Updated: 03/27/03

Sinner have been around since the 80's and with their latest album There Will Be Execution, the band continues to deliver the rock and roll goods. While their success in Europe has not been duplicated here in the States yet, the band recently made their US debut at March Metal Meltdown in New Jersey. It's been a few years since the last Sinner record, due to a couple of the guys also being members of Primal Fear. We recently spoke with guitarist Tom Naumann about all that is Sinner.

Tell me how long Sinner has been together.
Originally the band formed in 1984, but we had constant line-up changes all over the years. And now the band is Mat Sinner on bass and vocals Ė Fritz Randow, the drummer of Saxon plays on this album. Henny Wolter from Thunderhead and Primal Fear is playing guitar Ė Frank RŲssler is playing the keyboards and I try to play the guitar.

How long have you been with Sinner?
I joined the band is 1988 and then I left the band for some health and private problems in 1999. And I returned to the band in 2002.

Are you in Primal Fear as well?
Yes, I am back in Primal Fear. I was one of the co-founders of Primal Fear back in 1997, and I also quitted the band in 1999 because of my health problems. And now I was back in November 2002. We did some shows together and now weíre going to write new songs for the next album because we are entering the studio in October I guess.

Is it difficult to be in two bands at once?
No, I donít think so. In my opinion, itís two different kinds of music. I think that Primal Fear is more the power metal and Ralph sings with his German metal voice. And Sinner is more based on the heavy rock stuff, and Matís singing is more based on a singer like Glenn Hughes or David Coverdale. Itís not so hard to chose between those bands, because I can write songs for one band or for another band. And timing wise, everything is okay because we can cooperate everything together.

With Primal Fear exploding in popularity over there, what made you guys decide that now was the time to do a new Sinner album?
Because when I wasnít in any of the bands, I think Mat was a little bit sad because I was out of business for a couple of years. Mat always told me there would be a new Sinner album just if you play on it. In December 2001, we talked about if there was a possibility to rejoin Sinner, and after I agreed, we started writing songs for it. And it was the start to make a new Sinner album. Primal Fear decided to make a break after the last European and Brazilian tour to concentrate on writing songs. Mat thought that if Primal Fear was taking one and a half years off that he should do a new Sinner album. The last Sinner album The End Of Sanctuary was in 2000 Ė it was three years ago.

Why the grim title There Will Be Execution?
When we wrote the songs we didnít have a title for the album. After we wrote about 20-25 songs for it, then we decided which songs would make it on the album. After listening to the whole album, we said this was the most powerful, heavy album that Sinner has ever made. This will be a surprise for the fans and for the writers, the critics and the media Ė this will be like an execution for them if they will listen to the album for the first time. And thatís how the album title came up.

What was it like opening for the legendary Deep Purple?
It was pretty cool. Deep Purple treated us very nice. All the crew members were very nice and friendly Ė and also the band was very nice. They gave us space onstage and a lot of support. After we did that tour -- also I have to admit Iím not a great Deep Purple fan Ė to be honest, I do not like Deep Purple at all Ė but after this tour I was convinced that this was a great band. But after we did this tour and Deep Purple came back to do some open air festivals, they asked us if we would like to support them again. Ian Gillam said that Sinner was one of the best support bands Deep Purple ever had. It was a real compliment for us! So we played again and had some drinks and it was pretty cool. That was around 97 Ė 98.

Sinner has been around for twenty years, yet the New Jersey Metalfest is the first time you guys have ever played the States.
Yes, weíve never gotten the chance to play there. When we started, we were pretty successful in Germany, but we never really got the offer to go and play (in the States). We are getting a lot of email saying that we have to tour the US because we have a lot of fans over there, but I donít know if it would make sense, because it would cost a lot of money to go and tour there.

Have you ever thought about Primal Fear and Sinner touring together?
No, not really. It would be very hard for Mat and me, because we would play about two and a half hours on stage and we would be really exhausted after a couple of dates. There was one show that we played together in 1998 or 99 when they played in Tokyo where Sinner supported Primal Fear. It was the first and only time I think.

You know how cool of a bill that would beÖ
Yeah, but Iím not sure if there would be a lot of fans coming to the shows, I think there would be a problem money wise. We also need to good promoter to promote it when we go to the States.

What do you think of the Sinner albums of the 80ís?
The first albums Wild ĎN Evil, and Fast Decision were the beginning of the band. The production and the songwriting was not so good. When they made the Touch Of Sin album and Cominí Out Fighting album, they started being big in Europe, especially in Germany. And then in the 90ís with albums like No Alibis and Respect, Matt and I tried to go in a different musical direction Ė were more influenced by bands like Springsteen and Bon Jovi. That was our time when we tried to be more the songwriters than the rockers. After that period, we started to be rockers again and we made some very successful albums like The Bottom Line and Judgement Day and The Nature Of Evil.

What kept you guys going for 20 years?
The most important thing about this is that we are friends. We are not just musicians doing the music for the money. Weíre just friends and we love to play together in a band. Itís been a cool time with Mat and Frank. Itís not like a real band, itís just like friends doing music together and they are successful Ė and thatís the most important thing.

Will any of the earlier albums be re-released on Nuclear Blast in the future?
I do not know to be honest. I donít know if they have any plans to re-release stuff or to do a DVD. We have to wait and see. I would like to see a DVD. It would be cool, because we have a lot of stuff on video. I think it would be very funny to have a DVD from the beginning to the point where we are now. Seeing the band with long hair, short hair and all the glam rock clothes and stuff like that. That would be funny.

So how did you snag the Saxon drummer for Sinner? Isnít he British?
No. The funny part is, Fritz was in a German band called Victory. We did a lot of touring with this band in Germany and we became friends. Victory split up, then our drummer left the band and Mat asked Fritz if heíd like to join the band. That was back in 1994, shortly before we went on a European tour with Mr. Big. Since then, Fritz is in the band. After Primal Fear became successful, Sinner wasnít around for a couple of years and Fritz went looking for another band. And there came the offer to join Saxon, so he joined them. But heís also a member a Sinner. To be honest, he likes Saxon but Sinner is his family.

Have you been in any other bands besides Sinner and Primal Fear?
Just local bands, nothing really famous. I played some shows with Metallium. And I did a demo for an American singer called Rob Rock. Heís doing his second solo album and he asked me if Iíd like to play some guitar on it. I think Rob Rock is a fantastic singer. I was just doing a demo with him, then I rejoined Sinner and I rejoined Primal Fear.

How would you like your music to be remembered 20 years from now?
The kind of music we are doing is not like trendy music. Itís a music that will stay forever. When I was a young guy and I started listening to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest or stuff like that Ė this music is still famous nowadays. If I listen to all the grunge and nu-metal stuff, there are some songs you will remember in a couple of years, but there are a lot of crap songs. I would like to be remembered as a good songwriter and to be a guy that makes people happy when heís playing live onstage. Thatís my main aim when Iím onstage. I donít look for the money when Iím onstage. I feel happy if people have a good time for two hours and go home with a smile on their face, then thatís cool for me.

Do you have any messages for Sinner fans and/or metal fans here in the States?
Be excellent to each other and party on. Thatís from the movie Bill & Tedís Excellent Adventure and itís one of my favorite movies. I try to make that sentence (apply) for my lifestyle..


SINNER: All the news on Sinner and Primal Fear!
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS: The Record Label for Sinner!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!

Logo Design Guru - Our Sponsors