Fireworks Magazine Online 68 - Interview with Level 10

LEVEL 10


Mat Sinner of Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle and Sinner fame, is one of the busiest musicians working today. He never seems to stop moving from band to project, never seeming to be able to stand still for even a moment. So at an ungodly hour (for a Rock musician anyway) of the morning, Ian Johnson called Mat to talk with him about his new band Level 10, Primal Fear, his other projects and more besides.


Level-10 Mat-Sinner Interview



I was surprised to read that the Level 10 album was actually recorded three years ago Mat.


Actually, what happened was that the album was started three years ago but it was only finished this summer gone. We all worked on it when we could and then we had to wait for the best time to release it. Frontiers, our record company, didn't want to rush the release so they asked me if January would be OK and I agreed.

You must get asked to play, write and produce a lot of these kind of projects. Why choose Level 10?

To tell you the truth, I'm in a wonderful position these days. I can pick and choose what I want to do and as the music is everything to me I won't do anything that is just a paid job, something just for the money. That is just wrong unless you're a session musician and that's your day job. Mainly I wanted to do this album because of Russell Allen, he's such a great singer and the most important thing for me was working with him on these songs.

The songs on the album are very eclectic: Metal, Hard Rock, Prog Metal are all in evidence on the album. Why such a diverse selection of songs?

That's down to the fact that I think you need variety on an album. I really don't like to just do one style of music on an album and I always try to have a lot of different things going when I write songs. Russell is such a wonderful singer that I think it would have cheated him and the fans if it had just been a straight ahead Metal album. He shows just what a versatile singer he is on Level 10 and that's what makes what we do fun and a joy, making music with no borders.

Is working on this kind of project a break for you? I mean that you're involved in every aspect of Primal Fear and Sinner, so on something like this, it isn't as intense as what you normally do.

Well, yes and no is the answer. It depends firstly on who I'm working with. If I'm hired to play bass and nothing else, then yes. If it's people who I love working with then I'm as intense about the project as I am with Primal Fear. Like I said earlier, I love what we've done on the Level 10 album so that makes me want to work as hard as possible to make the best record I can and that makes it not a job but something that I love doing, which is making music.

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The band consists of yourself, Russell Allen, Alex Beyrodt, Roland Grapow, Randy Black and Alessandro Del Vecchio. Each of you are very busy musicians, so will you therefore be able to work together on another Level 10 album or will your other bands prove a problem?

The simple answer is yes, we'd love to do another. The title of the album 'Chapter 1' gives our intentions away, so yes we want to carry on. In the end though it's always down to the fans, if they buy the CD and love what we're doing then we'll be back.

Also with such a busy bunch of musicians will it be the same band who would record a second album?

That depends. It will always be me and Russell at the heart of the band and we're both really pleased to have been able to work with such a great group of musicians. I love working with those guys: Randy, Roland, Ale and Alex. It's always a great thing for you as a musician when you can work with other musicians as good as these guys are. It's the best part of my job. I can't say however if it will be the same band apart from Russell and myself. Hopefully if everything works out it will be.

Will you then be able to tour with all the other outside pressures of Primal Fear, Symphony X, etc.?

Again this is down to the fans. If they like the album, buy it and want to see us, I'm sure we'd be able to do a few dates here and there in support of the album. I love playing to a crowd. I think the Level 10 songs are great on CD but would be even better in a live setting. Russell is one of the best singers I've ever heard and I'd love to hear him singing these songs to a live audience.

What's next for you then Mat? Are there more secret projects, bands or albums you're working on that you can tell us about?

Well we're just putting the finishing touches to the new Michael Kiske/Amanda Somerville album. It's called 'City Of Heroes' and I'm really proud of what we've done on the album. We've got to know each other a lot better since the first album, so this time everything was much more comfortable and the songs are really great. I can't wait for people to hear them.

Then in the Spring I'm out on the road with Primal Fear and Voodoo Circle. Then after that in May I'm on tour with my 'Rock Meets Classic' band which is the Mat Sinner band backed by a full orchestra supported by the best singers and musicians in the world, in my opinion. We've been going for seven years now and we've had Ian Gillan, Paul Rodgers, Steve Lukather and many more working with us. On this tour, which will be twenty shows in a month, we'll have Rick Parfitt, John Wetton, Ian Gillan and Eric Martin helping us out. It's a real pleasure to be able to do something like this. And to work with these guys, Wow!

That sounds really interesting Mat, any chance of UK shows or is there a DVD?

Well it's the logistics of getting over to the UK. We'd love to come but at the moment the tour is just in Europe. We are talking to a UK promoter though, so never say never. The second answer is no, no DVD. Too many record companies would want royalties because each of the singers is singing their most famous songs and paying for that would bankrupt us (laughs). Check the band out at rockmeetsclassic.de. Oh, and we'll be recording a new Primal Fear album in the summer for release in early 2016. I'm really happy and lucky to be so busy.

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