- Interview by David, 26 November 2005
When mentioning christian hard rock,
many of you would probably come to think of Stryper. But there is a band
that has been around longer and probably meant much more for the scene
- Petra. 33 years and over seven million albums sold! Now it is finished,
since the band has decided to go out on a last tour together - a tour
that will stretch out all over Europe, South- and North America. After
Petra's last concert on Swedish ground I got a few minutes to talk to
the founding member, guitarist and main songwriter of the band, Bob
Hartman. It was a very tired Bob (with an even more
tired tour manager stressing in the background), who still did not refuse
to give yet another short interview before moving on again on the Farewell
Why did you choose to quit now?
- It is time. We have accomplished everything God
intended us to do. It's time to move on!
will you do instead?
- I don't know yet. I have been making some guitars
earlier and I think I will continue with that. I will continue to write
songs of course and hopefully I'll get to play from time to time as well.
It was a short comeback for you - you returned to the band just a couple
of years ago
- Yes, three years ago now. It was a great thing,
to be away from the scene for seven years and still have a crowd to come
Do you ever regret your decision to quit?
- No, no regrets. Of course it's sad. We really
enjoy each others company and work well together musically.
Is there an opening for a reunion tour in the future?
- You should never say never. God can change our
mission once again. I regret that Petra never got the chance to play in
any of the former communist countries. We know we got a lot of fans there,
underground Christian movements who spread our music among each other.
But there has never been an opportunity to play there. If something comes
up there, if someone says that I can get Petra over here, I think we will
get together and do that.
What do you think about tonight's concert?
- It was really fun to see so many people so excited.
That is truly rewarding! To hear that our music made a difference in people's
Your last album Jekyll & Hyde was perhaps the hardest rocking one,
how do you feel about it?
- Yes, people say that. I like it. We belong there,
Did you ever consider following it up with another one in the same style?
- We thought about it but it never worked out. We
thought about doing another Petra Praise album as well, but we found out
that we didn't really want that either. When we decided to quit we rather
wanted to do another live album. We ended the era with [original singer]
Greg X. Volz with a live album. Now we wanted to do the same with John
Schlitt. It was also a possibility to honor those who have worked with
the band in the past and their talents, with the guest appearances from
Greg and John Lawry on keyboards.
That was all my questions I think. Thanks for your time and for 33 years
of great music!
- Oh, thank you! I'm starting to fade away here