Interview conducted December 08 2010
Interview published January 02 2011
2010 has certainly been a fantastic
year for all lovers of thrash metal. The gathering of the so-called 'Big
Four' - Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax - for some shows together
was a historic, unbelievable event. Other thrash titans such as Testament,
Exodus and Kreator have also been busy entertaining thrash devotees in
various parts of the world this year.
In Europe, 2010 was concluded in
a most fulfilling manner with the mouth-watering Thrash Fest - boasting
a line-up of the aforementioned Kreator and Exodus plus Death Angel and
Suicidal Angels. Metal Covenant was happy to secure an interview with
the headliners Kreator's frontman Mille Petrozza
- a humble, affable and cheerful icon of the thrash scene.
Mozzy: How has the Thrash Fest tour been
Mozzy: You've toured with Exodus before,
Mozzy: I saw a clip on Youtube from the tour; there seems to be
a great atmosphere, I guess you (the bands) know each other from way back?
Mozzy: It's quite a relentless tour schedule;
you're playing every day. Does that bring some difficulties?
Mozzy: And what about your voice; any difficulties
on tour in that sense?
Mille: Oh, not at all. When it comes to that,
I don't abuse myself too much; I don't really drink, I don't really
Mozzy: Was there more of that before?
Mozzy: I guess it would be more difficult
to do that now?
Mozzy: The reason why I'm asking about your
voice is also that as an outsider, your vocal style comes across as really
intense; has that ever been a concern touring-wise?
- Mille: No, I'm used to it. To me it's not intense.
It might sound intense, but to me it's not, you know. Of course, if
you try to sing like that or if you try to copy it, it might be difficult.
But it's the only vocal style I know. I'm used to it.
(Fittingly, right here Death Angel singer Mark Osegueda, warming up at
the other end of the room, lets off a blistering high-pitch, Rob Halford-esque
- Mille: I couldn't do that, for example (laughs).
Mozzy: No, I understand that (laughs). Offstage,
you seem like a very laid-back, calm person
Mozzy: ...is it ever difficult to ´switch on' before you
Mille: It's not a 'switch on', it's just the
power of the music and
if I go onstage and I see the fans really
digging the music, everyone's going wild and
I start to enjoy
it, you know, and it's like: yeah, let's go!
Mozzy: That must be an awesome feeling.
Mille: It really is awesome. It's like, the
whole thing, the whole vibe - the fans, and the music and the whole
atmosphere. It's something you cannot
there's no such thing
Mozzy: In 2006 I saw you at Summer Breeze;
then you had quite a special stage set (sort of a 3-D set-up with ramps
and platforms etc).
Mille: Oh, that was shit. We tried to have
. We have the perfect set-up on this tour but we couldn't
put it on the stage today because it's a little too big. That Summer
Breeze thing was
we tried but we failed. Or, we didn't fail
but the fucking company that we worked with failed. It was definitely
a good show though; it's not that we didn't enjoy that show, but we
wanted it to be even more intense, you know. But as I said, we have
it on this tour, although not as much. We have two stairways and some
things behind the drum kit. It looks cool. But not tonight, as the
stage is not deep enough. Maybe you can find it on YouTube, in some
of the bigger shows.
Mozzy: Yeah, this stage is quite small,
but it should be intimate and intense.
Mozzy: While you have a vast collection
of great songs, do you think it's important to add some visual elements
to the show?
Mille: It's always been a big part of Kreator's
imagery. We started it in the eighties, when we worked with light
effects and stuff like that as part of the show. On this tour a lot
of the bands didn't have any special effects, but we do. To me, it's
important to have not only the music but also the visual aspect. It
makes the music even stronger.
Mozzy: Have you started to think about the
Mozzy: Can you say something about the style?
Mille: It's going to be heavier. Hopefully
we'll see (laughs). At this stage, it's hard to tell. To me, it's
important that it's Kreator but with new songs, exciting songs to
keep up the energy level. You have to come up with new ideas; it can't
be like a copy.
Mozzy: About the future approach; will you
ever do some experimenting again like you did during the nineties?
Mille: Oh, our last three albums were full
of experimental parts. So rather than writing a whole experimental
album, we write one or two experimental songs for each record, to
keep it interesting for us and for the listener. I think that's more
effective than having one whole experimental album.
I think there were some really good melodies as well on the last albums,
some great twin guitars for example.
Mille: Yeah, that is what we want to focus
on. I have so many ideas for twin guitars, and many 'cliché',
huge metal parts, you know.
Mozzy: At times it sounds a bit like classic
metal - Maiden, Priest and so on.
Mille: Yeah, that's our legacy, what we grew
up on. And Priest are going to split up, so we can use their melodies
Mozzy: (laughs). That was sad though.
Mozzy: I thought it was good actually, as
long as you take the time to really listen to it.
Mozzy: Going back to melodies, has Sami
(guitarist who joined in 2001) been instrumental in coming up with lots
Mozzy: He seems to be a really diverse,
Mozzy: He does not really come across as
this hardcore metal dude
Mille: He's more of a musician, simply put.
He is not only metal, he likes everything. Same with me, really, but
he's more into progressive, 70´s stuff. I'm
more of a metal head with some other influences, but he's more of
the open-minded metal head. He listens to strange stuff I couldn't
listen to. So he is a strong influence, very important.
Mozzy: You guested on the latest Volbeat
album, which was really cool. I thought that was the best track on the
Mille: Thank you. I think so too. Not that
I don't like the other songs, but I think the fact that you had Michael
Denner (legendary Mercyful Fate guitarist) and me on one song was
like "fuuck, that was great!" Also, I think it's not like
a typical Volbeat song; it's more of a metal song. They're great guys,
I've known them since they opened for Hatesphere, so I've known the
guys forever. And I like their music.
Do you get lots of offers to guest on people's albums?
Mille: All the time. Most of the time I say
because if I would not then I would be on many, many records
(laughs). I don't want that. Anything that I'm on, I want it to be
a challenge. With Volbeat I thought, ok it's so much not Kreator;
then I can do it, you know. I don't see the sense in doing a guest
appearance on something that's thrash metal or death metal, if you
know what I mean.
Mozzy: Totally. I guess your appearance
on Edguy's Hellfire Club (on the song Mysteria), is a good example.
Mozzy: By appearing on Volbeat's record,
do you think there is a chance people might discover Kreator?
Mille: I don't think so. Volbeat has a very
mainstream audience. But then again, maybe some people could be interested
maybe two (laughs). But to like this extreme music that we
play, you have to be a real fan. It's not music for everyone; it's
for people that have a certain taste. What we play is hard for some
people to understand. And we want to focus on the people that do understand
Mozzy: The average person, one that doesn't
understand metal at all, can usually be heard saying something like, "he's
Mozzy: (laughs) That's true. It has now
been 25 years since the first Kreator album. What are your reflections
- Mille: It does not feel like it's been that
long, to be honest. I don't feel any different than 25 years ago, you
know. If I would, I would quit. If I wouldn't be into this anymore,
I couldn't do it; I couldn't be convincing. If I would feel "this
is it", then I would do like Priest - but I don't think it will
Mozzy: Have you done something special this
year to celebrate the anniversary?
Mille: Well, we did a thing with Rock Hard
(renowned German metal magazine); they released a live album for free
with the magazine, for the fans. It's a really good sounding album.
And that show, at the Rock Hard festival, was really special.
Mozzy: Thank you, as a long-time Kreator
fan it's been an honour. You have some real anthems that have been played
at many parties!