evil" or "End of Sanctuary" were much heavier and darker than the stuff you're playing these days. So, why did you decide to go back to the earlier, more Thin-Lizzy-hard-rock-oriented style?
I was not happy with the similarities with Primal Fear and Sinner. With the Sinner album "There Will Be Execution" I took a break and came back some years later with a new formula and strategy. Sinner is the rock band and Primal Fear is the metal band.
What was the idea behind re-recording some of the early stuff for the "Touch of Sin 2" album?
The first four albums were not available any more in the shops and download providers, we re-recorded our most favourite songs again.
You've got 18 studio records out, but only one live release. Are you planning to record any shows in the near future?
Could be, because the last Sinner shows were really exciting, great band, great vibe, maybe we will record a DVD later this year.
What's going on with Shiva / Goddess Shiva, your pre-Sinner band?
Nothing, dead for now but never say never!
Are there any "dream" musicians you'd like to get for the Rock Meets Classic project?
Robert Plant, Billy Idol, David Coverdale.
You seem to be extremely busy with numerous bands, including Sinner, Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle, Silent Force, and also Rock Meets Classic tours. Do you have time for anything not music related at all?
Voodoo Circle is taking a break, Silent Force is not active anymore and I can handle the other three bands with much joy and love!
You're playing a string of album release shows in September/October but only in Germany. What are your further gig plans?
These are selected release shows to support the new album. On Monday we will announce our first festival appearance in 2020 and we're planning to do a lot of more shows.
I remember you doing a double tour with Primal Fear and Sinner, I think in Japan. Any chance for shows like that in Europe?
This is OK for a handful shows but not for a six-week tour, this would be too exhausting in the long run. But it's always nice to do it from time to time! The music fits very well together.
At the end I'd like to ask you for a short advertising slogan, to convince fans to buy "Santa Muerte"...
We have so many problems at the moment on our wonderful planet. I thought it's time for some positive, handmade rock music that will give you some good vibes and atmosphere, crushing riffs, a lot of diversity and great melodies - check it out!