PRIMAL FEAR - Signed, Sealed and Diabolus! Page 2
by Martin Popoff

Perhaps the biggest item of interest with respect to Seven Seals is the fact that the band uprooted and flew half way 'round the world to Vancouver to mix the record with none other than Mike Fraser. Now, it's easy to make too much of things like mixing. Hell, even choice of producer, three quarters of the time, doesn't affect the crux of what a band's proud new baby is putting on offer. Songwriting has to be considered key above all, dontcha think? Having said that, it's kind of cool that this most iconographic of semi-underground German power metal bands did this. Fraser has worked with the likes of Aerosmith, AC/DC, Dio, The Cult, Metallica, Slipknot, Van Halen... perhaps you've heard of some of these? In any event, here's a few words from this most famous of knob-twiddling titans, on intersecting with our littler, more charming metal world.

"I just try to enhance whatever the band recorded, or try to get the best out of the songs, to the best of my abilities," says Fraser, asked if there is an identifiable Mike Fraser sound. "Sure, some people might say there's a sound; I try not to put a signature on it. I think the band needs to have their identity and not mine. For good rock bands, I like to have pretty bombastic drums. I like to try get everything in your face as much as possible, so that it's right there and you can try and hear everything, without something just kind of taking over. So I guess that would kinda be my thing."

How did you hook up with Primal Fear?

"They were introduced to me through a girl named Mimi Northcott; she runs Canadian Studio Referrals up here in Vancouver, and I guess they contacted her, looking for a studio and an engineer, and she passed my name onto them. I think that's how that came about. Yeah, it's coming right out of the left-field for me too. Oh, OK, sure (laughs). I wasn't sure what to expect, a metal band from Germany and that. But they came in, very nice guys, very well spoken, a bit of a quirky sense of humour, which sometimes goes over my head. They're nattering away in German there and they get a good laugh going, and one of them will try and sorta translate it, and sometimes it's lost in the translation (laughs)."

PRIMAL FEAR - Signed, Sealed and Diabolus! Page 3